From the Chronicle: The Value of a Bachelor’s Degree

15 Nov

In a recent article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jennifer Gonzalez cites a report titled, “Career Clusters: Forecasting Demand for High School Through College Jobs, 2008-18.” The report highlights the industries expected to offer the best employment prospects for high school and college graduates. Gonzalez shares some of the report’s findings, writing that:

  • Workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher have expanded career opportunities. “Seventy-two percent of the jobs available for such workers were concentrated in nine occupational clusters, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics; government and public administration; information technology; and health science.”
  • The occupations “with the highest demand for workers with a bachelor’s degree also tend to be those that are growing—actually adding new jobs in addition to replacement jobs, the report finds. Health science, for example is projected to rank first in the number of jobs added and second in overall growth rate through 2018.”
  • “The fast-growing clusters also pay some of the better salaries. In the financial cluster, actuaries with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $121,500, and engineering managers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) cluster earned $117,100.”

The bottom line? “A college education is still valuable, even in a down economy. […] Today’s economy puts a premium on education, training, and flexibility.”

Nazareth continues to demonstrate the value of an interdisciplinary undergraduate education by preparing students to become successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College accomplishes this by offering challenging academic programs for in-demand majors and providing students with off-campus experiential learning opportunities.

For example, one-third of Nazareth students are enrolled in the College’s visionary School of Health and Human Services, which offers majors from across the health care spectrum, including physical therapy, creative arts therapy, occupational therapy, communication sciences and disorders, nursing, and social work. This combination of traditional and creative arts therapy programs is unique in upstate New York. In addition, the College’s signature on-campus Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinics serve not only students and faculty in learning, but also offer campus-based clinical services to thousands of uninsured or under-served area residents.

Nazareth’s SHHS programs focus on career preparation and interprofessional collaboration, both in the classroom as well as clinical settings. As a result, the licensure pass rates for programs such as creative arts therapy, speech-language pathology, and physical therapy are 95 to 100 percent annually. And generations of Nazareth graduates, known for their deep subject expertise and liberal arts foundation, make up the backbone of the region’s health care leadership. In fact, since 2002, 95 to 100 percent of SHHS graduates are employed just after graduation, with most of them in the western New York region.

With the opening of the new Integrated Center for Math and Science in fall 2012, the College will better meet the needs of all its students, regardless of major or discipline. The building will feature state-of-the art classrooms and labs that all undergraduate students will use during their time at Nazareth. These students will then go on to become the health care workers, educators, scientists, artists, businesspeople, activists, and professionals who will transform this region and beyond for years to come.

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