Tomorrow’s Jobs Will Demand Adaptability
from the Office of the Dean
Young people entering the workforce today understand one thing: they are unlikely to retire from the job they begin after college graduation. As changes in technology and society transform our personal and work lives, tomorrow’s workers may even experience several career changes during their work life. Adaptability, therefore, will be an essential component of professional success.
An education well grounded in the liberal arts and sciences is an excellent preparation for life-long learning and career flexibility. “Through the liberal arts, you develop skills that are transportable,” says Bernard J. Firestone, Ph.D., Dean of the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS). “To move ahead, regardless of your field, requires strong critical thinking, writing and communications skills – all things you learn when you study literature, the arts, foreign languages, and the sciences.”
Career preparation, of course, is important, and in addition to ensuring through our distribution requirements that all students receive a broad education, HCLAS offers numerous career-specific degree programs. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment projections for 2008-18 forecast that computer and mathematical sciences occupations will grow more than twice as fast as the average for all occupations during that time frame.
Engineering jobs are expected to grow through 2018, with biomedical engineers forecast to have the fastest growth rate and civil engineers the largest employment increase. Biomedical and environmental engineers are among the top 30 fastest growing occupations in the BLS study.
Employment in life, physical and social sciences occupations are projected to grow by 19% between 2008 and 2018, and students can prepare for such fields through a wide range of HCLAS degree programs, such as biology, physics, chemistry, geology, geography, psychology and sociology, to name just a few.
BLS projects that art and design occupations will be in demand, particularly in the field of digital media, as will jobs in the arts, like Drama & Dance and Music, entertainment and recreation industry sector, which are expected to grow by 15% by 2018. This growth, according to BLS, will stem from public participation in arts, entertainment and recreation activities, as people experience more leisure time.
Healthcare, of course, will continue to generate new jobs as the population ages and as innovations in technology and science materialize. BLS reports that about 26% of all new jobs created in the United States between 2008 and 2018 will be in this sector. In addition to our life sciences offerings, our physician assistant (PA) program, which offers a joint bachelor’s/master’s degree, prepares students for a career in healthcare. PAs are indentified by BLS as among the 30 fastest growing occupation.
An undergraduate degree is essential
Regardless of a student’s ultimate career path, a post-secondary degree is indispensable to future success. The BLS reports that half of all new jobs and one-third of total job openings for the 2008-18 period will require such a degree.
Whether or not you choose a career-oriented degree program, exposure to the broader world of arts and sciences pays off. “All great innovators are people who question received wisdom, and training in the liberal arts is designed to do just that: liberate the mind to go beyond conventional thinking,” Dean Firestone says.
“It is also important to remember that there is substantially more to human happiness than fulfillment at work,” he adds. “A liberal arts education enriches our lives by exposing us to a variety of cultural experiences and by preparing us to participate fully in our democratic political system.”