From digitizing and analyzing America’s health records to developing the next big video game or hardware program, careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields continue to gain prominence in the work force. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts a growing demand for technological advances will result in a job growth of 22 percent for STEM occupations between 2004 and 2014.
As employment opportunities within these new and emerging industries continue to expand, educational institutions are taking a look at refining curriculums to provide career-focused higher education, and better prepare students for careers in specific fields.
To do this, universities are working directly with high-caliber employers to ensure their future employee needs will be met. DeVry University, for example, works directly with companies including IBM and Cisco to create these student programs. DeVry University graduates from the last five years have worked at 96 of the Fortune 100 companies.
“Students are looking to obtain the education and knowledge needed to succeed in the high-growth industries that continue to thrive,” says Donna Loraine, vice president, academic affairs for DeVry Inc., and dean, DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. “Our academic structure is one that allows for swift implementation of new programs and curriculum once we notice a specific need, allowing us to better prepare students for these in-demand 21st century careers.”
According to the Center for Education Policy Analysis, technology is pervasive in almost every aspect of daily life, and as the workplace changes, STEM knowledge, skills and the ways in which problems are approached and solved in these subjects are important for a variety of workers.
DeVry worked closely with Cisco using the Cisco Networking Academy program to deliver curriculums that teach students how to design, build, troubleshoot and secure computer networks.
“Working with DeVry University to equip students with technical knowledge and hands-on experiences will help meet growing demand for skilled workers in a variety of industries ranging from broadband and wireless to healthcare and green technologies,” says Amy Christen, vice president of corporate affairs at Cisco and general manager of the Cisco Networking Academy. “Individuals that are trained in the latest technology careers today will be well-prepared for a variety of exciting career opportunities tomorrow.”
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is anticipating an approximate 45 percent growth in the computer software engineer and application occupations. Anticipating this demand, these student/employer partnerships aim to prepare soon-to-be graduates for these technology careers, while helping to fill a growing need for professionals in the emerging industries around the world.