Got skill?

Sep 072003
Authors: Jodi Friedman

The courses students are taking now could affect their salaries in the future.

People with degrees in technology may hold more profitable careers than those who studied humanities in college, said Anne Malen, director of the Career Center.

One reason may involve a labor-market shift where the most appealing jobs are offered to graduates in technical majors.

“Our economy is so information-based, having technical skills makes (people) valuable employees with newer skills about databases,” Malen said. “Because technical skills are required in almost any job, (students) have more flexibility in the kinds of things they can do.”

Due to a computer-dependent society, some classrooms have updated technology to keep up with the times.

“You’re going to have more SMART classrooms because that is what you need to learn,” Malen said. “The student body is used to doing things in a more technical manner.”

Demand for technically-skilled workers sometimes correlates to increased salaries.

“More technical majors tend to yield higher earnings because the development of new technologies and new products can have enormous payoffs,” said Steven Shulman, an economics professor.

Others recognize the time and brains that go into science-based majors such as engineering.

“People that go into a technology industry and work hard deserve to get paid well if they do their job well,” said Mike Egan, a senior construction management major.

People specializing in the softer sciences may still hold profitable careers, despite amount of computer skills acquired, Shulman said.

“Students with less technical majors are more likely to wind up in people professions, which may be very satisfying but which do not have the same type of economic impact,” Shulman said.

There are exceptions to every rule and some believe it does not take a technical degree to land a satisfying destiny.

“If you follow what you enjoy doing, no matter what it is, then the probability will be high that you will find something financially to suit your needs,” said Troy Welker, a senior history major.

Senior Kelli Glorso, an English literature major, said a number of students choose a career field based on the money it will bring them in the future

“The number one skill (the business community) looks for is communication,” Malen said. “Communication via technology is a part of that.”

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