A “Degree” of Difference – New Jersey Business Magazine
New Jersey’s 60 colleges and universities compete to attract approximately 65,000 graduate students. As a result, variety abounds.
But what programs are winning young hhearts and minds?
Popular paths include education, science, and health care degrees. If that sounds downright boring, the spice comes in degree titles that reveal interesting fields of study. The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), for example, serves approximately 700 graduate students. Offering 20 different graduate programs, the school’s most popular degree tracks focus on education and healthcare pathways.
“We have always had a strong heritage in education,” says Stephen TomkielMB from TCNJA director. “After that, nursing and related health care degrees top the list, along with our counseling program.” Far from traditional, however, Tomkiel notes that there is a growing demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education at TCNJ.
A similar situation exists at Kean University, where STEM is a large and growing program. Other high-level majors include Early Childhood Education, Masters with Advanced Curriculum and Teaching Option, and Computer Information System.MS, MS, and Science and Technology-Biotechnology Option, MS or Science and Technology-Computational Science and Engineering Option, MS These latest degrees reflect a growing interest in careers related to big data.
“One thing we see at Kean is that data science has become a very hot field, both from the perspective of employers and people who are preparing for jobs in data analysis in various capacities,” notes the vice president of the Kean University and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs David S. Bisale, doctorate “It’s a vast field with many paths. Some are IT-aligned; others are aligned with areas that use this type of business information, from understanding customer relationships to medical data.
Innovate in health care and clinical studies are also attracting interest in medicine-related careers. “Healthcare programs are our largest classes due to employment needs in the region as well as our educational programs,” confirms Leamor Kahanovprovost and vice presidentacademic affairs department at the University of Stockton.
With 19 different pathways for graduate degrees, Stockton is home to approximately 1,000 graduate students. According Kahanovclinical therapy and occupational therapy are two rapidly growing graduate program streams.
JThe same goes for Kean University: “Many of our most popular programs over the past three years have been health-related,” notes Dr. sell to birds. “In science, we’ve seen renewed interest in our genetic counseling programs.”
Global issues are also spstrong interest in new graduate programs. In Stockton, for example, programs related to law, human rights and sustainability are finding a growing audience. Robert R. Heinrich, ed. D. Director of Enrollment Management for Stockton recounts, “Students arWe are attracted by our graduate programs in marine sciences as well as in criminal justice and our Masters in Education in leadership and social justice. In addition, our Coastal Zone Management program, as well as our Holocaust and Genocide Studies programsgrams, have grown with growing interest from this generation.
The Rise of Certificate Programs
Schools also supplement graduate programs with courses leading to a certificate. Certificate programs offer university-level specialization aimed att broaden a student’s skills. TCNJ Tomkiel explains, “These are targeted courses, like our instructional leadership program, which is a perfect complement for someone who knows they want to lead a school; or specialization courses, such as data analysis. Certificate programs are an alternative to a full degree; where they acquire specific knowledge instead of – or in addition to – a mastery program.” Companies are increasingly using certificate programs (such as data analytics) to provide employees with specific skills together in emerging fields important to their employers.
New degree Program development
New Jersey universities actively listen to their students, competitors, and business and industry leaders, and use a strategic marketing approach to the development of the program.
The provost of Stockton, Dr. Kahanovnote: “We have advisory councils to all our professional programs. Our healthcare programs include our area hospitals, which provide feedback on emerging needs and feedback to programs as to their rrequirements. For example, we would not have a respiratory therapy program 10 years ago without the input of our hospital community.
Kean University Dr. sell to birds relates a similar approach. “To create new programs for graduates, you have to bea lot with markets, you have to be in contact with employers who cater to those markets, and you have to be able to think on the scientific and technical discoveries that lead to success in these fields.