Colleges Offer More Courses Aimed At Job Market

Ann McClure's picture

The glossy brochure promoting Miami Dade College’s School of Science begins with the expected burst of lofty language about teaching students to question, investigate and formulate conclusions about the natural world.

But directly under the Mission heading, the new pamphlet gets down to business, laying out the paycheck prospects for graduates. Biological Technician: $38,396. Horticulturist: $34,511. Environmental Technician: $40,227.

“That’s what the students care about right now,’’ Dean Heather Belmont said. “Before, students always felt that when they graduated, they could get a job.”

High unemployment and battered household finances have colleges working harder to tie their classroom offerings to job offers. From creating courses to accommodate a new industry to customizing a curriculum to a specific employer’s hiring criteria, schools are pushing to narrow the gap between academia and the real world.

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