Building, saving jobs

According to a report from Denver, two degrees have hope for the future, despite the struggling economy. Every student will eventually wonder at some point in their college career where their course of study will

According to a report from Denver, two degrees have hope for the future, despite the struggling economy.

Every student will eventually wonder at some point in their college career where their course of study will lead them next. For many, this means entering into the workforce, and hopefully holding a good job after graduation.

According to an NBC News9 report from Denver, engineering and criminal justice students will be more likely to receive jobs after graduation, due to notable growth in the fields, even in such down economic times.

Of course, it would be foolish to tell everyone to “go into engineering and criminal justice because you’ll get a job.”

But there certainly is a reason why the job markets for these fields have a better post-graduation outlook than others.

The report claimed that green engineering is one of the few professional fields seeing large growth.

Leonard Bernstein, a professor in the College of Engineering and supervisor of the general education course “The Environment,” agreed with claims in the report, noting large increases in enrollment in the course and in the College of Engineering overall.

“We are always going to have a great demand for engineers…because there is always something to be improved upon,” Bernstein said. “Look at the disasters we have had with the hurricane and the earthquake… which is related to the field of public works engineering.”

This all ties back into having sustain able technology – the kind that conserves resources – which is greatly discussed in the gen-ed engineering course.

According to Bernstein, there has been an increase in attention to engineering due to the visible need after natural disasters. And in regards to the need for environmental engineers, many people question what they can do for the environment, and subsequently choose engineering.

“Engineers are good problem solvers and that can make them more attractive to employers here and around the world,” Servin Patel, a junior engineering student, said in regards to the job prospects for engineering students.

Patel, a native of India, also noted there is a large market for engineers there.

“Countries outside of the United States have more job opportunities, so many of the engineers in school here might go outside the country to find a job, as well,” Patel said.

On both home and international fronts, engineers are needed, giving great attention towards college students by employers.

As with engineers, criminal justice students and professors alike, see the increased opportunity in their field.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Joe Alkus didn’t quite agree that jobs in criminal justice are “booming” as the report claimed, but agreed that criminal justice students do well because politicians will not sacrifice public safety, even in tough economic times. Safety is for most civilians a number one concern, Alkus said.

“You can cut parks, you can cut educational spending to a degree, but safety and justice stays [an] ultimate priority no matter who you are,” he said.

Derek Blanks, an alumnus, argues that problem solving is vital to any job, but said “without a vision in criminal justice, the people perish.”

Blanks said he chose to study criminal justice to find the causes of crime in minority communities and communities at large.  His course of study led him to a greater understanding of certain cause and effect crime patterns.

“People need to feel safe,” Blanks said. “But hard work needs to be put in from all professions and fields to ensure that, not just criminal justice.”

“A high GPA and good experience are what employers want to see no matter what your field is because that’s all anyone has to go by,” Alkus added.

Although a spotlight has been placed on criminal justice and engineering, the top courses of study at Temple are marketing and psychology.

Sean Benz, a senior marketing and graphic design major said he likes marketing due to its flexibility and the fact that it’s in the business school.

“Marketing is a fluff degree that’s good if you have a direction elsewhere… otherwise you’ll see a job market overfilled with people with similar qualifications,” he said.

Antoine Hand, a freshman psychology major feels more optimistic about a future in psychology.

“Everyone needs someone to talk to,” Hand said. “If you can take someone who understands the mind and have them form ideas on it, there are jobs out there for them with no further [schooling] needed.”

Good jobs are difficult to come by, especially with good careers becoming even more of a rarity today. But according to Alkus, “You might have to be patient and work several transient jobs before you find your way in your career, and that looks good to employers to see you put your time in…not just in school.”

Respected elders often say, “Your generation is going to be the future leaders of the world.” Certainly, “future leaders” might want to be in the position of holding a job to take that leap of faith towards success and fulfillment. Knowing how to solve problems, think critically and maintain a good sense of awareness will take one to that job.

Blanks put it best when referring to elders who speak to the youth, “Ultimately, these problems will last in some form over time, but they aren’t their problems anymore, and we need to find the solutions.”

Robert Franklin can be reached at

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