How to Prepare for Careers of Tomorrow in 10 Steps
Students are now being educated for job titles that do not yet exist. Ten years ago, there was no such thing as an Autonomous Car Engineer, Nanotechnologist, Health-Care Simulation Educator, Social Media Marketer, 3-D Designer, Data Analytics Specialist, Virtual TV/Film/Theatre Set Specialist, Blockchain Developer or an Augmented Reality Designer.
The education disseminated and the professional career training provided to students should be interdisciplinary, dynamic, flexible, hands-on, experiential, global and service-oriented. Here are 10 steps to prepare you for careers of tomorrow prepared by Tarek Sobh, PhD, PE, executive vice president, dean of the College of Engineering, Business, and Education at the University of Bridgeport.
1. Consider a program where job growth is predicted
A significant expansion of STEM, Business/Entrepreneurship, Health Sciences, Design, Global Development, Technology Management, and other professional majors and degree programs is occurring now in the marketplace. Anticipating the needs of future employers, the University of Bridgeport is introducing Connecticut’s first and only Master of Science program in Artificial Intelligence.
2. Pursue innovative majors
Academic majors and programs, including the arts and sciences, need a laser focus that offer career paths for students. An example of such innovative undergraduate programming is the University of Bridgeport’s Bachelor of Science program in Digital Marketing Communication.
3. Pursue research opportunities
Whether or not you plan to be a researcher or academic, sophisticated undergraduate research will prove an asset in your professional career. Acquiring research experience and expertise helps to develop independent critical thinking skills, enhance oral and written communication skills, and build teamwork skills.
4. Gain experience through co-ops or internships
Successful institutions of higher education have very strong ties to the modern economy and industry, providing students with unique industry co-ops and internships to complement their studies. These experiences often lead to excellent job placement upon graduation.
5. Take courses where you gain real-world experience on interdisciplinary teams
Students must become life-long learners and be comfortable with a very rapidly changing economy that needs cross-trained professionals. They will function on interdisciplinary teams that transcend traditional academic, professional and national boundaries.
6. Learn how to be an entrepreneur
Thinking outside of the box and leveraging leadership skills, individuals can create personal wealth and job opportunities that contribute to economic growth. Whether a student plans to immediately start a business or wait until mid-career, he or she will be prepared to succeed and turn dreams into reality.
7. Study abroad
Studying abroad provides students with an appreciation of cultures, a better understanding of global issues, and more insight into international affairs and global commerce. This prepares students to secure prestigious fellowships and graduate school opportunities.
8. Join clubs and organizations and develop leadership skills
Future graduates will possess broad knowledge, receive professional training, develop skills, and gain leadership abilities for success in an ever-evolving global economy. The extracurricular activities will help them transform the communities where they live.
9. Make an impact on your school and the surrounding community
The University of Bridgeport and like-minded schools show their students how to make an impact on major global challenges, inspire their communities, enact positive change, and prepare for careers of the future and job titles that do not yet exist.
10. Never stop learning or lose your sense of curiosity
Curiosity will keep you thinking and learning, which will pay off during unpredictable marketplace shifts.