May 4, 2011
Workforce training evolves with topsy-turvy economy
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
By ROSE DUGER
JERSEY JOURNAL CORRESPONDENT
Today's market is placing new demands on workers, with some choosing to beef up skills and others seeking employment in fields labor experts project will be hot in coming years.
The U.S. Department of Labor has said that the computer networking field will be the nation's second-hottest market through 2018, behind biomedical engineering, while the state Bureau of Labor Statistics has seen recent upticks in employment in health services, education and leisure and hospitality in Hudson County and surrounding areas.
At PC AGE Career Institute in Jersey City, educators have seen a rise in enrollment among professionals who are looking to add new skills in an increasingly competitive market.
"We see a lot more people who were laid off from very high-salary jobs," Zafar Khizer, president of PC AGE, said. "These people are now coming to us for assistance in making a career change to the networking field. We also see people who have 10 years experience in the computer field who got laid off and they realize that to get back into the job market, they need industry certifications."
PC AGE offers an intensive nine-month course that provides certifications in information technology.
Elsewhere in Hudson County, the area's two- and four-year colleges are responding by adding new major fields of studies, as well as concentrations in hot areas.
New Jersey City University, Saint Peter's College and Hudson County Community College have all recently launched programs in homeland security and criminal justice, reflecting a trend tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics listing security and investigative services as among the state's top industries. At Saint Peter's, which instituted its new master's in criminal justice and administration last fall, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing Terence Peavey said the new program has surpassed first-year enrollment goals.
New Jersey City University has also seen growth in its bachelor's and master's programs in national and international security, as well as in a program that enables registered nurses to earn their Bachelor of Science degree.
“This allows the (law enforcement) industry to become more credentialed,” Peavey said. “Within three to five years, a master’s degree will be required for leadership positions in that field.”
Leadership skills will also be front and center in the new Technical Leadership Program scheduled to launch at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken in June. The only program of its kind in the United States, it is designed for senior level systems engineering and technology professionals who are looking to develop the skills needed to become technical leaders in complex organizations.
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