Worcester Business Journal Talks to Becker Experts

Published on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Worcester Business Journal turned the spotlight on higher education in the articles, “Colleges Aim Curricula At Jobs Of The Future,” and “Certificate Programs Help Area Schools Meet Market Demands.” Becker was a featured college in both articles.

President Robert E. JohnsonSpeaking of jobs of the future, the Journal‘s Livia Gershon reported, “Robert E. Johnson, president of Becker College in Worcester, has been thinking a lot about these issues lately. The school is preparing to roll out a number of new program ideas in early 2013.

“‘We just recently conducted a market analysis in terms of what employers will be looking for over the next 10 years, what students are looking for in terms of majors, average salaries and things of that nature,’ he said. ‘It really starts from a perspective of looking at market demand. That’s a little tricky because a lot of the jobs that will exist five or 10 years from now we don’t even know what they are.

“Johnson said a good example is the title ‘social media marketing manager,’ a phrase largely unheard of only a few years ago but which now represents a strong career path.

“Looking forward a few years, he said Becker is making a big bet on its video game program, not just because of the vast current market for digital entertainment but also the enormous growth it anticipates in the use of game technology for serious purposes, such as training nurses in triage, performing physical therapy or running drone aircraft.” Read more.

Alison Lee Satake opens her article on the rise and appeal of certificate programs with the story of a Becker College student.

“Like many college students today, Natalie Ballard, a junior psychology major at Becker College in Worcester, believed gaining a specific, marketable skill was important.

“To get hands-on, real-world experience, her department chair advised her to enroll in a certificate program while she pursued her bachelor’s degree. Through Becker’s new Applied Behavior Analysis certificate program, she works at a school for children with special needs while accumulating more than 1,000 hours of work under the supervision of a board-certified applied behavior analyst. The work qualifies Ballard to sit for the board exam.

“‘You can say when you apply for jobs, ‘I have this much experience,’ Ballard said. ‘You have something for your resume.'”

Satake also spoke to Dean of Accelerated and Professional Studies Colleen Bielitz.  “‘We don’t want to offer programs that are stagnant. We want to keep ourselves relevant and connected,’ said  [Bielitz]. ‘We bring subject-area experts to teach certificate programs. Sometimes they’ll teach, sometimes they’ll help develop curriculum.’

“Although the college’s certificate programs are only a year old, administrators are studying 10-year economic projections to tailor Becker’s certificate programs around the areas of largest industry growth. Certificates in paralegal studies, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and financial planning are slated for future semesters, based on research by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).” Read more.