Life after college. What will that look like for you? What job should you go to college for? How do you choose the right college? For most students around the country, life after college means finding a job. And how you find a job is determined by what you studied in school. While you may be familiar with the Criminal Justice Department or an English degree, there are two growing departments at Westfield State that are helping to fill high-demand positions in the New England area and around the country. But you might not have ever heard of them before now.
“What do you like about where you live?” This is the question that Robert Bristow, the Geography & Regional Planning Chair asks each of his students. He then follows up that question with an even more important one: What don’t you like?
This is the job of a regional planner. To create spaces that the public can use, enjoy, or develop on. As communities grow and prosper, the need for more space becomes a greater priority, and it’s this demand that Westfield State is helping to fill.
But what does that mean for you? For starters, exclusivity. Westfield State is the only public institution in the area to offer a Regional Planning program, which means Westfield students can literally corner the job market.
Regional planning also gives students the chance to combine their artistic vision with practical applications. Planners have to think about more than just how a park will look; they need to think about who will use it, when, and why. “Planning is the blending of physical geography and cultural norms,” according to Bristow. To succeed in this field, students need to know just as much about their communities as they do about their environment.
Aging communities. Diverse populations. Economic instability. There are plenty of reasons why social workers are one of the most sought after positions in the job market. And there are just as many reasons why a degree in this field from Westfield State is so in-demand, also.
“We designed this program so students can transfer in as a junior and still finish their degree in two years.” This is according to Bob Kersting, the Social Work Department Chair. He’s as passionate about his department as he is about careers in social work.
One major draw for the Social Work Department is their relationships. “People know people,” says Kersting.
The Social Work Department maintains around 150-200 working relationships with agencies and networks in the area. Which leads to placement after graduation. And placement often leads to employment for students.
It’s also one of the most affordable and easily accessible programs in the area. Knowing that some students need to work in order to complete their degree, the Social Work Department offers a hybrid major, meaning courses are split between online and on-campus class time. It also means that most classes start later in the day, which makes it easier for students to work around.
Life after college. It’s on the mind of every student and it’s why Westfield State is so committed to creating programs that fit the changing demands of today’s work force. While these are just two of the most sought-after programs at Westfield, each major provides unique resources and aids to help students achieve their goals. What major will fuel your career? What would you like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments.