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Higher Education Keeps Pace with Local Job Market

By Kim Zachman

The good news is metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate is down in early 2014 to 6.9 percent from a peak of 10.5 percent in 2009. But with some job sectors making more of a comeback than others, as well as the effects of rapidly changing technology, many people are going back to school to learn a new vocation. Just as employees struggle to stay current and competitive, so do colleges and universities. Below are a handful of examples of innovative courses that some Atlanta area schools have developed in response to changes in today’s job market.

Kennesaw State University, College of Continuing and Professional Education
ccpe.kennesaw.edu
“We have the largest population of older adults coming through in the history of this country,” says Barbara Calhoun, dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Education at Kennesaw State University. “Anything in the medical field is going to be big because of that bubble of population of older adults coming through.”
Calhoun did an informal poll of local pharmacies to assess the need for certified pharmacy technicians and received an overwhelmingly positive response to a proposed certificate program.
In response to another need in the local medical community, KSU also developed a medical assisting certificate program, which began in October 2014. The first cycle of the program is scheduled to end in December. A recent change by the state now requires medical assistants to be certified, which means some current medical assistants will need to return to school to earn their certification. Medical assistants perform both administrative and clinical tasks in physicians’ offices and represent one of the fastest growing job fields.

Clayton State University
clayton.edu
The Georgia Archives and the National Archives near Clayton State University’s campus in Morrow partnered with the university to develop the master of archival studies program, one of the few in North America that focuses exclusively on archival studies. The digital age has had a profound effect on this profession. “The fact is that the very substance of our work has changed over the last 30 years because we used to deal with paper and film in traditional analog format,” says Richard Pearce-Moses, director of the master of archival studies program. “But today, the vast majority of records are created electronically and that means the nature of the records themselves has changed.”
Unlike paper, which can last for centuries if properly stored and preserved, digital media can decay within a few years. There’s also the issue of constantly upgrading media and software programs to contend with. The files have to be converted to current software every five or 10 years. “So archivists need to have a lot of technical skills that they didn’t need to have before,” Pearce-Moses says. “It’s a period of evolution and revolution in the industry.”

Central Michigan University, Global Campus
global.cmich.edu
In a competitive job market, enhancing your resume with a graduate certificate demonstrates your dedication to your career and a willingness to invest in your future. Central Michigan University has 60 campus centers across the country, including two in the metro Atlanta area. These campuses offer graduate certificates in general administration, health services administration, human resources administration, leadership and public administration. Master’s programs include adult education, sports administration and public management. With so many programs to choose from, and class schedules that can accommodate the lives of working adults, Central Michigan can help students get ahead in today’s market.

Life University
life.edu
Chiropractors, like many other healthcare professionals, are likely to open their own practice after graduation. While they may be trained in anatomy, physiology and chemistry, there are other skills needed to help their businesses thrive. When Guy Riekeman, D.C., became the president of Life University in 2004, one of his goals was to ensure Life’s graduates also had the business knowledge they needed to be successful. “Of all the chiropractic colleges, we offer the most comprehensive business courses,” says Craig Dekshenieks, director of communications at Life. “The business portion of our chiropractic curriculum is ever-changing to keep up with trends. So, those classes might have started out as basic business accounting, but now include things like how to market through social media.”

KNOWAtlanta Institutes of Higher Education

Agnes Scott College
Location: Decatur
Phone: (404) 471-6000; 1 (800) 868-8602
Web: agnesscott.edu

Atlanta Metropolitan College
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 756-4000
Web: atlm.edu

Atlanta Technical College
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 225-4400
Web: atlantatech.edu

Brenau University
Locations: Gainesville (main campus), Atlanta-North (Norcross), Atlanta-South (Fairburn), Augusta, King’s Bay and Waleska
Phone: (770) 534-6299; 1 (800) 252-5119
Web: brenau.edu

Chattahoochee Technical College
Locations: Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Gilmer, Paulding and Pickens counties
Phone: (770) 528-4545
Web: chattahoocheetech.edu

Clark Atlanta University
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 880-8000
Web: cau.edu

Clayton State University
Locations: Morrow (main campus), Fayetteville, Locust Grove and Peachtree City
Phone: (678) 466-4000
Web: clayton.edu

DeVry University
Locations: Alpharetta, Cobb, Decatur, Gwinnett and Henry
Phone: 1 (866) 338-7934
Web: devry.edu

Emory University and Oxford College of Emory
Locations: Atlanta and Oxford
Phone: (404) 727-6123; (770) 784-8888
Web: emory.edu; oxford.emory.edu

Georgia Gwinnett College
Location: Lawrenceville
Phone: (678) 407-5000
Web: ggc.edu

Georgia Institute of Technology
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 894-4154
Web: gatech.edu

Georgia Perimeter College
Locations: Alpharetta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and Newton
Phone: (678) 891-3200
Web: gpc.edu

Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Locations: Clarkston, Conyers, Covington, Madison, Lithonia and Doraville
Phone: (404) 297-9522
Web: gptc.edu

Georgia State University
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 413-2500
Web: gsu.edu

Gwinnett Technical College
Location: Lawrenceville
Phone: (770) 962-7580
Web: gwinnetttech.edu

Kennesaw State University
Location: Kennesaw
Phone: (770) 423-6300
Web: kennesaw.edu

Life University
Location: Marietta
Phone: (770) 426-2600; 1 (800) 543-3202
Web: life.edu

Mercer University
Locations: Macon (main campus), Atlanta, Eastman, Henry, Lithia Springs, Newnan, Savannah and Warner Robins
Phone: (478) 301-2650
Web: mercer.edu

Morehouse College
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 681-2800
Web: morehouse.edu

North Georgia College and State University
Location: Dahlonega
Phone: (706) 864-1400
Web: northgeorgia.edu

Reinhardt College
Locations: Alpharetta and Waleska
Phone: (770) 720-5600; (770) 720-9191
Web: reinhardt.edu

Savannah College of Art and Design
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 253-3100
Web: scad.edu

Southern Polytechnic State University
Location: Marietta
Phone: (678) 915-7778;
1 (800) 635-3204
Web: spsu.edu

Spelman College
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (404) 681-3643
Web: spelman.edu

Troy University
Location: Atlanta
Phone: (770) 730-0033;
1 (866) 426-1068
Web: troy.edu

University of Georgia
Locations: Athens and Atlanta
Phone: (706) 542-3000
Web: uga.edu

University of West Georgia
Location: Carrollton
Phone: (678) 839-5000
Web: westga.edu

 

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