Career trends move toward generalists

By Deborah Costello

Careers trends in the 1990s will move toward well-rounded generalists rather than narrowly-focused specialists, said a coordinator in cooperative education.

According to Doug Davis, special populations and humanities coordinator for the Cooperative Education program, “Businesses will be demanding students to have a wider breadth of knowledge.”

“More and more businesses are looking for students with a Liberal Arts and Sciences major because they believe these students bring certain valuable skills into the workplace,” Davis said.

Employers are also looking for personal characteristics such as maturity, the ability to communicate with others, as well as the knowledge of a foreign language, said Joan Greening, associate director of the Career Planning and Placement Center.

“Before making career choices, students first need to evaluate themselves and then decide what is right for them. What is right for one person may not be for another; it is really a personal decision,” Greening said.

“More companies are looking for interns. This gives them a chance to look the student over—evaluate their work habits and skills. This also gives the student valuable hands-on experience,” Davis said.

Nationally, 70 percent of students involved in an internship received their first job offer from that internship. Other benefits include higher beginning salaries, and room for advancement, Davis said.

Internships are available through the Cooperative Education Program located at the Holmes Student Center in room 224. To be eligible a student must have sophomore status with 30 credit hours and a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. There are seven coordinators available by appointment to help eligible students decide on an internship, Davis said.