Education for ‘real world’ ideal preparation in business world
Whether they are professionals transitioning to a new career path or high school graduates pursuing a dream career, new college graduates can look forward to interviewing with hiring managers who are looking for specific skills.
Adecco Staffing U.S.surveyed 500 senior executives in August 2013 and issued a public statement about what these business leaders expect of applicants. The survey may provide college-bound men and women with insight into what they should look for in a business education.
The respondents to the survey cited a “gap” between the skills they desire and the skills that generally recent graduates bring to the table. In fact, according to Adecco’s release, “44 percent of respondents cited soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, as the area with the biggest gap,” and “22 percent cited a lack of technical skills as the culprit for the U.S. skills gap – with leadership (14 percent), and computer skills (12 percent) following behind.”
“It’s interesting to see how the definition of the skills gap has evolved from being so heavily focused on technical and computer skills to ‘soft’ skills related to communication and creativity,” Adecco Senior Vice President Janette Marx said in the media statement. “Educational institutions may overlook these elements in today’s digital age, but schools must integrate both hard and soft skill sets into their curriculums, which in turn will help better prepare candidates and strengthen our country’s workforce.”
Many people who intend to work in the business world consider obtaining a business degree. Read between the lines of this survey. It would appear that not all business programs are created equal. Moreover, the ideal business education is one that is well-rounded in that students learn technical and computer skills as well as how to apply those skills in an interpersonal way in the workplace; that form of education is what business executives are looking for. If you are interested in learning more about a type of business degree program that may be right for you, then read on.
Western Technical College in El Paso,Texas, devised a business degree program that fundamentally confronts the skills gap, giving students the comprehensive preparation that they need and giving hiring managers the quality entry-level applicants that the diverse business world demands.
WesternTechnicalCollegeoffers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration and Management. Classes are offered both day and evening, to accommodate the needs of full-time students and students who need to work and to handle other responsibilities during working hours. The degree program takes a daytime student 18 months to complete, and the evening student can finish in 24 months.
The program offers a diversity of skills-based classes, such as:
- Payroll Accounting
- Marketing and Advertising
- Human Resources
- Project Management
It also provides education on how business organizations function, including classes in the Principles of Management and Business Ethics.
Nevertheless, the Western Tech Business Administration and Management associate degree program does not stop there. Students study Organizational Behavior and Public Speaking; thus they learn how to apply their knowledge in a workplace setting. These and other classes essentially transmit the knowledge that business executives surveyed apparently crave and do not often see – how to communicate, collaborate, think creatively and solve problems in the group structure.
Western Tech’s experienced administration and certified faculty take great pride in providing its business administration graduates precisely what it offers students in all disciplines – education for the “real world.” Western Tech’s Business Administration and Management Program Director Margie Aguilar said the well-rounded nature of the business degree program’s curriculum is imperative.
“It is very important,” Aguilar said. “Businesses are looking for employees that have knowledge in a variety of areas in business in order to support their company at different levels. This knowledge will provide students with different employment options depending on their field of interest.”
Western Tech’s Business Administration and Management students are trained to take exams that will qualify them certifications that are valued in the workplace. These certifications include:
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Payroll Accounting
“Students in HR are informed that there are two certification exams they can take once they have gained work experience in HR,” Aguilar said. “These include the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR). Their education level will determine how many years of experience they will need in HR.”
In the digital age, job applicants in many fields use digital methods of conveying their experience and education. The Western Technical College Business Administration and Management program developed a tool by which students may electronically impress hiring managers. It is known as the “digital badge.”
“The badges will help our graduates’ resumes stand out among the rest,” Aguilar said. “The digital badges are colorful and can be uploaded onto their resumes. If an employer electronically receives a resume, he or she can click on the badge and all the competencies the student learned will be visibly displayed.”
Real world experience might be the key to closing the skills gap that executives identified in the survey. “Among those respondents who said there is a skills gap in theU.S.workforce,” according to Adecco’s statement, “89 percent believe corporate apprenticeships or training programs could help alleviate the problem.” Hence, the Western Tech Business Administration and Management program already meets the need with its compulsory community service and internship requirements. These things bolster resumes.
“The program will include 160 hours of internship,” Aguilar said. “The internship will integrate the knowledge and skills students learned in the program. Working under the direction and supervision of business owners, managers, supervisors, or industry experts, students maintain ethical and professional work standards while applying classroom learning. Students will receive actual hands-on application in a workplace environment.”
The business world apparently wants job applicants who are prepared for the real world. WesternTechnicalCollegefundamentally built its Business Administration and Management associate degree program with the demands of industry and the educational essentials of the students at the forefront.
Graduates may be able to find employment in a wide range of fields, to include:
- Office manager
- General manager
- Auditing clerk
- Purchasing manager
- Compensation and benefits manager
- Tax preparer
- Financial specialist
- Administrative office assistant
- Property manager
- Public relations specialist
- Retail supervisor
- Logistics clerk
- Executive assistant
- Project coordinator
- Marketing coordinator
- Human resources assistant