A robust job market awaits TSU Class of 2016, as high tech and healthcare positions are in high demand

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As Tennessee State University prepares for one of higher education’s most sacred academic ceremonies, students who will participate in the 2016 Spring Commencement on May 7 may find themselves in a better position at putting their acquired knowledge to work when it’s time to start their careers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a positive job outlook for 2016 graduates. The agency points to fast-growing fields such as engineering, nursing, business and information technology, occupational therapy, and accounting as areas for high employment opportunities. Many ofthese thriving industries are seeking ready workers for the knowledge-basedjobs available, and TSU is doing its part to meet work force demands through the successful matriculation of hundreds of students.

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Students in Occupational Therapy work with their professor. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Tennessee State University’s Occupational Therapy program started in 1991. The program’s educational goal is to train and prepare students to enter the clinical practice of occupational therapy. As one of the high-growth fields cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, students obtaining this degree may see many available opportunities in a variety of work settings, according to TSU’s Debra Smart, an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy.  

“I believe students will get great fulfillment in the field of occupational therapy because it is so versatile,” Smart said. “They will have the opportunity to work with diverse client populations in medical, educational, and community settings.”

Smart said changes in healthcare have dictated much of how the program has advanced over its 25-years with growing interest from students, which has led to an emergence of new applicants andincreased class sizes.

“Students who pursue this degree are typically employed no more than two months after they complete the program,” she said. “We have recruiters e-mailing us from all over the country looking for qualified graduates.”

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, businesses plan to hire 11 percent more college graduates for U.S. jobs this year than last. NACE further reports that employers have a positive view of the college-hiring market overall with 42 percent of respondents characterizing the job market for the class of 2016 as “very good” or “excellent.” That number is up from two years ago when only 18 percent felt the outlook was positive, said the NACE report.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of TSU’s College of Engineering, said engineering still remains one of the most in-demand career occupations for 2016. It has a current workforce of about 2.5 million,with the U.S. producing about 100,000 new engineers annually. The college maintains a reputation of preparing top graduates for careers in a myriad of engineering disciplines.

“As the state’s leading producer of African-American engineers, TSU’s College of Engineering is responding by preparing graduates with leadership skills, technical competency, and the opportunity to complete study abroad experiences to make them more marketable,” Hargrove said. “Our academic and research programs in cyber-security, IT and data sciences, transportation analytics, and network communications continue to prepare graduates for outstanding job opportunities with Fortune 100 companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Bank of America.”

U.S. News also supports positive job growth for 2016 through its “100 Best Jobs” list. The news organization places physicians, software developers, nurse practitioners, computer systems analysts and orthodontists among their list of top-ranked occupations.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.