With 259 Recruitment Fellowships awarded last year, Texas Tech’s Graduate School continues efforts to equip students to be successful in the workforce.
Mark Sheridan, Dean of the Graduate school, said graduate education is critical because students who get advanced degrees bring greater knowledge and skills to the workforce.
“(Graduate) students are generating the new knowledge and the innovation that will lead to new technologies and other things that are contributing greatly to improving the human condition,” Sheridan said.
This advancement of education helps fuel the economy, create jobs and improve the social structure of society. Graduate degree holders acknowledge significant personal benefits because they receive higher annual and lifetime earnings and increased job security, according to the Graduate School website.
Sheridan said the school is working with a task force that was commissioned to develop a comprehensive, professional career development program that complements career training.
The goal, Sheridan said, is to have students have an opportunity to develop and hone professional and career development skill sets, so they are better positioned to not only succeed here, but also in the work field.
“In doing research with other universities, I think Texas Tech offers the most comprehensive programs,” Mari Baeza, assistant director of the Graduate School, said. “We try to hit different things including critical thinking, communication, how to lead and manage teams by offering a wide variety of workshops.”
Baeza said in any given year the Graduate School offers between 400 and 500 different workshops that students can attend to help them prepare for the workforce.
“Ultimately, we want well rounded students,” Baeza said. “We want them to have all the tools that they need to be successful in the workforce. I think attending the workshops even if (students) don’t think they need them now is a good opportunity for them to learn what skills they will need in the future.”
Brianna De Leon, a graduate architecture student from Brownsville, said graduate school has benefited her by providing her with experience that she did not get during her undergraduate years.
“I’m a research assistant right now for a Latin American Urban design lab,” De Leon said. “I have two professional work experiences and a research assistantship under my belt before I go into the work force, rather than going straight in with the one (experience) that I had in undergrad.”
According to the Graduate School website, their strategic priority is to expand the scope and impact of their graduate programs. The strategy plan includes developing a recruitment plan at the university and unit levels.