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New CHSS Programs Give Students Competitive Edge in the Job Market

Interdisciplinary programs link humanities with science and technology

Posted in: Human Services, Social Sciences, University

Graduate MSW students listening to lecture in classroom.

Time and time again, in poll after poll, college students report that they are going to college to qualify for well-paying jobs that offer opportunities for professional advancement. Since the recession of 2008, increasing numbers of students, according to a recent article in The Atlantic, are choosing majors with clear career possibilities in fields like business and health.

This fall, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University launched exciting new interdisciplinary programs that meld traditional humanities and social science disciplines – such as history and linguistics – with science and technology fields to give undergraduate students a clear competitive edge in the workplace. It also inaugurated a new master’s degree program designed to put graduates on track for professional success in a growing field.

These cutting-edge programs complement the College’s robust array of more than 20 undergraduate majors and nearly 50 minors – in everything from Psychology and Philosophy to Justice Studies and Child Advocacy and Policy, from Anthropology and English to Film Studies and Arabic – as well as numerous graduate and certificate programs.

Students in the new Medical Humanities major study with faculty from across the University, who guide their exploration of the human experience of health and illness from the perspectives of the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, the biomedical sciences and the caregiving disciplines.

The new Medical Humanities major fulfills the College’s mission of providing students with both a traditional liberal arts education as well as focused preparation in a range of disciplines and professional areas. By combining traditional humanities job skills – critical thinking, written and oral communication and ethical decision-making – with a knowledge base in health care, the program gives students a competitive edge in the health care industries – the fastest-growing sector in today’s economy. Graduates are prepared for professional opportunities in everything from hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to retirement communities and outpatient centers.

The innovative new Language Engineering and Computational Linguistics program meets the needs of students intrigued by both language and computation by offering foundational coursework along with opportunities for internships with technology companies and governmental organizations.

Program graduates will be able to assume professional roles ranging from knowledge management engineers, translation technology specialists and research linguists to voice user interface designers, text analytics software testers and search engine software development engineers.

The first cohort of 27 students – accepted from a pool of 237 applicants – enrolled in the College’s new Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program in fall 2018. The program prepares advanced practitioners to offer clinical and advocacy services to vulnerable children, adolescents and their families. By engaging in ethical, culturally competent and evidence-informed practice, and by demonstrating a strong commitment to social and economic justice, program graduates will foster the well-being of their clients.

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts an above average growth rate of 16 percent in job opportunities for social workers between 2016 and 2026. The new MSW program gives students a competitive professional edge through classroom learning and supervised field experiences in human service agencies.

Graduates of the two-year, full-time program are expected to find work in a variety of settings serving children, youth and families, such as mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, community centers, state and local government, private practice and more.