New degree programs at state schools aim to help PA’s evolving workforce

MILLERSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Some Pennsylvania state colleges are developing new degrees to fill gaps in the workforce.

Miracle Brocco is a music education major at Millersville University.

“It’s nice to have options in college updating because you know, some jobs are getting replaced and some jobs are coming in new,” said Brocco.

Brocco is one of many students excited about the new degrees being offered this fall.

“Lancaster County is known throughout the world for music business technology,” said Dr. Michael Jackson, who is the dean of the College of Science and Technology at Millersville. “In particular, for the work of Clair Global, Tait Towers, Atomic Design, and everything they do for the music industry, and so we wanted to go ahead and tap this local resource.”

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education says it has been working with companies across the state to figure out which skills are needed to fill openings. The goal is to evolve with the changing workforce. The system will add six bachelor and master programs this fall.

New Bachelor’s Degrees:

  • California University: Statistics and Data Science
  • Millersville University: Music Business Technology, Manufacturing Engineering Technology

New Master’s Degrees:

  • East Stroudsburg University: Communications
  • Edinboro University: Business Administration
  • Indiana University: Strategic Communications

“Science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the healthcare fields, technological advancements are changing,” said Kenn Marshall, the spokesman for the Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. “That’s where the greatest demand is.”

“Companies are going to need an educated workforce to go and analyze, design, create and maintain high level automated intelligent systems,” said Jackson.

But we do know, college can be expensive, and there are other fields that still need workers.

“Manufacturing jobs today require a different kind of training then they did previously. Our universities are expanding that kind of education,” said Marshall. “We have a commitment to be accessible to students, to be affordable to students.”

The state system says 90% of its students are Pennsylvania residents, and 80% of graduates stay in the area.

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