The 11-year-old major at Dayton has about 40 graduates per year, and most go straight into the workforce, although some pursue a master's degree in business administration, said professor Michael Gorman.
"If you're the type of person who likes to think about problems and ways to do things better, then you're probably going to like operations," he said.
"It's a very good degree path, but you do have to be someone who really loves complex problem solving," said Sylvie Stewart, career advisor to UD's business school. "Someone who is going to monitor processes and then have the ability to strategically think about how to improve them."
Gorman said awareness of the major is a challenge in recruiting students. "We try to dispel this thought that operations is working on a factory floor, which it can be. But it's much more than that," he said.
"Because operations majors deal with such a fundamental part of a business, they're likely to be the most valued employees," he said.
Sean Holdmeyer, a 2013 graduate, said meeting professionals in the field and working with General Electric during his capstone course affirmed his decision to enter to field.
Holdmeyer was recently hired as an energy operations consulting associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"Operations is the foundation of business," he said. "If you can't operate effectively and efficiently, your business will fail or fall behind the times."
HOSPITALITY RECEPTION AND SERVICE SPECIALIST
What: Short-term technical certificate
Where: Sinclair Community College
Why: New program was created in response to industry request
Salary: Entry-level jobs starts at about $9.85 per hour in the area, the college said
The tourism industry knows what skills they are looking for in new hires. Now, Sinclair has a certificate program that trains students for those jobs.
The hospitality reception and service specialist short-term technical certificate can be earned with one course in eight weeks. It was launched this fall out of a meeting the college had with tourism leaders in Warren County. The area is expected to add jobs, including more than 500 when the new $175 million Miami Valley Gaming & Racing racino opens in December.
"It was created specifically for entry-level employment," said Sinclair professor Derek Allen, who is department chair. "It encompasses mastering soft skills, such as etiquette and decorum, problem solving and industry knowledge."
About 75 students are enrolled now. Allen said he expects most of them to get jobs, and he receives calls on almost a weekly basis from restaurants, lodges, convention centers and others who are looking for qualified employees.
"This is a starting block," he said.
This spring, the course will be taught at Sinclair's Courseview campus in Mason. The college expects to offer the training online starting in summer 2014, Allen said.
What: Associate degree or certificate
Where: Clark State Community College's Beavercreek campus
Why: Relatively new degree, every graduate has a job
Salary: Median salary between $35,000 and $65,000, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Geospatial technology is a sometimes little-understood field, but one that is expected to grow.
Graduates from Clark State's three-year-old geospatial technology program Community College, commonly known as GIS, can track diseases for public health, analyze zip codes to help major retailers choose where to locate stores or work with the military, said professor Aimee Belanger-Haas. Some students are even getting jobs before they finish the program.
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