George Mason University (GMU) students are taking the first steps of their career.
Liza Wilson Durant, associate dean of GMU’s Volgenau School of Engineering, spoke at an Education & Innovation Committee Meeting on Tuesday.
Programs the school offers were presented at the meeting, which was held at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s headquarters in Manassas.
Critical and innovative thinking, Durant explained, are needed for many of the jobs that students are applying for.
Those skills are developed through internships, research and capstone classes.
GMU also prepares students for security clearance positions throughout it’s Clearance Candidate Program.
“Several companies have come to us and said, ‘We are interested in clearing students while they’re still in college, and we’re willing to take them through that process, mentor them over a couple of years so that when they graduate as seniors, they already have the clearance,” Durant said. “And then they’re ready to go to work right away.”
Certificate and other learning opportunities are offered, as well.
“We recognize that education is changing,” Durant said. “We need to be very current with the way we help people prepare for whatever’s next, and a four-year degree is not always the solution to being ready for work.”
GMU has partnered with the Greater Washington Partnership (GWP) on a Digital Technology Credential, which began in December.
Students may take various classes that are a part of the data analysis minor.
“If students complete this, then they’ll be eligible for special engagement with the GWP companies — so special mentoring, special events, first review of their resume,” Durant said.