Students Prepare for Jobs in Top Industries

by Nathan Pilling, Public Relations Writer

The recently released U.S. News & World Report “100 Best Jobs” list features many careers that Cedarville is uniquely positioned to prepare students for, especially from a Christian worldview perspective. Health care- and computer-related fields dominate the top ten positions. With an aging baby boomer population and an increasing reliance on technology, these fields will continue to grow domestically and internationally. Cedarville is preparing students for these competitive markets in the midst of an emphasis on biblical truth.

Cedarville’s nursing program has been training students for careers in professional nursing practice for more than 30 years and continues to be a highly valued program not only in the Dayton area, but also across the country.

As the population ages, there is an increased number of care recipients and thus an increased need for nurses. “It’s been projected that between 500,000 and a million new nurses will be needed by 2025 to replace and expand the existing nursing force,” said Janet Conway, Ph.D. and dean of the school of nursing.

Strong emphases on classroom experiences from a biblical perspective and real-world clinical practice provide the Cedarville graduate with a unique base on which to build in their professional career. Cedarville’s new Health Sciences Center also is giving nursing students a competitive advantage as they train using technologies such as SimMan® 3G and SimMom™ in special labs designed to directly simulate a hospital experience.

“Employers tell us over and over again that our students have a strong work ethic, they have a strong value system and they like the end product that we produce because they know that our students will likely be some of their best workers,” Conway said.
Pharmacy graduates are becoming even more valuable as the profession moves into a greater collaborative role in the health care industry. The school of pharmacy is developing well-rounded, service-oriented students that excel both in knowledge and in practice of the pharmacy profession. Opportunities such as special speakers, real-life simulations, case studies and service experiences highlight the extensive work the school is doing to prepare students.

“We’re exposing them to many opportunities to use their faith in their practice,” said Jeff Huston, director of student and professional development for the school of pharmacy.

The aging U.S. population has led to an expanded role for pharmacists in health care. “We’re moving more into medication therapy management — looking into all the medications that a patient is taking and making sure that they’re not working against each other, making sure side effects are not causing problems so we can treat all of the patient’s diseases as effectively as possible,” said Huston. As Cedarville’s pharmacy faculty place an emphasis on this transition, students will find themselves ahead of the curve in their professional training.

The school is not only preparing students for careers domestically, but also for the possibility of using their knowledge abroad for missions work. “Every student will be required to do at least one sort of medical missions trip before they graduate,” Huston said. “It could be international, it could be domestic, but they’ll have some sort of indigent population service before they graduate.”

The allied health major is specifically designed to prepare students for graduate schools and eventually for a career in physical therapy. In the three graduating classes from Cedarville’s program, every student who applied has been accepted into a graduate school, a point of pride for Evan Hellwig, Ph.D., chair of the department of kinesiology and allied health.

This success can be directly attributed to the unique strengths of Cedarville’s allied health program. When faculty were designing the allied health major at Cedarville, they were careful to include biology, psychology and exercise science courses to make sure that program graduates receive training across a variety of fields. “Together these programs will produce a well-qualified applicant for a graduate-level education in a variety of allied health programs,” Hellwig said.

When creating the curriculum for the program, faculty were intentional about including psychology classes to help students address issues other than just ones about a patient’s body — to get to underlying psychological issues related to health problems.

Determining how to best treat a patient often requires significant amounts of experience, something Cedarville graduates will have seen in action before they ever  step foot in a graduate class. Allied health students are required to spend 100 hours shadowing a professional, so when they graduate they will have spent a significant amount of time observing what it takes to be a physical therapist. Hellwig, who is a physical therapist himself, helps give students a competitive advantage by emphasizing real-world experiences.

This unique, cross-discipline program has been very successful in its first few years because of the work Hellwig and his colleagues did in creating a program that uniquely prepares students for graduate school.

Computer and web programmers, information technology (IT) professionals and computer systems analysts all keep the architecture of computers and the Internet running smoothly. In today’s increasingly technology-oriented society, computer science-related careers are more valuable than ever. With four of the top 10 jobs on U.S. News’s list being computer science-related, it is clear that this is a valuable and expanding field.

According to David Gallagher, Ph.D., professor of computer science, jobs in computer science-related fields have been and will continue to be readily available. “Computers are becoming more and more ubiquitous in society,” he said. “Your microwave, your toaster oven, your coffee maker — they each have a processor. Everything has a computer inside of it, and people have to program these things to do their functions.”

Extensive training in coding languages such as C++, Java, Objective C, and .NET has prepared students to excel in competitions such as the East Central North American Regional Programming Contest where they recently finished as the top school from Ohio and ninth overall out of 141 teams. The critical thinking skills necessary to win a competition like this are obvious in the training Gallagher and his colleagues are doing in the classroom.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at