From office furniture to automotive parts, the manufacturing industry is full of career opportunities. To fill these positions, companies often seek out workers with the ability to adapt and learn new systems to advance their businesses. These workers both embrace their unique role and train others to leverage new technologies and processes.
However, the lack of qualified workers is a challenge many businesses face. So what does one need to be qualified?
“To become a leader within a manufacturing organization, you truly need to understand how each facet of the business comes together to deliver the final product to the customer,” Taylor Walburg, plant quality manager at Royal Technologies in Hudsonville, Mich., said.
One way to develop this understanding is with a business degree. Tina Porcelli, manager of human resources at a manufacturing company in the greater Grand Rapids area, believes that her bachelor’s in management degree from Cornerstone University’s Professional & Graduate Studies (PGS) division provided this broad overview.
“My management degree was very thorough,” Porcelli said. “It covered a little of everything—which it should. If you’re going into management, you need a thorough understanding of how the business works. This degree helps you transition well into whatever you’re going to be managing, especially if you’re looking to start as an entry-level manager.”
Gaining a degree in itself can be a step toward advancing in one’s career.
“Earning your degree is more than getting a piece of paper; it’s a knowledge base you can draw from to advance to other opportunities,” Walburg said, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees through Cornerstone.
Opportunities for career advancement may even be within reach before a student has finished their degree.
“In light of high unemployment, companies need to be open-minded in thinking outside the box and consider experience as well as education in looking for qualified candidates,” Porcelli said. “While you’re finishing your degree, you may have opportunities in companies that are willing to consider moving you up before you’re done.”
PGS offers convenient formats that fit each student’s lifestyle. Programs are available 100 percent online, onsite or in a blended format. Onsite classes are held once a week from 6-10 p.m. These convenient format options make it easier for working adults to pursue a degree, continue to gain experience by staying in the workplace and use tools and techniques from the classroom on the job immediately.
“My degree at PGS rounded me out,” Porcelli stated. “There were areas that I had a lot of experience in already, like HR and IT. But I learned more about areas that I had little to no experience with. Even though I’ve reported to the president and the global vice president at the company before, this degree rounded me out so I can be more aware of how everything works in the company.”
Adding value to both the organization and one’s own personal life comes through being confident and encouraged in their work. Cornerstone’s PGS division offers degree programs to empower students with the knowledge and skills to help them pursue their goals and add value to today’s market.
PGS is committed to seeing students succeed. From the first call with a friendly and trained enrollment counselor to walking across the stage at graduation, students are supported and encouraged throughout their entire educational journey.
“The confidence I've gained at Cornerstone University has helped improve my decision-making skills and allowed me to apply classroom learning to my job,” Tonya Black, who graduated with her bachelor’s in management degree in 2015, said. “The school staff is supportive of working adult students both inside and outside the classroom.”
Higher education is one way to help individuals become qualified to fill in the gaps and opportunities in the manufacturing industry, and promote success for both organizations and their valuable employees.
CALL TO ACTION
Do you want to learn more about how you can pursue your goals and take that next step with a degree from PGS? Come to our Bachelor’s Degree Preview on March 13, 2018, in Kalamazoo or March 22, 2018, in Grand Rapids.
For more information, visit cornerstone.edu/mibiz.