Good choice, YSU

Amid a heated debate hinging on the ecological consequences and economic benefits of fracking, Dean Martin Abraham of the STEM took the road untraveled.

He sided with the students.

In our Nov. 8 editorial, we spurned the university for its lack of foresight as the administration’s enrollment predictions turned sour.

“Perhaps more important than enrollment, we need to graduate qualified employees while the surrounding community fosters a diversified economy that can meet the needs of tomorrow,” the editorial read.

Well, tomorrow is here.

The fracking industry, regardless of debate, creates a unique employment opportunity for students, and Abraham seized that opportunity.

Whether the industry produces billions of dollars or just a cloud of methane, the board of trustees will do right for the students by approving Abraham’s proposal to initiate an institute that will pipeline STEM majors into a growing field.

The purpose of the university is to serve the community and the students. It appears the community is in full-throttle drill mode, and the university is pledging its students to take the helm.

Every year, YSU Career and Counseling Services mails questionnaires and makes phone calls to students who graduated the year before.

The survey results for the 2008-2009 academic year yielded tentative results: About 51 percent of female and 58 percent of male graduates are employed full time.

For the 30 STEM graduates who reported that they found a job, nine returned to academia, either teaching or pursuing a master’s degree. Eighteen found a job in their field, and the remaining three are working at Rulli Brothers, the U.S. Army and McDonald’s.

Where would you like to work in four years, in the fracking industry or McDonald’s?

1 comments Anonymous Mon Dec 5 2011 11:42 I wouldn’t get too excited from the economic opportunity posed by fracking. It’s not the long-term solution to our local economy, and it’s not the long-term solution to sustainable employment. The ones making money aren’t the people working and the work is only temporary. Look at Titusville, PA, home of the first oil well (Drake) in the US. The boom didn’t last as long as people thought, and now the town has not ever recovered for the most part. Sure, there was prosperity and work, but the money isn’t there now. If people expect long-term jobs, don’t be fooled. Also, remember that there actually are jobs available in most fields when people graduate – the limiting factor is the decision of the person with the degree. Some just don’t want to move and some might not necessarily take jobs related to their degree. So, theoretically, posing this same scenario, fracking could lead to 30 of 30 STEM grads reporting they found a job, or it still could be 18 found a job, nine returned to school and three are working elsewhere not related to their field.