Safety, health and hygiene are vital components of every workplace. A Pew Research report found that close to 90 percent of Americans say it’s essential for business leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace. But as the nature of work shifts with a growing gig economy and rise of new technologies, the workplace is becoming increasingly dangerous and complex.
Through its Safety, Health and Industrial Hygiene programmes, Montana Tech is rising to the occasion, providing the capable personnel this industry demands.
As the only STEM university in the state, Montana Tech prepares exceptional students to start careers in high-demand fields. Its Safety, Health and Industrial Hygiene department is no exception.
All four degree programmes offered are accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC) of ABET, which sets the global standard in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Whether it’s at the undergraduate- or postgraduate-level, students can be assured of the guaranteed quality of these qualifications.
“Montana Tech is home to one of the only active learning safety labs in the Western United States. The lab allows for active learning experiences in areas such as fall protection, portable and fixed ladder applications, confined space entry, electrical safety, respiratory protection and ergonomics,” says Julie Hart, Head of the Department.
“The inclusion of lab exercises into the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) curriculum ensures that students are prepared to make positive impacts to Montana Tech’s industry constituents through practicing the skills they will use as professionals after graduation,” she adds.
Bright career prospects at Montana’s premier STEM university
Connecting your academic experience with the professional work arena is a crucial step in every student’s professional development. At Montana Tech, the university plays an active role in helping students get a head-start in their careers.
Take the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), for example; a qualification that prepares graduates for careers as OSH professionals in charge of developing, implementing and evaluating health and safety programmes in the industries of construction, mining, petroleum, insurance and manufacturing.
The curriculum provides students with a sound technical foundation with courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. Courses in writing and oral presentation further supplement this structure by strengthening students’ communication skills. This combination of technical and soft skills fits neatly into the industry’s need for individuals who can steer OSH policies in the right direction.
An essential component of the degree is the mandatory internship, where students must relocate for two to three months to gain valuable work experience. Leveraging on its industry links, Montana Tech often has employers visiting campus to recruit students for these internships and career positions.
So far, the school has supported highly successful industry collaboration. More than half of the BSc OSH graduates start their career in one of three industrial sectors: construction, mining, or oil and gas. Nearly all large industrial companies and governmental agencies have OSH programmes, with career ladders providing opportunities for promotions and increased salaries.
An advanced Career Services department bolsters the university’s overall graduate outcomes, in addition to providing career exploration, preparation, implementation and management assistance to students and alumni. Montana Tech reports an impressive 94 percent post-graduation employment rate, with a median salary between US$57,000-$71,000. With employment opportunities in the safety profession projected to grow by 2024, future graduates can look forward to even better prospects.
Return on Investment (ROI) is a recurring theme among the school’s alumni testimonies. As Montana Tech alumnus and CEO of ConocoPhillips, Ryan Lance explains: “As a university, Montana Tech attracts students with grit, students with passion and students that want to work hard in their chosen STEM career. It offers what I believe [is] a high rate of return for graduating students and steadfast solutions for the world’s most pressing issues.”
An advanced degree for occupational safety experts
At postgraduate level, Montana Tech offers a Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene, which students can pursue on a full-time basis on-campus or via distance learning. Quality of learning is assured in both options, with online students experiencing the same instructors, course offerings, course requirements and laboratories as the residential learners. The department also employs a strict admittance standard for the distance learning programme to ensure student success.
It’s the perfect postgraduate qualification for technically-competent OSH professionals to take their career to the next level.
World-class faculty use participative, collaborative, and applied problem-solving strategies to address modern day occupational health issues. With faculty hired based on advanced academic preparation and professional experience, Montana Tech students are in good hands to pass the certification examination administered by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
Beyond this, Montana Tech graduate students can look forward to a wealth of unique employment opportunities. With the ability to cross industries, graduates will be in-demand across a range of organisations such as public utilities, government, academia, research laboratories, hospitals, insurance companies, consulting firms, oil, chemical and manufacturing companies, and mining operations.
If you’re looking for a qualification that leads to a rewarding career at low cost, Montana Tech’s Safety, Health and Industrial Hygiene programmes are for you.