Today we’ve become an emergent profession. If you look at the history of occupational safety, we primarily started in 1970 with the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. From there, over the years, it has grown and has emerged. Most Fortune-500 Companies, and pretty much every company in the United States has realized that there is a benefit to having a safety professional on staff, whether it’s from a compliance perspective, from a risk-reduction perspective, the management of injuries through the Workers’ Comp process, there is a need for individuals who are qualified to work in this area.
The opportunities for students today are substantially more than what we had 15 or 20 years ago. But the challenges are also new and emerging for the students coming out of school. Where are we going to be 15 or 20 years from now? Just look around us. The technology is taking us places that we’ve never seen before. We’re getting new regulations every day, dealing with areas that we’ve not even thought about in the past. We’re seeing risks in the workplace, from nanotechnology to computer development, that we’ve not seen in the past that our students are going to have to … that will be challenged to address as we move into the future.