Helen Edison Lecture Series presents Steve Clemons


Sept 23  |  7 PM  |  Mandeville Auditorium, UC San Diego

The Atlantic’s Washington editor-at-large leads a discussion on the impending presidential election. Held in collaboration with Voice of San Diego to kick off Politifest.

We are in the midst of one of the most contentious and controversial presidential elections in modern history. Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large for The Atlantic, will a moderate a panel that will examine how this year’s presidential election is fundamentally reshaping the political process at every level of government – national, state and local – both now and in the future. The panelists include:

·       Thad Kousser, chair and professor of political science at UC San Diego
·       Scott Lewis, editor of the Voice of San Diego
·       Laura Fink, principal, Fink & Hernandez Consulting

UC San Diego is hosting the free event in collaboration with Voice of San Diego to help kick off its Politifest, which takes place the following day on Sat. Sept. 24 at San Diego State University. Guests who attend the Helen Edison lecture will receive discounted admission to Politifest.

For more information and to register online, visit http://helenedison.ucsd.edu/.

Celebrate the “science of beer” on Saturday, July 23rd

10298994 - still life with a keg of beer and draft beer by the glass.

Didn’t get tickets to ComicCon? Well, if you’re a beer geek and a tech enthusiast, listen up.

On Saturday, July 23rd, SILO in Makers Quarter (an urban playground and community event space) will transform into a liquid laboratory for a one-of-a-kind “Science of Beer” festival fueled by beer ‘science’ activities with UC San Diego Extension’s Brewing Certificate Program.

Learn about the science behind beer making with brewery demonstrations, information sessions and talks from industry professionals and featured homebrewers including Rick Blankemeier (quality manager at Stone Brewing), Lee Chase (brewmaster at Automatic Brewing Co.), Jim Crute (founder of Lightning Brewing), Teresa Grosch (program director for UC San Diego Extension Brewing Certificate program) and others.

Educate your mind and your palate with beer tastings from nine of the city’s premier breweries including Stone Brewing, Lightning Brewing, Rip Current and Automatic Brewing Co. Rounding out the event, we’ll have live music, local food trucks providing amazing eats, and yard games including life-size beer pong and giant Jenga.

 WHEN: Saturday, July 23, 2016 | 3 to 6 p.m.

 WHERE: SILO in Makers Quarter | 753 15th St., San Diego CA 92101

 COST: $25 | Open to the public, ages 21+. Purchase tickets in advance online at scienceofbeer2016.eventbrite.com. Tickets are also available for purchase day-of at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sponsored by Makers Quarter, UC San Diego Extension and Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., this event brings San Diego’s life science and craft beer communities together for a unique collaboration.

Proceeds from the event will benefit our charity partner, David’s Harp Foundation—a local 501(c)3 focused on empowering at-risk and homeless youth to achieve academic success through music education and multimedia production.



New report reveals emerging careers for 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 8.46.33 AMEveryone is searching for a career that has both a promising present and an even brighter future. To help individuals identify these opportunities, the University of California, San Diego Extension today released its “Emerging Careers for 2016” report that details the most in-demand jobs with the highest growth potential both in San Diego and nationally.

To compile the list, UC San Diego Extension’s Center for Research on the Regional Economy identified the top 10 occupations that combined the highest projected growth rates and the most online job postings   using data from labor data market firms Emsi and Burning Glass. Researchers focused on careers that required a bachelor’s degree with less than five years of work experience.

According to its analysis, the top 10 emerging careers in the United States for college graduates in 2016 are:
1.       Software developers, applications
2.       Accountants and auditors
3.       Computer systems analysts
4.       Medical and health service managers
5.       Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products
6.       Management analysts
7.       Market research analysts and marketing specialists
8.       Financial analysts
9.       Information security analysts
10.   Civil engineers

Mary Walshok, associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of UC San Diego Extension, said these emerging careers show both the value of a college degree and also the need for specialized training as technology is continuously reshaping the job market and the economy.

“As Marc Andreessen recently opined, ‘Software is eating the world,’” Walshok said. “That fact is true in almost every top emerging career whether it be health care or marketing or financial analysis. It’s not enough to just know the fundamentals; you have to use technology to provide new insights.”

The report, which details the salaries, age and gender breakdown of each emerging career, also features insights from people in those fields on the micro trends and niche skills shaping their various industries. For instance, within the larger information security analyst profession, there is growing demand for infinite-response analysts, who are able to anticipate cyberattacks and seamlessly integrate a wide variety of cybersecurity products into a company’s computer systems. For accountants and auditors, one emerging career is that of an IT auditor whose job it is to ensure that automated systems are delivering outputs, or calculations, that can be trusted.

“By combining macro research data with insights from those in these emerging careers, we were able to provide a deeper understanding not of only what jobs are in demand now but what skills are driving future growth,” said Josh Shapiro, director of research and evaluation at the Center for Research on the Regional Economy at UC San Diego Extension, who designed and developed the “Emerging Careers for 2016” report.

The annual list of emerging careers is part of UC San Diego Extension’s larger research efforts to not only assist job seekers but also shape educational offerings to ensure companies have the talent they need to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

“UC San Diego Extension continues to be a vital component of the regional workforce training and development system,” Walshok said. “We do this by providing actionable data to help spur economic development efforts not only in this region but also across the country.”

The top emerging careers locally mirrored the national list but highlighted the San Diego region’s growing strength in cyber security, digital marketing and health care IT.

Locally, the 10 emerging careers for 2016 are:
1.       Information security analysts
2.       Market research analysts and marketing specialists
3.       Medical and health services managers
4.       Computer systems analysts
5.       Management analysts
6.       Software developers, applications
7.       Civil engineers
8.       Financial analysts
9.       Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products
10.   Accountants and auditors

The findings of the report served as the basis for UC San Diego Extension’s Career Development Week, which runs from March 22 to March 24, and features presentations on employment trends, hands-on training sessions, career workshops and networking opportunities. Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, will discuss the report and San Diego’s workforce needs with Shapiro at tonight’s keynote presentation. For a free copy of the report, visit http://extension.ucsd.edu/about/images/emergingCareers2016.pdf.

Programming: No longer just for technical elite

Programming Photo

As Steve Jobs once said, “Everyone should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”

In a world that is increasingly reliant on technology, more people outside the technical realm are heeding Job’s advice. The result is improved productivity and an overhaul of how various industries work.

Take the groundbreaking work of John Branch, for example. Branch, a sports writer for the New York Times, reveals how the architecture of journalism can be transformed through the use of programming in his innovative digital story, “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” which details fatal events surrounding an avalanche.

Webby Award Snow Fall (Webby Award photo)Described by Nieman as a “multimedia storytelling sensation,” the six-part series combined interactive graphics and video and earned the Pulitzer Prize, Peabody and People’s Voice Webby Award. It also demonstrated how programming could provide advanced technical components to improve the reader’s experience.

Beyond journalism, scientists are also beginning to see how programming languages help them to develop innovative solutions that improve testing processes in research labs.

According to the journal article “A Primer on Python for Life Sciences Researchers,” featured in PLOS Computational Biology, scientists with programming capabilities are interested in developing their own resolutions to fix common issues such as data manipulation, biological data retrieval and automation.

Such examples have drawn interest from those in fields less traditionally involved with such technologies. Programming is proving to become a solution for various professionals searching for ways to navigate through an increasingly digital world that demands improved technical processes.

“The majority of computing jobs today are not housed solely within the tech industry. More appropriately, every field is now a tech field and students who can work at the intersection of disciplines will be at an advantage,” said Valerie Barr, chair of the Association for Computing Machinery and its Council on Women in Computing, in an email to Inside Higher Ed.

To meet this demand, UC San Diego Extension has designed a three-day intensive Programming Fundamentals Bootcamp. The program is offered from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, June 7-9, 2016 at the University City Center location in San Diego. The program is designed for people with some previous programming experience and familiarity with basic concepts such as data types and functions.

A longer format online course is also available, for those with little to no experience in programming. Additionally, Extension offers certificates in C#, C/C++ and Java.

For more information about Extension’s programming language opportunities, visit its technology area of study at extension.ucsd.edu/technology.

OSHA announces free Safety Fest 2016 training in Honolulu and San Diego

Event open to workers, employers, health professionals

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true today. While many use this quote when referring to health, Benjamin Franklin actually said this in regard to fire safety. In 1735, Franklin argued that prevention of a catastrophic citywide fire was certainly preferable to rebuilding a burned city from scratch.

iStock_000015870880LargeEmbracing this concept, Safety Fest was first introduced more than 10 years ago to provide free occupational safety and health training to the community. The event’s focus is on providing quality, relevant training to businesses that have the desire, but lack the resources, to enhance and improve the safety of their workforce. Safety Fest offers access to imperative training courses that prepare attendees for both foreseeable and unforeseeable situations, ultimately saving lives.

While these courses normally cost hundreds of dollars on average, they will be available during this event free of charge. Attendees will also receive materials and a certificate of attendance. The event is open to employers, employees, contractors, professional technical educators, all businesses required to follow OSHA standards, and anyone interested in creating a safer workplace.

Safety Fest 300UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center is proud to host the 2016 Pacific Coast Safety Fest in two different locations

Enrollments are still being accepted and pre-registration is highly encouraged as seating is limited.

This unique, once-a-year fest brings together the best of the best in safety instructors of the region presenting a series of safety and health courses focusing on many areas of concern, including:

  • Safety and health management.
  • Job hazard analysis.
  • Whistleblower laws and regulations.
  • Heat illness prevention training.
  • Fall protection program.
  • Record-keeping related to safety issues.
  • Health and fall hazard awareness.
  • Construction hazard control and recognition.

Why has Safety Fest proven so valuable in the past? According to UC San Diego instructor Van Howell, one presenter who has been involved in Safety Fest since the beginning, “the most exciting part is the exchange of information between the students and trainers. Everyone has their own story and experiences. These stories and experiences from adult students provide for an interesting training environment.” More than that, “Safety Fest has been a highlight of my career in safety and health,” Howell explained. “I honestly believe Safety Fest has saved lives.”

And saving lives should be everybody’s goal. According to leading safety organizations such as the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and National Safety Council (NSC) it makes financial sense too.


To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, a day of training is worth a life saved.

50 Voices of the Future: Barry Lopez on environmentalism

Acclaimed author Barry Lopez

As part of the Helen Edison Lecture Series, author Barry Lopez discussed his ideas at a free lecture 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20 in the Price Center East Ballroom on the UC San Diego Campus.

In honor of UC San Diego Extension’s first 50 years, 50 Voices of the Future asks thought leaders about the trends, breakthroughs and social advances they foresee over the next 50 years.

Barry Lopez is, by turns, optimistic and remarkably bleak when he talks about what the world might look like five decades from now.

The acclaimed author, who lives in Oregon, envisions a future in which the forces of anti-intellectualism gain more and more power, threatening our ability to meet the world’s biggest challenges. And yet Lopez — whose non-fiction books, novels and essays have won countless awards — has enormous faith in the power of writers and other artists to influence world events for the better, and he sees a future in which their power also increases.

As a writer known for his global travels and fascination with the natural world, Lopez is terrified about climate change and what he predicts will be an increasing scarcity of basic resources. But he also has an overwhelming confidence in human inventiveness, especially when the sustainability of human life is at stake. “That’s the doorway to human survival,” he says.



Why is the work you do important?

I don’t know that it is. We’ve become so obsessed with the importance of the individual that we’ve lost sight of the fact that it’s the group of people doing their work together that makes sense. The things that need to be done to provide us with a stable future aren’t going to be done by one person. It’s going to require the full range of the human imagination, and a full range of people who can think creatively and bring a certain determination to the task.

That said, I see myself as a practitioner in a long line of women and men who have a sense of social responsibility when it comes to storytelling. I’m very happy if a story that I write or a book that I write affects people in a positive way — provides some kind of illumination for people in sorting out what they want their lives to mean. The crux for me is pretty simple: Does this story help? Does it help someone sort out their own confusion as a human being in a complicated world?

What are the influential/exciting developments happening in your field now and why?

I don’t know that I am excited. Nothing that goes on in the arts makes what happened earlier in the arts irrelevant or obsolete. I don’t think there are any developments in writing that are new. I just take a step back when the discussion turns to who are the people we really should be listening to. Because writing is metaphorical. It’s the making of a pattern that has some kind of effect on the reader. People are so distracted by day-to-day needs of their lives that they’ve forgotten what they wanted their lives to mean. And that’s where the arts function. That is the necessity of the arts: they provide that bridge between the life you are living and the life that you imagine you could live if you remembered what it is you wanted to do with your life. I’m not talking about an occupation. I’m talking about the way you carry yourself in the world. What you stand for in the world. What you want people to say about your life when you are no longer with us.

What’s the next big thing?

In January, I will have been publishing work for 50 years. I know a lot of people who write for magazines, and many of us have come to feel the same way — that the world of magazines has become so commercialized, so dependent on making a profit, that magazines are more trouble to write for than you feel you can afford. So what I expect to see is a story told in a different way than the way most of us get our information. What I see coming is the reappearance of a kind of story that makes the reader understand that ancient “we” — that the storyteller is as concerned about your fate as her or she is of her own fate.




How big of an impact will your field play in shaping the future of the San Diego region and beyond?

Writing and the arts will always play a role in shaping the future. The arts are there for an indispensable reason. They represent the only hope that people have for survival. When you read a book that profoundly affects you, you step back into the world in a different way and you behave differently. And the same thing happens with music or painting or photography or any artistic function. You come away with a resolve to live in a different way or to commit to some or other form of action. So it’s incomprehensible to me that the arts wouldn’t play a stronger role in the future. My question about the arts is: will they still play an effective role? Can they get people through this miasma of confusion that iPhones are never going to penetrate? I don’t know. But I will be doing this until I’m dead, and someone will come along after me in the same way that I came along after other people.

Hop into your time machine…what does the future look like for this field in 50 years?  How can individuals/companies get prepared for what’s next?

I read about reserves of natural resources that are dwindling. I read about ocean acidification. It’s within the realm of possibility that there won’t be any pelagic fish in the ocean in 50 years. Where there were trees once growing there will be desert. Scarcity of clean water. Scarcity of gasoline and oil. And that scares and paralyzes people. There’s an impulse to punish the messenger. We have a presidential candidate declaring climate change a hoax. But you know what else you will see — invention. That’s the doorway to human survival. We’ve proven ourselves again and again and again to be inventive. And you can’t know at this point what it is that we’re going to invent to survive — but we will invent something.

Lopez discussed the intersection of environmental action and art with world-renowned percussionist Steven Schick, a UC San Diego professor of music, at a free Helen Edison Lecture Series presentation 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20 in the Price Center East Ballroom on the UC San Diego campus



Traveling to the future: Cities in a new era of transit


How we travel has always determined how we build our cities. Peder Norby foresees a dramatic future shift in our preferred modes of transportation – and with it, a shift in how our cities look and function.

“Change that hasn’t happened in the last 100 years is happening now,” said Norby, one of San Diego County’s most prominent regional planning experts.

Norby, a nationally recognized consultant in sustainable transportation, will host a Dec. 3 morning lecture at UC San Diego Extension titled “Great Cities Are Made From Better Recipes…Not Just More Cooking.” The talk will focus on the latest advances in transportation and what these technologies bode for development in San Diego and elsewhere.

“We know we’re going to be changing,” Norby, who is also a San Diego County Planning Commissioner, said in a recent interview. “The question is what opportunities are going to be available to us.”

Norby notes that every generation had a favored mode of transportation that directly impacted development, “from horses to the steam engine to the train to the car to the interstate highway system.” These shifts also reshaped the economy and the workforce – ushering in the demand for new skills and expertise.

The latest advances, from Uber to bike-sharing programs to driverless cars, are helping make people more mobile and less dependent on their own cars. The result is what Norby calls “relocalization,” in which we have less suburban sprawl and more urban density. He cited a recent update to San Diego County’s General Plan as an example of this trend.

This trend is a fortunate one, given that all California cities are required by state law to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by various target dates. It’s not that Norby wants to force people out of their cars. As he puts it, he hopes these new transportation technologies will “give a person multiple travel options and let them choose the one that’s best for them.”

Laura Fandino, director of environmental sciences for UC San Diego Extension, said Norby’s lecture will offer insights into “how San Diego can participate as a leader in renewable energy and mobility. He has a lot of insight into what the future of sustainable mobility will look like.”

Norby, a Carlsbad resident, said his lecture is designed for an audience ranging from land-use planners to municipal engineers to community activists concerned about how the region might look in thirty years and what that means not just for the environment but also for the economy and the job market. To adapt to this new era of sustainable mobility, the region will have to address a wide variety of technology and infrastructure needs, which will require a workforce, such as planners, developers and engineers, skilled in both designing and developing the transit-oriented cities of the future.

“The goal of the talk really is to encourage more imaginative thinking on the part of everyone in terms of what’s possible,” he said.

Regulatory affairs and quality assurance internships: A win-win for would-be employees and life science companies

San Diego’s life science cluster ranks fourth in the nation, and first in life science employment concentration, measured as a percent of total private employment. The most recent labor market analysis by the San Diego Workforce Partnership found nearly 1,400 life science companies in San Diego employ approximately 45,000 people in a sector that has grown 45 percent over the past 10 years. Despite its economic strength, a persistent challenge facing is finding the employees with the proper skills to ensure the needs of this economic engine are met—especially in the fields of regulatory affairs and quality assurance.

Employer_Qualified Candidates

The San Diego Workforce Partnership labor market analysis also reported that employers had “great difficulty” in finding qualified applicants was for regulatory affairs specialist positions. Also, employers most frequently reported “some difficulty” in finding quality assurance analysts.

Although employers had high expectations for education and training requirements, for applicants for regulatory affairs specialist positions, 50 percent of employers polled expressed greater interest in candidates with practical work experience, as opposed to their education level.

So the question is, if the candidate pool is not large enough to service the needs of the industry, what options exist? The report concluded that regulatory affairs, quality assurance, and other occupations that are difficult to fill should be the focus of on-the-job training programs, such as internships.

To help prepare entry level candidates, SDRAN (San Diego Regulatory Affairs Network) and UC San Diego Extension each provide education and training on the practical elements of regulatory affairs and quality assurance. This includes courses, seminars, and workshops on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) classes, and FDA submission requirements.

After completing such training, both organizations have a substantial number of qualified candidates who are seeking intern positions in these difficult-to-hire job occupations. The background of these interns is diverse and includes career-focused students as well as candidates with prior work experience who are looking to make career transitions.

The SDRAN Internship Committee, consisting of regulatory and quality professionals, actively recruits suitable intern candidates and works with local life science companies to develop intern sponsorship programs. After obtaining a job description and general overview of intern duties from a sponsoring life science, SDRAN alerts its membership to the opportunity via its website, direct emails, a LinkedIn posting, and contacts local universities, including UC San Diego Extension. After screening each intern application, the Committee forwards the candidate’s information to the sponsoring company, which then interviews and selects the most suitable candidate.

SDRAN and UC San Diego Extension are eager to work with San Diego life science companies who are looking to “test-drive” talent for entry-level regulatory and quality positions while relieving seasoned managers from time-consuming “to-do list” items. The result is typically a “win-win” situation, resulting in increased company productivity and a pipeline for recruiting profession-ready talent while providing hands-on work experience and career development skills for the intern.

Some of those interested in learning more about creating a successful internship program attended a free breakfast seminar, featuring Illumina, on November 5, 2015. Learn more at extension.ucsd.edu/lifesciences

For additional information about the SDRAN Internship Program, please visit www.sdran.org, or email us at sdraninternship@yahoo.com.

For more information about UC San Diego Extension regulatory affairs and quality assurance programs, visit extension.ucsd.edu/lifesciences or email unexbio@ucsd.ed

Discover what’s next for your career


When it comes to your career, the persistent question is: “What’s next?”

What’s next for the job market? What’s the next skill I’ll need to stay competitive? What’s my next career move?

To help answer those questions and more, UC San Diego Extension held its UCSDnEXT event Sept. 10-12, 2015. Filled with workshops, panels, information sessions and networking events, the free three-day event gave attendees an insider’s view on a wide range of industries from health care to computer science to marketing to accounting. UCSDnEXT also covered what’s happening in some of the region’s most cutting-edge and emerging careers in such fields as big data, cybersecurity, and health care information technology.

The event is  part of UC San Diego Extension’s larger mission to ensure everyone is able to take the next step in their careers and in their lives, and UCSDnEXT is designed to provide attendees the best and latest information about the skills they will need for some of the most in-demand careers.

UCSDnEXT highlights hot career trends including:

Children’s Book Writing & Illustration: Want to write a children’s book? Find out how a former student successfully wrote and published her first children’s book on Saturday Sept. 12 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Data Analytics: Three leading experts from the San Diego Supercomputer Center explain the size and scope of the ever-growing “big data” field on Thursday Sept. 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Health Care: Come hear from some of San Diego’s top health care executives as they detail how the Affordable Care Act continues to reshape the industry and its workforce on Thursday Sept. 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Internet of Things: With everything from clothes to cameras to cars now connected to the Internet, there is a growing need for people who can help secure these new networks and devices. Find out more about these jobs of the future on Thursday Sept. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Project Management: Key industry experts discuss how changes in the workplace and workforce are creating are remaking the project management field on Friday Sept. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sustainability: Join a breakfast presentation by Beth Brummitt, president of Brummitt Energy Associates, as she explains how the push for Zero Net Energy buildings, which are designed to produce as much energy as they consume, is creating new opportunities in the construction industry on Friday Sept. 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL): Get first-hand knowledge of the TEFL teaching market from a current instructor, a program graduate, and an ESL/EFL teacher employer on Thursday, Sept. 10. from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The majority of the programs took place at UC San Diego Extension’s University City Center location, which is located at 6256 Greenwich Drive, San Diego, 92122. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Open House took place on the La Jolla campus, located at 9600 Torrey Pines Road, 92037.

For more information about each session, visit extension.ucsd.edu/next

I’m looking for a job. What can UC San Diego Extension do for me?

iStock_000054380670_smaller“I just” — take your pick here — “a) graduated, b) got laid off, or c) decided to change careers and I’m done with taking classes.” I’ve heard this countless times as I’ve attended career fairs and community outreach events on behalf of UC San Diego Extension. “I’m here to find a job” is the refrain of the day.

Battle-weary after months of fruitless job searching, the San Diego job seekers who attend these fairs are more than ready to land those elusive jobs. Resumes in hand, professionally attired, confident smiles and firm handshakes ready to be deployed, they make the rounds at Recruiter Tables Row.

When they arrive at our table, they’re understandably stumped. “What is a major university’s continuing education division doing at a career fair? How can you help me get a job?” they wonder. I tell them that we’re the continuing education and public programs division of UC San Diego. That we’re here to help them with their professional goals. Or personal enrichment, for that matter. That we may not have actual job openings, but we can help them get a job.

Here’s how.

Become more hireable with real world know-how

Many recent college graduates find themselves in uncharted territory. The bioengineering degree that Brad Jensen is completing may not equip him with the nuts and bolts needed to hit the biotech ground running. Theoretical courses in college somehow don’t easily translate to practical applications, he finds out.

At UC San Diego, undergraduate students like Brad are able to register for an Extension professional program at no cost while they complete their college course work. The LAUNCH program allows them to supplement their bachelor’s degree with real-world knowledge taught by working professionals who practice what they teach and share their firsthand expertise.

When Brad graduates, he’ll also have a professional certificate in Biotechnology Project Management along with his diploma, which will boost his chances of getting hired.

Get a taste of what it’s really like with a “Next Step Experience”

Internships are, of course, a great way for both students and job seekers to gain hands-on, immersive experience. UC San Diego Extension offers an internship-like program through “Next Step Experience” courses. Practice over theory is emphasized — precisely why they are an essential component of many certificate programs, including Brewing, Fitness Instruction and Exercise Science, Business Management, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling. It’s a practical capstone that nicely tops off a practical education.

Fertile ground for networking

Most of Extension’s 31,627 students have a college degree and are working professionals. For students, this means amplified networking advantages that can be cultivated into valuable professional connections. It’s a well-known fact that most jobs are not advertised (up to 80% according to Howard Poplinger, owner of human-resource company Epic Development and Evaluation), with employers increasingly bypassing online job boards and opting instead to hire directly through their employee networks. It’s all about “who you know.”

Realign your strengths, acquire needed knowledge

When asked about the nature of the jobs they seek, our job hunters respond confidently: positions in Human Resources, Digital Content Marketing, Information Technologies, or Teaching English to non-native speakers. Well and good. The only wrinkle is that, more often than not, their work experience and skills don’t reflect the right knowledge to land their dream jobs. Their expectations and actual experience are not aligned. And most of the time, they weren’t even aware of it.

Andy Harris may have had a successful retail sales career for 15 years but that won’t make the case for the HR job he wants now. Similarly, Marla Ramos may have worked as a web designer for five years until she got laid off. But that won’t seal the deal for the digital content editor position she’s pursuing. There may be some qualifications Andy and Marla can readily bring to the table, but those won’t be enough. Andy will need to learn about strategies for hiring and retaining talent, while Marla will need to hone effective writing skills to complement her design background to be in the running for the job she wants.


Continuing education certificates and courses can bolster your strengths and help you acquire knowledge relevant to your new career. They’re tangible proof of what employers seek:

  • Commitment
  • Dexterity
  • Adaptability

And, yes — additional proof of your knowledge, the evidence employers want.

Access free career resources

At some point in your career — be it early, mid, transitional, or later stage — you may benefit from objective assessments of your strengths and weaknesses, along with professional guidance. UC San Diego Extension offers quarterly free clinics that can point you in the right direction so you can arrive at an optimal life/work balance. You may discover valuable, career-propelling insights that you may have missed on your own.

Move forward with lifelong learning

Innovation is a wonderful thing. But expect to continuously update your skills and knowledge to keep up with advancements and new technologies that will impact our global workplace. Expect to be nimble, to embrace new things. UC San Diego Extension’s goal is to be your lifelong learning resource and partner so you can continue on your path to career and personal growth.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how UC San Diego Extension can help. Next time you visit a career fair, you just may find that we have a table there. Please stop by and say hello. And let’s talk about the next steps that will lead you to that job. Or wherever you want to go.