HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A fear for millions of millennials is investing time, money, and effort into higher education, but running into a brick wall when it's time to walk off campus and enter the workforce.
Students completing a unique program at the University of Southern Mississippi have 100 percent job placement.
You don't have to look through a microscope to see that the Medical Laboratory Science program is one of rigor and responsibility.
"It's no joke, obviously. It's no surprise that this curriculum is like really difficult," said Keri Sanford, a graduate.
The science-based program is also one of gratification. For the past ten years, graduates of the department were able to walk out of their lab classes right into hospital labs. The program has been a part of USM for forty years with each semester having at least 95% job placement.
"It was worth it. I had two jobs waiting on me whenever I was finishing up," Sanford said.
"It piqued my interest, and I just started asking questions and just fell in love with the field," said Chris Knotts, a graduate.
The students provide information to doctors evaluating specimens which they then use to diagnose patients. A professor said most students have already picked up a part-time job even before the end of their studies.
For those who didn't, there was no stress of wondering if the workplace held a spot for them upon graduation.
"It was just a huge relief. I could just focus on finishing up my classes and finishing up my clinicals. It was just a huge relief," Sanford said.
A need for the skills provided in medical lab science paired with professors 100% investment in success lead to the fields 100% job placement.
"It's fulfilling and self-rewarding to know that after going through the program at Southern and our clinical rotations that the doctors know that we know the information and can help them understand how to help the patients," Knotts said.