According to a report published earlier this month from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce, job opportunities for college-educated workers have risen dramatically. That great news for San Francisco students, especially those who soon will be entering a local marketplace with an unemployment rate of less than four percent. And, with a teacher shortage in San Francisco, students pursuing a career in education may find several opportunities for employment upon completing their academic requirements. For career advice, Kimberly Connor, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of San Francisco, took time away from her rewarding work as a graduate instructor and her volunteer work at 826 Valencia to talk about her academic career in addition to providing insightful advice on a career in education.

(Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Connor, Ph.D.)

(Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Connor, Ph.D.)

What is your background and education? 

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“I am an associate professor in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco (USF). I teach ethics to M.P.A. and M.B.A. students and serve as director of the humanities component of our degree completion program for undergraduate students. I have a Ph.D. in religion and literature from the University of Virginia. As a volunteer at 826 Valencia or as a graduate instructor, I emphasize narrative observation and reflection so students can approach the complexities of moral problem solving prepared to respond to the needs of a pluralistic society.”

What is your area of expertise? 

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“My research explores the relationship between religion and cultural production in a variety of settings. I am fascinated by the ways in which people creatively interrogate and express their ideas about meaning and value. I integrate this research into my courses, helping to develop my students’ ability to see from various cultural, religious, and philosophical perspectives so they may respond in their professional lives as mindful and appreciative leaders who will advocate for social justice across a wide variety of concerns.”

What career advice can you share to students interested in a career in education?

“Education is changing so quickly. The best advice is to develop a habit of curiosity about what is happening in the profession and among our various student populations. Be flexible and improvisatory so you can adapt to new technologies, expanded sources of information, and increasingly diverse communities.”

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.