Ivy Tech Community College’s new president encouraged students on the Columbus campus to check the data when searching for a career.

Sue Ellspermann, the former lieutenant governor who served with Columbus native Gov. Mike Pence, visited with students Wednesday at the Agricultural Sciences and Industrial Technology building to talk about tools the state is providing to help students at the college’s 32 campuses to choose a good career path.

The state now offers a demand-driven occupational database to help students evaluate their options, Ellspermann said.

Senate Bill 301, signed into law in March, required the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to create the database, which lists occupations and the wages for those jobs. The database lists jobs in the United States and in Indiana across different industries.

In addition, the law required the state agency to develop a 10-year forecast documenting the expected workforce needs of Indiana employers, along with the training and education required to meet those needs, according to a summary of the bill. That information has already been compiled on the database.

Students are able to explore data for 800 different jobs within the database, which can be accessed at no charge at hoosierdata.in.gov. Ellspermann said she hopes students will take advantage of that tool in their career pursuits.

Whiteland resident Emily Martindale was among the 15 students who interacted with Ellspermann during her visit. Martindale is in her third part-time semester and works on a dairy farm.

She hopes to pursue a career in the communication side of agriculture, possibly working as a sales representative. Martindale said she liked what Ellspermann had to say, especially the fact that she took input directly from students during her discussion.

Ellspermann encouraged students to email her directly to tell her what improvements Ivy Tech needs to make.

Earlier feedback from students at other campuses has been helpful in determining what improvements Ivy Tech can make, Ellspermann said.

The Ivy Tech president, who started in that position July 1, said after the presentation that it’s important that she interacts with Ivy Tech students around the state to hear their concerns.

Still, she stressed she wants students to take a critical look at their potential career choice and confirm that there is a demand in that field while looking at what they pay as well. That will ultimately help them determine whether their career option is a good one and whether there are other options to consider.

On the Web

Interested in learning about potential career paths? Find “Hoosiers by the Numbers,” compiled by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, at hoosierdata.in.gov.

Under the “Data by Series” tab, click on “Occupation Projections.”