As news of the impact of the recession on many industries and jobs continues, Rensselaer students are getting a head start on planning for future careers. More than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students took advantage of the opportunity to meet and talk with more than 300 representatives from more than 150 public and private-sector employers at the 2009 Spring Career Fair held on Jan. 29. The fair hosted by the Career Development Center (CDC) is designed to help students think ahead to potential full-time, co-op, internship, or summer employment opportunities.
“Looking ahead, today’s employers desire students who have had some experience while in college,” said Tom Tarantelli, CDC director. “As the economy continues to fluctuate and the job market tightens, college graduates must be patient and get creative, and be willing to fill out their resumes with unique experiences. This is what gives a student a competitive edge when it comes to landing a full-time job.”
Approximately 40 percent of the employers at the fair came from New York state and the Northeast, including several Capital Region-based companies. Employers represented more than 23 states. Approximately 30 percent of the employers were new to recruiting at Rensselaer. The companies were seeking engineers, scientists, architects, and students who majored in management, humanities, social sciences, and information technology, among others.
Last year, more than 90 percent of the graduating class planned to work or pursue graduate studies. Graduates already had jobs waiting for them at Google, IBM, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, General Electric, Merck, United Airlines, General Motors, NBC Universal, the New York City Fire Department, Kimberly-Clark, and Johnson & Johnson, to name a few.
The average starting salary for Class of 2008 students with bachelor’s degrees was $58,160, up 3.65 percent from the previous year. For students with master’s degrees, the average starting salary was $71,265, according to the CDC’s 2007-2008 Annual Report.
Rensselaer graduates’ earning power and potential was recognized by Forbes magazine, according to rankings released last August. Rensselaer graduates were number 14 on the list of 20 top universities. According to Forbes, the median salary for Rensselaer graduates with zero to five years experience was $61,100 and it was $110,000 for those with 10 to 20 years experience.
With a variety of programs and services developed to meet the needs of all students, Rensselaer’s Career Development Center is working to help individuals interested in identifying, planning for, and achieving future career goals. Throughout the years, CDC programs have included career counseling, resume writing workshops, interview preparation, legal advice on employment offers, and networking opportunities with alumni and employers, among others.
Additional Rensselaer groups involved in coordinating the annual spring career fair included Residence Life, the Rensselaer Union, Alumni Relations, the Advising and Learning Assistance Center, numerous academic departments, and Rensselaer Union student clubs.
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