November 30, 2011/MTU News
As Michigan Governor Rick Snyder takes the podium at Delta College on Thursday, Dec. 1, to talk about the need for more highly skilled workers to meet Michigan employers’ needs, Michigan Technological University reports that its job placement rate has risen to an astonishing 94.6 percent.
At its most recent Career Fair in September 2011, Michigan Tech hosted 720 recruiters from 245 companies. Students participated in more than 4,200 interviews at the event and in the days immediately following it. The University has another Career Fair scheduled for February 2012.
“Employers measure us by the performance of our alumni working at their companies,” said Jim Turnquist, director of career services at Michigan Tech. “We have a reputation for excellence.”
And employers are willing to pay for excellence, Turnquist noted. For example, the average salary reported by a 2011 Michigan Tech graduate in software engineering was $67,000; biomedical engineering—$60,000 and electrical engineering—$58,561. The national average salary of a 2011 college graduate was $51,171, according to the latest report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
In Snyder’s fifth special message to the Legislature since he took office January 1, the Governor is expected to outline his plan for improving ties among employers, educators and students to better match job skills to employers’ needs.
“At a time when many are questioning the value of a college education, we stress an education that meets both the needs of the students and the requirements of industry. It’s part of our DNA at Michigan Tech,” said President Glenn Mroz. “We work hand-in-hand with the industries that employ our graduates, through co-ops, internships and our signature Enterprise program—where students work in teams to solve industry problems—to make sure our graduates are well-qualified to enter the work force.”
During the economic downturn in 2009, the University’s traditionally high job placement rate dropped to 83.1 percent, still well above the national average of 63.7 percent. But Turnquist saw the economy starting to take a turn for the better in late 2010, as more recruiters began coming to campus.
“Companies are retooling and re-engineering, and they’re hiring our people to do it,” he said.