WORCESTER, Mass. – March 31, 2010 – In the winter 2010 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), most of the top 10 disciplines are engineering fields, and graduates with bachelor’s degrees are earning among the highest salaries. The new survey reinforces a June 2009 Forbes.com article, which reported that “engineer” is one of the hardest jobs to fill in America. All of this bodes well for Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) engineering graduates, who are enjoying high placement rates and starting salaries that exceed the national average, even in a still-challenging financial climate.
"While a variety of factors play a role in determining salaries, new graduates with degrees in the technical fields tend to benefit from their relatively low supply. There is more competition for their skills, driving up their salary offers,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. “In general, candidates with technical degrees have an advantage in the job market."
According to Janet Begin Richardson, vice president of campus life and student affairs at WPI, this is excellent news for graduates with degrees in one of the engineering majors that WPI offers: aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical and computer, environmental, manufacturing, mechanical, and robotics engineering.
“WPI graduates have been consistently successful in landing rewarding employment after graduation, even during a recession,” Richardson says. “Companies are looking to hire the best and brightest, and WPI students fill that need with their project-based experiences, on and off campus. We are told by our hiring partners that when WPI graduates join their companies, they make significant contributions from day one, and become leaders in their organizations.”
One of the reasons WPI graduates are in high demand with employers is that they already have gained valuable experience before they graduate. Through the university’s project-based curriculum, all WPI students work in teams and apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems in communities around the world. The projects are an opportunity to put the engineering and science theory students learn in the classroom into practice through real-world design and research experiences. They become innovators and entrepreneurs, prepared to help tackle the world’s challenges.
Businesses recognize the value of a WPI education, and actively recruit current students and alumni alike. Top recruiters of WPI students include Raytheon, United Technologies Corp., General Electric, General Dynamics, EMC2, Teradyne, Analog Devices, BAE Systems, Fidelity Investments, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Intel, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Hewlett Packard, Compaq Computer, National Grid, Massachusetts Electric, IBM Rational, Lucent Technologies, Accenture, Genzyme, and the University of Massachusetts.
The employment and salary opportunities available to WPI graduates were also recognized in 2008 in Forbes.com’s “Top Colleges for Getting Rich” survey that ranked WPI No. 9 in the nation for graduates employed for 10 to 20 years. Median salaries among WPI graduates with up to five years of experience averaged $61,000; this obtained a No. 12 national ranking. For graduates with 10 to 20 years of experience, the median was $114,000. The median top salary among WPI graduates was $180,000.
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. WPI's 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 20 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.
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Worcester Polytechnic Institute,