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Job prospects shine for Clarkson graduates

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POTSDAM — Almost all of the more than 600 Clarkson University students graduating Saturday will find jobs in their field within a year.

Among a survey of spring 2011 graduates, an estimated 95 percent found positions in their field in the past year, said Jeffrey D. Taylor, director of the Clarkson Career Center.

“We survey our graduates at three intervals – at graduation, 3 months out and again at 6 months,” he said. “Our data for the last 2 classes has remained consistent at 95 percent.”

Mr. Taylor attributes Clarkson’s numbers to the caliber of its students.

“I would say that even our prospective students are looking at Clarkson as the step prior to obtaining full time employment,” he said.“Many of our degree programs are closely linked to the job market.”

Clarkson’s concentration on business, science, engineering and math meets a need in the job market, said Mr. Taylor, making it easier to link graduates and employers.

“With liberal arts institutions, the degrees don’t necessarily relate to a specific job title,” he said. “Students from liberal arts institutions can have excellent employment opportunities, they just spend a bit more time thinking about how they want to use that degree and in which field.”

That also means a higher percentage of the university’s students take higher-paying jobs. Clarkson’s average starting salary of $57,900 ranks 17th out of 1,003 surveyed, said a 2011 report by PayScale.com.

Though the quality of the students plays the biggest role in finding a job after graduation, Mr. Taylor says the university provides them career counseling and other assistance throughout their time at Clarkson.

“We connect students to employers through recruiting events such as career fairs, networking events, social media outlets, an online job posting system and direct resume collections, to name a few,” he said. “The Career Center looks to meet with students throughout their four years here.”

Clarkson students are also requried to take an internship or participate in a cooperative learning experience, said Mr. Taylor, meaning that before they graduate, they will have tangible professional experience in their field.

This year, Clarkson graduates may get an extra leg-up due to an improving job market, said Mr. Taylor.

“We’ve had more opportunities for this year’s class at this point than we did for 2011, specifically, employers interacting and visiting campus and listing full-time job opportunities,” he said. “The job market is slightly better than it was last year for this year’s class.”

Clarkson’s brand also plays a role in its students’ success, he said.

“Clarkson has a strong academic reputation,” he said.“Our students have additional employment opportunities because companies will seek out Clarkson graduates knowing they have been through a rigorous program that prepares them well for the workplace.”

For more on Clarkson’s successful graduates, visit the Career Center website at http://www.clarkson.edu/hired/

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