It is a good time to be an engineer
As the job market has increasingly become more difficult, a college degree no longer guarantees a job. Luckily, however, for most engineers this is not the case.
According to John Archambault, director of Engineering Career Services at UW-Madison, 94 percent of College of Engineering graduates were placed at a job after graduation in 2011 and 2012. Archambault, who also is assistant dean for student development in the College of Engineering, says that even during the worst of the recession, the placement rate was only down to 84 percent.
This high percentage, Archambault says, demonstrates that nationally, the placement rate for engineers is going to be generally higher than other disciplines.
Archambault predicts that the most recent job placement percentage will be at least 94 percent.
On average, College of Engineering graduates were earning more than $59,000 for a starting salary in 2011 and 2012, according to Engineering Career Services data.
The College of Engineering also placed 168 students in co-ops in spring 2014, a record number. And the number of students placed in co-ops for fall 2014 will quickly break this record.
Archambault says this increased number makes sense, as enrollment in the College of Engineering is at an all-time high.
While not every graduate chooses a strictly engineering-based job, Archambault says that even those in different fields are still using the problem solving and analytical skills they were taught in engineering.
Engineering degrees are extremely desirable, says Archambault, and he does not see this changing anytime soon.
“Engineering opens up doors for whatever you want to do,” Archambault says.
He regularly holds panels with College of Engineering graduates who have attended law school or medical school. Generally the graduates say that engineering was harder than the professional school they attended.
“If you can get through engineering, you can get through anything,” Archambault says.