Bentley Placement Rate Proof That College Is a Smart Investment
Although higher education institutions have been under scrutiny regarding return on investment and adequate preparation for a successful life after graduation, Bentley’s 2013 graduates have good news to report: 98 percent of the responding class is employed or attending graduate school.
Members of the Class of 2013 were hired by some of the leading companies and organizations in the world, ranging from the Brookings Institution and Teach For America, to JPMorgan Chase, Diageo, GE Capital, United Technologies, Biogen Idec, Raytheon, StonyField Farms, Boston Children’s Hospital, Fidelity, CBS Radio, and 20th Century Fox, as well as all of the major accounting firms.
Other data from the Class of 2013 includes:
• 58 percent obtained their full-time employment through career services offerings including campus recruiting, career fairs, referrals and internships (more than 80 percent of which were secured with Bentley corporate partners)
• 31 percent obtained their full-time employment as a result of networking efforts
• Median starting salary of $50,000
• 341 different employers hired Bentley graduates in 2013
Bentley’s placement rate is based on a 95 percent “knowledge rate.” This refers to the percent of graduates for which Bentley has reasonable and verifiable information concerning post-graduation career activities. Calculating the “knowledge rate” begins with a formal survey of the Class of 2013 (88 percent response rate). Bentley career advisors, who worked closely with graduates to secure employment, then capture additional employment data through direct contact and social media.
Bentley’s “knowledge rate” shows that, 6 months after graduation, 82 percent of graduates are employed and 16 percent are currently attending, or planning to attend, grad school full time — resulting in a placement rate of 98 percent.
Preparing Millennials for the Workforce
These results, as well as positive feedback from recruiters, contradict recent media stories and surveys that claim employers are finding the millennial generation unprepared for the workforce. This discrepancy spurred Bentley to dig deeper into the disconnect between millennials and employers — and commission its own survey on preparedness as part of the PreparedU Project. “What differentiates this survey from others, besides the holistic approach of surveying 9 different audiences, is the focus on solutions,” says Bentley president Gloria Larson. “The results are clear that all stakeholders have work to do in order to create and implement solutions to the preparedness challenge. Colleges need to think about combining academics with hands-on learning and begin career advice to students in their freshman year. Businesses should work with higher education to fully integrate professional skills into their courses. And millennials who want to succeed should commit to the goal of being a “life-long learner.”
An Innovative Curriculum
The Bentley education model focuses on four key pillars: a curriculum that features a fusion of business and arts and sciences, hands-on learning, technology prowess, and career guidance. These pillars help students develop a skill set that allows them to identify, create and adapt to change. “This is what corporate partners tell us graduates need to be successful,” says Executive Director of Corporate Relations and Career Services Susan Brennan. “We work closely with executives who tell us often that business skills help our students obtain the job at their companies, but arts and sciences provide a context and broader knowledge base that helps these young professionals advance throughout their careers.“
Four-Year Career Development Plan
In addition to the university’s inventive curriculum, students benefit from a four-year approach to career services. Bentley’s “Hire Education” program is focused on themes tied to each college year: Explore, Experiment, Experience and Excel. The “Explore” phase begins freshmen year with a Career Development Seminar that’s taught in close collaboration with corporate partners and lays the foundation for a lifetime of career management. During the class, students start to discover their professional path with a career assessment and begin to hone vital career skills during interactive lab sessions where they come face-to-face with corporate recruiters for mock interviews and elevator pitches.
The course lays the foundation for students’ subsequent career developments as they experiment with industries through career fairs and networking events; experience internships; and, ultimately prepare to excel in a dynamic workplace. Bentley’s fall career fair, which attracted 136 organizations, experienced a 40 percent increase in student attendance largely attributed to the introduction of the career development seminar.