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Bentley University 99 Percent Career Placement Rate Challenges Bleak Job Market
Continuing its successful track record in career placement, Bentley University’s 99 percent placement rate for 2011 graduates is defying current job market statistics. A recent survey of Bentley’s Class of 2011 shows that 78 percent of the responding graduates are employed and 21 percent are attending grad school full time – resulting in a placement rate of 99 percent.
While unemployment among recent college graduates nationwide stands at 8.9 percent, among Bentley May 2011 surveyed graduates only 1 percent are still job searching, demonstrating the value that employers put on a Bentley education.
“Clearly employers see the advantage of a Bentley education which distinctively combines business and liberal arts. And our graduates have demonstrated they know how to make the most of this competitive edge, even in challenging times,” adds Bentley University President Gloria Larson.
Comprehensive guidance Bentley students receive both inside and outside of the classroom has helped them thrive in the competitive job market. Every Bentley student majors or minors in business, while simultaneously enrolled in an innovative core of liberal arts courses that focus on expanding and inspiring traditional “business student” thinking, writing, creativity, and reasoning. Unlike many other business schools, this fused, forward-thinking curriculum is developed in a collaborative effort by the business and arts & sciences faculty Nearly 800 of Bentley's 4,000 undergraduates also choose to double-major in business and the Liberal Studies major which they complete by combining writing, a capstone project, faculty mentoring, and liberal arts courses that follow a particular theme.
The industries represented in the Bentley survey feature a diverse and broad range from financial services and accounting to advertising and media, from software and information services to consulting and government, from elementary education and non-profit to retail and real estate, from defense and aerospace to healthcare and biotech/pharmaceutical.
Members of the Class of 2011 were hired by some of the leading companies and organizations in the world, ranging from City Year and Teach for America, to Morgan Stanley, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Accenture, Kraft Sports Group, Raytheon, Liberty Mutual, Fidelity, Amazon.com, and EMC, as well as all of the major accounting firms.
Other data from the survey includes:
- 27 percent obtained their full-time offer following an internship
- 26 percent from on-campus recruiting program
- 23 percent as a result of networking efforts
- 54 percent of the employers have more than 5,000 employees
- 23 percent of employers are medium-sized companies (100-500 employees)
- 11 percent of the hiring companies are small businesses with 25-99 employees
In addition to the university’s strong curriculum, an innovative four-year approach to career services helps students build their own brand.
“Focus and self esteem are key tools in a 21st century successful job search. Students need to understand where they are going, how they are going to get there, and have the confidence to know they can make it happen. We help our students both discover and sell the distinctive role that they play for employers,” says Managing Director of University Career Services Susan Brennan. “A Bentley education provides students with the skill set to differentiate themselves from the crowd of job seekers; students see their value first-hand through applied learning opportunities like projects and internships. The process takes time, but ultimately pays off. Our four-year approach to career development ensures that students will not only effectively launch their career, but they will be prepared for a lifetime of success.”
Bentley’s four-year program centers on a particular theme for each class year.
Freshman Year: Explore. Who are you and what do you want to do?
Discover a personal brand by exploring. Something as simple as choosing a major or taking a career assessment provides a base to help determine a particular job field.
Sophomore Year: Experiment. Internships, projects, activities and networking provide insight.
Remember to stay flexible. Consider lifelong “dreams” but also make way for new ones as you broaden your experience during the next couple of years.
Junior Year: Experience. Gain professional experience and focus related to your major.
If a school’s Career Services department has fostered its own relationships with potential employers, students have the home-team advantage of gaining experience during sophomore and junior years. If not, build your own playing field by networking as much as possible.
Senior Year: Execute. Put your arsenal of information and resources into action.
During the senior year homestretch, students go from “backpack to briefcase” to marshal their experience into a job. They have their brand, and it’s time to sell it.
“A key tool for selling a brand is social media,” Brennan notes. “Students are leveraging social media to develop an advantage with potential employers.”
The Office of Career Services has expanded their own social media presence to help keep students in the know. Each career adviser has their own Twitter handle and tweets to students in specific majors. Informational meetings for each class year by major are videotaped so students can view even if they can’t attend. On WBTY Radio Bentley, a weekly radio program, At the Career Lounge, is dedicated to giving students the inside scoop on their job search and potential opportunities. Hosted by Alyssa Hammond and Colleen Murphy, associate directors of undergraduate career services, the show features the latest on career news, as well as interviews with experts, employers, and students.
While the largest percentage of students receive offers through Career Services resources such as on-campus recruiting, career fairs and internship programs, Brennan has this advice for all students: “Be proactive and don’t wait for opportunities to find you. The most successful students are those who actively develop a target list of companies and then network to get advice and information. Find someone within the company who is willing to do an informational interview and then follow-up and stay in touch.”
President Larson, along with guest experts, joined Bloomberg’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, to talk about how college and universities are preparing graduates to navigate diverse environments.