President Elson S. Floyd

Perspectives

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 9/29/10

The Wall Street Journal Survey


Next week, the WSU Pullman campus will host the Career Expo and College of Engineering and Architecture Technical Career Fair. Similar events are held regularly on our campuses to bring employers and students together to discuss job opportunities.

What makes this one a bit more noteworthy is that it comes shortly after the Wall Street Journal published a survey of employers that named Washington State University as one of the top 25 universities nationwide for companies seeking new hires.

Next Tuesday’s event is expected to feature more than 160 employers offering career and internship opportunities. That is excellent news for those WSU students who are busy getting their resumes polished and their wardrobes chosen for the expo.

You often hear that it is not easy to get to Pullman. However, geography clearly is no obstacle to companies who know where to find outstanding new employees. The fact that so many companies will be represented is a tribute to our current students and to the ones who preceded them and spread the good word about the value of a WSU education.

It is also an endorsement of the great work being done by the staff of the Center for Advising and Career Development and by faculty members who maintain close ties with private-sector partners.

Many universities that made the Wall Street Journal’s list—including Penn State, Texas A&M, the University of Illinois, Purdue, Virginia Tech, and the University of Michigan—are large public institutions. Recruiters responding to the survey said those schools offer a bigger pool of potential job-seekers who have relevant training and have proven to be adaptable to real-world work situations.

While WSU isn’t large compared to some universities on this list, our graduates certainly do reflect the other criteria cited by employers in this survey. They have a practical, real-world education and possess the skills that will help them and their companies succeed.

The good news, both here and nationwide, is that the job market seems to be improving for members of the class of 2011. We are seeing an increase of interest by corporate recruiters on our campus; employers seem to be stepping up their hiring of new employees. That can only benefit our students and, in the long run, our university.

As a public land-grant institution, we must understand the needs of today’s workplaces and educate students ready to succeed there.

Students investing tuition dollars and legislators investing tax dollars expect, and deserve, no less.

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