MENOMONIE, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Stout have one thing in common: the ability to leave campus and go right to work. Just over 97 percent of the 2012-13 UW-Stout graduates found jobs or were continuing their education within six months of leaving campus, a new report showed.
“Everything we do at UW-Stout is aimed at ensuring our students are ready for a successful and challenging career when they graduate,” said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. “This report confirms that our students are highly valued in the job market.”
For more than a decade, UW-Stout has maintained that 97 percent placement rate, even through the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Officials attributed this workplace success to the “applied learning” philosophy at UW-Stout, the large participation a cooperative education program and an employment-focused undergraduate program array.
About 940 students participated in the UW-Stout cooperative education program last year. Under the program, students get paid to work in a position related to their major at a company and earn college credit. Since 1982, more than 17,000 students have participated in the UW-Stout co-op program.
One of those students was Maxwell Steuer, from Eau Claire, Wis., who now is a system software engineer at Silicon Graphics International Corp. in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He had two workplace-experience positions under the co-op program.
“I would likely not be where I am today without this experience,” said Steuer, who majored in computer engineering.
“The co-op program helps students gain hands-on experience, which prepares our graduates for professional careers,” said Amy Lane, director of career services. “The three partners for the co-op program include employers, students and the university. We create experiences outside the classroom, which allow students the ability to apply their learning to real-world situations.”
Evan Garvey, who graduated with a degree in packaging, also participated in two co-op programs, which he found beneficial. Garvey is working as a packaging engineer at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas.
“This gave me a solid base of packaging knowledge and operations within two different industries: food and consumer goods,” he said. “These experiences gave me confidence when interviewing and allowed me to refer back to numerous projects and experiences that I had during those co-ops.”
Sorensen, the UW-Stout chancellor, said he was pleased that the median starting salary of UW-Stout graduates continued to climb, to $42,000 a year, a 13.5 percent increase from just two years ago. Twenty of the undergraduate majors had 100 percent employment rates, and 10 majors had median salaries of $50,000 or more.
“Not only are our graduates getting jobs, but they are receiving excellent salaries,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen said he also was pleased that the percentage of students working in their field of study continued to climb, to 81 percent in 2012-13, compared to 79.3 percent in 2011-012 and 77 percent in 2010-11.
The Career Services employment report had a response rate of 90 percent. The complete report is available at http://www.uwstout.edu/careers/upload/anrpt.pdf