NJIT Grads Lead in Return on Investment

Derek McClung parlayed a summer internship at Turner Construction Company into a job as field engineer. Experts say that many firms are using internships to evaluate and select future employees.

Chemical engineering major Rachel Wallner worked on a project to make the environmental cleanup of Air Force bases more efficient as a summer intern at Noblis. After her graduation in May 2011, the Dorman honors scholar began a career as an environmental engineer in Noblis’ environmental division.

Another 2011 graduate, Derek McClung, had several internships while pursuing his degree in construction engineering technology, and also participated in Rebuilding Together, a national organization that rehabilitates homes for elderly and disabled homeowners. But it was his last internship, with Turner Construction Company, that gained him a full time position as field engineer at graduation.

Cindy Osorio, who earned a BS in Management in 2009, attributes her success at Prudential Investment Products Marketing Group to the three study-abroad experiences she had as a Dorman honors scholar at NJIT -- a semester in Sweden, another in Hong Kong, and a summer in Mexico – which gave her firsthand experience to supplement her specialization in international business.

A strong emphasis on experiential learning is one of the advantages offered by an NJIT education. NJIT offers an array of opportunities for hands-on research, co-op jobs, internships and capstone courses. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), that’s a real plus in the job market -- 74 percent of graduates who found jobs in 2010 participated in a co-op or internship at some point in their college career.

NJIT provides another important “edge” -- return on investment (ROI).

  • While NACE estimated that 24 percent of those awarded bachelor’s degrees in 2011 had a job at the time of graduation, ¬47 percent of NJIT’s grads reported attaining full time employment at or shortly after graduation. Another 19 percent of NJIT graduates are attending graduate school
  • The Bloomberg/Businessweek survey of U.S. colleges and universities ranked NJIT as the best public university in New Jersey for ROI based on graduation rates, and earnings of graduates versus cost of a degree. NJIT placed in the top eight percent for ROI among the 1052 schools surveyed.
  • The 2011 PayScale survey ranked NJIT fourth in the nation among state universities for both starting salary and mid-career salary and 12th among all engineering schools, public and private.
  • PayScale’s 25 best-paid undergraduate majors, both for starting salaries and for career earnings, include all the engineering disciplines, industrial design, math, physics, biochemistry, computing specialties, and business.
  • According to NACE, the majors with the most job offers in 2011 were computer science, accounting, economics, and engineering.

Michael Finley ’09 earned a spot on an international team designing and building a new hospital in Bermuda, his first assignment as a junior architect at Swanke Hayden Connell Architects. As a Dorman honors scholar at NJIT’s New Jersey School of Architecture, he had several the internships and summer jobs at New York and New Jersey architectural firms, work experience that included projects at Westchester Medical Center, Hudson Valley Hospital Center and New York Downtown Hospital. “My health care experience was definitely instrumental in helping me acquire my current position,” he says.  “The experience enabled me to feel confident working on projects in the health care sector as a specialized area in architecture.”