UMass Amherst Engineering Degree: Hot Ticket in a Highly Competitive Job Market

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts engineering graduates are finding that they hold a hot ticket in a highly competitive marketplace. Many of this year’s seniors had job offers back in December, and a high percentage of them are choosing among multiple job offers paying upwards of $40,000 a year.

Joan Stoia, director of the Campus Career Network, says the nation’s top companies are engaged in a virtual tug-of-war over the engineering class of ’97.

"At our engineering job fair last fall we expected a dozen local firms to show up to recruit students," Stoia said. "What we got was more than 35 recruitment teams from all over the country. I’m still getting calls from them on a daily basis."

According to recruiters, UMass engineering graduates are in strong demand due to several factors, including the college’s ability to turn out well-rounded graduates accustomed to working as part of a team, and who communicate well with others. Additionally, UMass graduates represent a wide range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and have real-world engineering experience, much of it with the latest technologies, Stoia says.

The economy is hungry for engineers of all kinds, notes College of Engineering Dean Joseph Goldstein. The U.S. Department of Labor reports there were 824,000 computer engineers at work in 1994 and predicts that 30,000 more will be needed annually for the next 10 years.

Daniel Schaubert, head of the electrical and computer engineering department, says that "students are kept abreast of every new technology and given the opportunity to work like real engineers, both in the classroom and in the field, on real problems using state-of-the-art equipment." Wireless networks and personal communication systems are among the hot new engineering specialties, he says.