Bentley students report encouraging return on their college investment

Feb 19, 2013, 09:00 ET from Bentley University

WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With higher education institutions facing tough questions about the value of their offerings and whether they are adequately preparing students for life after graduation, Bentley's 2012 graduates report encouraging news: 98% of the responding class is employed or attending graduate school.


A survey of the Class of 2012, combined with social media tracking efforts by the Undergraduate Career Services department, provides information on 90% percent of the class. It shows that 6 months after graduation 80 percent of graduates are employed and 18 percent are currently attending, or planning to attend, grad school full time – resulting in a placement rate of 98 percent.

The numbers give proof to Bentley's overarching mission, according to President Gloria Larson, "Our goal is to have our students leave campus as curious, thoughtful and open lifelong learners.  But they also must have the market-driven skills to gain employment, build a career, and help contribute to a company or community in significant ways.  This success is about even more than career development; it is driven by an innovative curriculum that prepares students for any path they want to take."

The Bentley model focuses on three educational pillars: integrated academics – a fusion of business with the arts and sciences, hands-on learning and technology.  These pillars help students develop a skill set that allows them to identify, create and adapt to change.  "This is what corporate partners tell us is required of today's successful leader," says Executive Director of Corporate Relations and Career Services Susan Brennan. "We work closely with executives who tell us often that business skills help our students get the job at their companies, but arts and sciences provide a context and broader knowledge base that helps these young professionals advance throughout their careers."

Members of the Class of 2012 were hired by some of the leading companies and organizations in the world, ranging from the Brookings Institution and Teach For America, to Morgan Stanley, IBM, General Electric, Boston Red Sox, Stride Rite, Raytheon, Liberty Mutual, Fidelity, MTV, and TIME Inc., as well as all of the major accounting firms.  

Other data from the survey includes:

  • 33 percent obtained their full-time employment through career services offerings including campus recruiting, career fairs and referrals
  • 28 percent obtained their full-time offer following an internship
  • 25 percent as a result of networking efforts
  • Median starting salary of $50,000

In addition to the university's inventive curriculum, students benefit from a four-year approach to career services.  Bentley's "Hire Education" program is focused on themes tied to each college year: Explore, Experiment, Experience and Excel. 

The "Explore" phase begins freshmen year with a career development seminar that's taught in close collaboration with corporate partners and lays the foundation for a lifetime of career management. During the class students start to discover their professional path with a career assessment and begin to hone vital career skills during interactive lab sessions where they come face-to-face with corporate recruiters for mock interviews and elevator pitches.

The course lays the foundation for students' subsequent career developments as they experiment with industries through career fairs and networking events; experience internships; and, ultimately prepare to excel in a dynamic workplace.  Adds Brennan, "By the time graduation is in sight, students should have four years of targeted career development; and, in the process, design and implement a customized career action plan for themselves that offers a solid and sustainable bridge to the economy of the 21st century."

SOURCE Bentley University