Bentley University's Fusion of Business and Liberal Arts Proves to be Most Valued by Employers: 99 Percent of 2010 Graduates are Employed or Attending Graduate School

Feb 01, 2011, 09:00 ET from Bentley University

WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While U.S. unemployment remains stubbornly close to 10 percent and recent graduates faced a job market that has rarely been more competitive, employment statistics for Bentley University's May 2010 undergraduates tell a different and encouraging story: 99 percent of the recently surveyed class (87 percent response rate) are employed or in graduate school.  

As Bentley University President Gloria Larson states, "Clearly employers see the value in a Bentley education which distinctively combines business and liberal arts.  And our graduates have demonstrated they know how to make the most of this competitive edge, even in challenging times."

At Bentley every student majors or minors in business while simultaneously enrolled in an innovative core of liberal arts courses that focus on expanding and inspiring traditional "business student" thinking, writing, creativity, and reasoning.  Unlike many other institutions, this fused, forward-thinking curriculum is developed in a collaborative effort by the business and arts & sciences faculty together.  Nearly 800 of Bentley's 4,000 undergraduates also choose to double-major in business and the cutting-edge Liberal Studies major which students complete by combining writing, a capstone project, faculty mentoring, and liberal arts courses that follow a particular theme.  

Other data from the survey:

  • 34% obtained their full-time offer following an internship
  • 24% from on-campus recruiting program
  • 22% as a result of networking efforts
  • 58% of employers have more than 5,000 employees
  • 25% of employers are medium-sized companies (100-500 employees)
  • 9% of the hiring companies are small businesses with 25-99 employees

The uptick in hiring (the previous year's rate was 98 percent at Bentley) is also the result of more sophisticated networking and outreach efforts by the Bentley Office of Career Services. The recent economic downturn encouraged career services professionals to be even more creative in their attempts to generate job opportunities for their students.

"One of the key tools in a successful job search today is building a personal brand -- we help our students discover and sell the distinctive role that they play for employers," says Susan Brennan,  managing director of the university's Career Services Office.  "A Bentley education provides students with many opportunities to differentiate themselves from the crowd of job seekers.  But it still takes time to build that brand. Our four year approach to career development ensures that students will not only effectively launch their career, but they will be prepared for a lifetime of success."

The 2010 National Freshman Survey from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP), one of the most comprehensive sources of information on college students, shows that 'better job opportunities' is the #2 most important reason (53.3 percent) students choose to attend a specific college or university, following the school's academic reputation (62 percent).  

Addressing the current debate on which types of degrees or majors lead to better employment opportunities, Daniel Everett, dean of arts & sciences at Bentley, describes the ideal approach as the "educational fusion" found at Bentley.  "Students' education and their professional objectives can be merged.  The integration of arts and sciences with business provides a novel type of education, one in which each adds value to the other."

Everett adds, "Business executives tell us often:  The basic business skills are what get you a job.  But to continue to advance, you need the broad background of the liberal arts.  A business major is one of the best majors any student could choose.  So is philosophy.  But to combine them in a single course of study might be the best of all."

The industries represented in the Bentley survey feature a diverse and broad range from financial services and accounting to advertising and media, from software and information services to consulting and government, from elementary education and non-profit to retail and real estate, from defense and aerospace to healthcare and biotech/pharmaceutical.

The types of positions and diversity of companies illustrate the breadth and depth of a Bentley education, including actuarial analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield, City Year corps member, economic analyst for Converse, assistant buyer for Mullen advertising agency, elementary education teacher for Teach for America,  audit associate for KPMG , strategy/analytics analyst for Digitas integrated brand agency, grants management assistant for Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and social media specialist for Overdrive Interactive online marketing agency.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the job market is off to a positive start for the class of 2011.  Employers responding to the NACE job outlook 2011 fall preview reported plans to hire about 14 percent more new bachelor's graduates from the class of 2011 than they did from the class of 2010.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation's leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The McCallum Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,000 full-time undergraduate, 250 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,400 graduate, and 40 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education.

SOURCE Bentley University