The value of a CU degree in today’s job market

By Philip DiStefano

It’s no secret that the job market can be challenging in today’s troubled economy. So we were happy to learn recently that the University of Colorado Boulder saw a sharp increase in companies looking to hire our graduates.

Job postings on campus jumped 23 percent in the 2010-11 academic year, with nearly 3,500 full-time listings by companies looking to hire CU-Boulder graduates. Just last month150 employers set up camp in the Glenn Miller Ballroom to recruit our students at a career and internship fair.

The number of job interviews that companies conducted on campus last academic year also saw an upswing, testimony that a CU-Boulder degree remains highly valued even in a weak job market.

There are several reasons for that.

We stand out from other research universities by involving more than 1,000 undergraduates in unique paid research experiences from bioscience and astrophysics to creative works.

Students in undergraduate research programs learn the value of working in teams and balancing individual pursuit with group effort to accomplish important research and creative work for the advancement of the world around us. Our students control satellites in space. They work on biomedical discoveries that will save lives. They make films, produce plays and works of art that inspire us.

To ensure our graduates are viewed as exceptional in the marketplace, we immerse students in the most innovative environment that we can provide. One way is through a vast array of entrepreneurship opportunities across campus, including a cross-campus Certificate in Entrepreneurship developed for students of all majors, from chemistry to theater. It is offered through the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship in the Leeds School of Business.

The Deming Center also gives students a host of entrepreneurial opportunities in a number of transformational industry sectors such as bioscience, clean energy and organic business.

Additionally, we offer entrepreneurial programs and certificates through specific colleges such as engineering and music, and through our Residential Academic Programs like the new Sustainable by Design RAP at Williams Village North.

It’s no wonderPayscale.comrates CU-Boulder as one of the nation’s top schools for mid-career salaries this year and a perennial leader in early-career salaries.

Certainly there’s more value in a degree from CU-Boulder than just workforce marketability. Critical thinking, civil discourse, problem solving and civic engagement are all important parts of the CU learning experience. But the fact that a CU degree is highly regarded in the labor market is something we can all prize.

Philip P. DiStefano is chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder. This essay originally appeared in the Nov. 2 edition of the Colorado Daily.

November 2011

 

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