How is it that, during a pandemic and in the midst of one of the worst jobs markets in recent history, business students from Stevens Institute of Technology still get the jobs they want — and at record salaries?
“You can have a bunch of numbers and it means nothing unless you are able to create some meaningful analysis behind it,” said Liu, who graduated at the top of his class in May. “That’s one thing my classes have given me — the ability to extrapolate valuable information from data.”
The numbers in the career outcomes report for the School of Business Class of 2020 tell quite a story by themselves. Six months after commencement, 94 percent of graduates accepted job offers, enrolled in graduate school or are traveling. Those who accepted job offers are earning an average salary of $78,000 — despite the pandemic, an increase of more than $1,000 over last year.
For Prof. Joelle Saad-Lessler, associate dean of the undergraduate division, this year’s outcomes are further evidence of the value analytics adds to the curriculum.
“The kinds of tech-focused skills we’re teaching are no longer the kind of thing you’re expected to learn on the job — you’re expected to know them during your interview,” Dr. Saad-Lessler said. “We have close relationships with industry, thanks to our location across from New York City, and employers know when they hire a Stevens graduate, they’re bringing on a hard worker with a thirst for learning and a strong perspective on technology.”
That was certainly true of Justin Trugman ’20, who took a number of courses in computer science as part of his Business & Technology major. He’s now a software engineer at telemedicine startup Caregility.
“Stevens gave me a good balance of business and technology from the get go,” Trugman said. “And there are so many opportunities outside the classroom to further develop your technical skills, so you graduate ready for a changing workplace.”
Even the travelers are looking forward to entering the job market. Devon Leslie ’20 graduated early so she could take a gap year to travel. That’s been limited by the pandemic, but Leslie, who also finished at the top of her class, is still excited to eventually start her career in marketing.
“The data and analytical component of my Stevens coursework helped justify my ideas, especially during a presentation,” she said of her internship experience with Ketchum, a global public relations firm in New York. “You can better make your case, because you have real data points to back you up. And once your idea goes into action, you can use that same data and those metrics to report back and say ‘it worked,’ or ‘we need to pivot.’”
Some other highlights for the Class of 2020:
- Graduates of the Quantitative Finance program posted a 98 percent outcomes rate; those who accepted employment are working for an average of $80,800. That’s up substantially from the Class of 2019 QF average of $77,000.
- More students opted for graduate school, unsurprising amid economic uncertainty. For the Class of 2019, 11 percent of students enrolled in advanced degree programs; for this year’s graduates, the number jumped to 24 percent.
- Across the Stevens ecosystem, 29 percent of all students who accepted employment did so in the finance industry. This number has grown substantially as the industry seeks more students with STEM skills — it was 22 percent for the Class of 2019 and 17 percent two years ago.