Kettering engineering students say job prospects are good - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Kettering engineering students say job prospects are good

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(08/24/12) - While the state's unemployment rate remains high, there's one field that is hiring. If you have an engineering degree, your chances of finding work are good.

Three years ago, the job market for engineering students was bleak. The auto industry and related businesses were laying off engineers. But all that has changed.

"We had a career fair here within the past month that was literally a sell out," said Kip Darcy, Kettering University vice president for marketing and communications.

Matt Birt of Urbana, Ohio will graduate from Kettering in four weeks with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He plans to go to grad school but knows there are plenty of jobs out there if he wanted one.

"I understood the industry would recover. It's part of a free-market economy. It's cyclical and I knew that it would change," Birt said.

And when the engineering students graduate, chance are they'll be well compensated by their new employers.

"The average salary for our students is between $60,000 and $80,000, plus bonuses," Darcy said.

"Mechanical engineers are in especially high demand," Birt said.

In a lab here on campus, Kettering students are learning the fundamentals of a jet engine. Employers love it when candidates for a job have practical experience like this.

Kettering students spend half of their college years on campus and half working in their field of study, called co-op jobs. Three years ago co-op jobs were scarce. But not anymore.

"We now have more co-op jobs available than students to fill them," Birt said.

Engineering students say they are often contacted by recruiters with job offers. And with the recovery of the auto industry, there are hundreds of engineering job openings in southeast Michigan.

"Companies are hungry for experienced and eager talent that's well educated," Darcy said.

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