Helping Rensselaer Students Plan for Future Careers

Troy, N.Y. — According to the recent National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2017 survey, hiring for U.S. openings is expected to be relatively flat. Employers indicated plans to hire 5.8 percent more new graduates during 2016-17 than they did in 2015-16 for their U.S. operations. This news comes just as the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hosted 16th annual Spring Career Fair Feb. 8, in the Alumni Sports and Recreations Center (Armory).

According to NACE, the current projection is in line with final projections employers reported for last year’s graduates in the Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update survey. While employers initially anticipated hiring 11 percent more Class of 2016 college graduates, they ended the cycle instead with a 5.2 percent increase.

“The mission of the CCPD is to be a catalyst in the development of Rensselaer students to become world leaders in a technologically based global economy,” said Dawn Cairns-Weaver, associate director and director of experiential learning and cooperative education. “Beyond planning the annual Career Fair, our goals are to provide programs and services to assist students with their future career plans. The fair is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase Rensselaer’s talented and diverse students across all our academic programs. Additionally, the Career Fair allowed employers to seek out candidates for internships, co-ops, and full-time opportunities. We were pleased to host 154 companies and introduce them to the over 2,000 Rensselaer undergraduate and graduate students who attend the event this year.”

In an effort to literally place the “power to prepare for the fair in the hands of Rensselaer students,” the CCPD once again offered a full-feature iPhone, iPad, and Android app. The Career Fair+ App, launched four ago, provides students with instant access to all of the important information they would need for the Career Fair, including a map, employer profiles, the type of positions employers are recruiting for, and tips for success.

The CCPD Spring Career Fair attracts employers from across the country. This year, 70 employers that participated in the fair hail from New York state, including several Capital Region-based companies. Of special note, while eight local start-up companies participated in the fair, seven of them have are affiliated with the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship in the Lally School of Management. In addition, several companies were from areas of the Northeast. During the fair, Rensselaer undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to meet and talk with nearly 400 representatives and alumni/ae from public- and private-sector employers.

Some participating companies included: Advanced Automation Technologies, Aetna, AMRI, BBL Hospitality, Beardsley Architects+Engineers, Bentley Systems, Bloomberg, Blue Sky Studios, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Central Intelligence Agency, CHA Consulting, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Emagination Computer Camps, FactSet Research Systems Inc., GE, GlobalFoundries, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Los Alamos National Laboratory, MathWorks, Mitre Corporation, New York State Department of Transporation, nfrastructure, Optum, a UnitedHealth Group Company, Pitney Bowes Inc., Price Chopper Supermarkets, Raytheon, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Saab Defense and Security, USA, LLC, Saint-Gobain, The Blackstone Group, The Nature’s Bounty Co., Trane, Troy Innovation Garage, Update Concierge Medicine, Vital Vio, Wayfair, X-Ray Optical Systems Inc.

The fair is designed to help students think ahead to potential full-time, co-op, internship, or summer employment opportunities. Students from all five schools at Rensselaer are encouraged to attend. After attending the Career Fair, the CCPD encourages students to follow up with employers and register to attend the many employer information sessions that take place throughout the spring semester.

Cairns-Weaver noted that the goal of the Center for Career and Professional Development is to provide students with outstanding career services and access to resources and opportunities to enhance their Rensselaer experience and plan for their future.

The annual spring Career Fair exemplifies facets of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer. The New Polytechnic emphasizes and supports collaboration across disciplines, sectors, and regions to address the great global challenges of our day, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 85 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to