“From my perspective, the demand has never been greater,” Dean Louis Martin-Vega of NC State University’s College of Engineering says in the accompanying video.
Martin-Vega describes how 400 companies now come to the College’s Career Fair twice a year – some of them represented by alumni who’ve been told: “Go back and find more of you.”
He highlights the link between investments in engineering and computer science and economic impact.
“Wealth creation requires manufacturing, the making of products – which includes software,” he says.
The College has 8,000 to 10,000 applicants every year for 1,400 slots, the dean says. That’s in part because the rigorous engineering curriculum is a tremendous platform for graduates to launch careers even as business executives, patent attorneys or doctors.
Starting salaries for baccalaureate graduates range from the $60,000-70,000 to even $90,000 or more for nuclear engineers, Martin-Vega says. (NC State is one of a very few universities with a nuclear reactor on campus.) Healthy salaries make graduates better able to pay off student debts, he notes.
Martin-Vega says NC State’s planned Engineering Building Oval – a $150 million project for which voters approved $75 million in bonds in March – will be critical to its efforts to train more engineers.
“It’s much more than a building. We’re talking about, really, the future of the College and the future of NC State,” he says.
“People are the most important, but you’re not going to have the best people unless you provide them with the best tools.”