not just for high-tech fields, but for teaching jobs, too
By Ida Lee Wootten
teacher shortages, school districts engaged in more aggressive,
early efforts to snare spring gradu- ates than in previous years,
according to U.Va.'s Career
Services Office. Other hot majors this year included anything
in the technical/financial area, such as accounting, economics,
information technology, finance, computer science, management
information systems and systems engineering.
To accommodate schools' need to hire teacher education graduates,
the Career Services Office set up an extra day for recruiters
from about 100 schools in 12 states to interview candidates they
met at the Feb. 29 job fair. Prospective teachers in special education,
mathematics, science and foreign languages have been particularly
in demand, said Gigi Davis-White, an assistant director in career
services who works with students in the Curry School of Education.
an effort to secure qualified graduates in such high-demand fields,
many districts have extended contract offers -- with beginning
salaries in the $40,000 range and signing bonuses -- to May graduates
with master's degrees.
large numbers of early offers was unheard-of until last year,"
said Davis-White. "The demand for teachers is exceptionally strong
throughout the Maryland-Virginia-Washington, D.C. area. Demand
is also very high in North Carolina."
Systems engineering and computer science are two of the most sought-after
majors within U.Va.'s School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Graduating engineering students report multiple job offers from
telecommunications companies, consulting firms, financial institutions
and manufacturing firms in the aerospace, automotive, chemical
and electrical fields.
not just engineers are needed for the new high-tech fields.
"Information technology consulting is such a hot new field
that IT firms are actively recruiting students majoring in English
and government and foreign affairs, partly because graduates in
computer-related fields are scarce," said Sloane Akos, recruiting
coordinator in the Career Services Office.
early job offers are also being extended to students completing
internships. Recognizing that internships offer a good way to
identify fresh talent, companies are getting student interns early
in their academic careers, then making earlier offers of permanent
with majors in commerce, English, cognitive science, math and
biology appear to be especially successful in securing early job
offers through internships, according to Hilary Kerner, extern
coordinator in the Career Services Office, who is in charge of
job skills that recruiters seek in U.Va. students are leadership,
critical thinking, good communications, organization, an understanding
of team collaboration and the ability to carry a full load.
want students with a good understanding of what the job entails
and realistic expectations of what they will be doing," said
Tom Fitch, director of Commerce Career Services. "They also
want graduates who will hit the ground running, with little need
U.Va. graduates are well-prepared for these challenges.