May 19-25, 2000
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Sullivan Award winners show deep commitment to caring
Here's the youngest 'Hoo
Wagner exemplifies value of mentoring

Rector unearths love for human evolution

Dyslexia forced graduate to create own path for success
Boiler passes a special test
Already a pioneering online journalist, graduate plans to take on TV reporting
Student's mentoring program takes root
Medical student with passion for public health earns second master's degree
Groundskeeper has watched U.Va. and its landscape grow
Help wanted: not just for high-tech fields, but for teaching jobs, too
BUCKS' vision to give back to community will continue
Watson discovers teaching and takes history to the Web
Seeing double
Heard's degree painted with broad strokes
May graduate's dream shows how education transforms lives

Help wanted: not just for high-tech fields, but for teaching jobs, too

By Ida Lee Wootten

Facing 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.

In 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.

"Making 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.

But 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.

Many 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 jobs.

Students 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 experiential programs.

Specific 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.

"Recruiters 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 for training."

U.Va. graduates are well-prepared for these challenges.


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