After members of the Rensselaer Class of 2017 cross the stage at the East Campus Athletic Village on May 20, they will fan out across the country and around the world to top universities and corporations to continue their education or begin their careers.

Many graduates will continue their studies after graduation, going to prestigious universities across the country. Among the schools graduates will be attending are Harvard University, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, and, of course, Rensselaer.

Graduates will be heading from the stage to offices and locations within the Capital Region, across the nation, and also overseas. The top reported employers to date that Rensselaer graduates will work for include: BAE Systems, Boeing, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, FactSet, GE, General Dynamics, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Regeneron, and United Technologies.

“Employers search for students with superior analytical and critical thinking skills, leadership and teamwork experience and an extensive technical skillset,” said Dawn Cairns-Weaver, associate director of the Rensselaer Center for Career and Professional Development. “Rensselaer students embody what corporations demand and they continue to be highly recruited and sought after, as evidenced by the vast group of companies that hire them. Our students graduate with experience in and outside of the classroom, which sets them apart in their job search and allows them to immediately make significant contributions.”

Hires in the healthcare software industry were notably strong, Cairns-Weaver noted, with students going to Epic, athenahealth, and UnitedHealth/Optum.

The value of experience prior to graduation is evident, Cairns-Weaver said, as students who have participated in Rensselaer’s co-op program continue to be in high demand. Co-ops have worked everywhere from Apple to Hasbro to SpaceX, have conducted research in national labs, and have also created successful start-up ventures.

Today’s job market continues to look positive for members of the Class of 2017. Rensselaer graduates continue to command higher starting salaries when compared to national averages published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). The average salary for undergraduate students receiving a bachelor’s degree is approximately $69,000, a slight increase above the previous year. Graduate-level salaries are averaging approximately $78,000, while Ph.D. candidates pursuing careers in industry reported salaries averaging over $102,000.