As the Class of 2021 begins its final semester, graduating students across the country face the worst job market in decades. But at Bryant, students are in unprecedented high demand due to the University’s distinctive real-world ready education. The Bryant experience delivers intellectual growth while preparing graduates to contribute productively on their first day on the job.
“That real-world connection is exactly why Bryant graduates are in high demand now, even in a weak labor market, and why they succeed and earn one of the highest starting salaries in the country.”
Employers are vying for graduates equipped with the critical skills Bryant graduates develop through their course work and campus life. These comprise core 21st century business skills including finance, accounting, data analytics, information systems, digital marketing, communication and design-thinking.
Record numbers of employment opportunities have been posted by the Bryant Amica Center for Career Education for Bryant’s class of 2021, with more than 800 jobs posted in January alone. Jeff Selingo’s Wall Street Journal op-ed explains why. What Selingo suggests for all of higher education is precisely Bryant’s strength, placing our graduates in the top 2% nationally for return on investment in higher education (ROI).
“Providing students, regardless of their major, with the skills that employers are seeking should be part of every academic department’s curriculum,” writes Selingo, adding that “a psychology major who acquires data analysis skills through research or internships can unlock more than 100,000 additional entry-level jobs paying on average $60,000, versus $39,000 for psychology majors overall.”
“At Bryant, students expand their intellectual interests while exploring career paths and preparing to contribute in their jobs on Day 1 after graduating. These goals are not mutually exclusive but rather mutually dependent."
Selingo’s research, and that of many other labor market experts, has identified that breaking into the job market after college is much less about the prestige of where graduates were educated than it is about the skills they possess and how prepared they are to be effective in their first professional placement. In addition, if graduates are delayed in securing post-college employment or place poorly they suffer with depressed earnings throughout their lifetime. These findings highlight the importance of Bryant’s focus on real-world ready education for today’s economy and the labor market expected over the next decades.
Since the University’s integrated business and liberal arts curriculum was introduced in 2004, Bryant has been a national leader in preparing students with the combination of skills employers need now. Advanced technical and analytical studies, applied research and experiential learning are interwoven into the undergraduate curriculum so Bryant students develop skills many of their peers acquire only through postgraduate study.
“To ensure that students receive a strong return on their education investment, higher education must forge strong alignment with labor market and societal needs and business skill requirements,” said Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D., an economist, management educator and frequent business and government policy advisor. “That real-world connection is exactly why Bryant graduates are in high demand now, even in a weak labor market, and why they succeed and earn one of the highest starting salaries in the country.”
For 2019, Bryant graduates earned a median starting salary of $60,000, with 99% employed or in graduate school within six months of commencement. Every student graduates with both a major and a minor, combining business with the liberal arts, and every student benefits from practicum experiences that put theory into action. These experiences begin as early as Bryant’s nationally recognized Innovation and Design Experience for All (IDEA) program for all first-year students.
“It matters to both students and their families that college graduates are real-world ready and have a well-paying job with strong career advancement opportunities after commencement,” said Bryant University Provost Glenn Sulmasy. “At Bryant, students expand their intellectual interests while exploring career paths and preparing to contribute in their jobs on Day 1 after graduating. These goals are not mutually exclusive but rather mutually dependent. This is what we do at Bryant University as a matter of course. It is what distinguishes Bryant from every other school in the nation."