Speaking to how well Alfred State College (ASC) prepares students for that next step after graduation, the college has achieved an employment and continuing education rate of 99 percent for the eighth straight year.
“Since our founding, Alfred State has focused on career preparedness,” said Deborah Goodrich, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “There’s a national debate about the value of a college education with critics arguing that some degrees don’t align with employment opportunities. We believe the answer is to offer majors with hands-on experience matching in-demand jobs. By working closely with employers, we identify workforce needs and help our students gain the skills needed to launch their careers.”
A survey of 2016 graduates determined that 99 percent of respondents have either secured employment after earning their degree from Alfred State or are continuing their education for another degree. Of those 99 percent, 65 percent are employed, while 34 percent are pursing advanced degrees. Of the 65 percent who have a job, 94 percent of them are employed in their chosen field.
Elaine Morsman, director of Career Development, noted that ASC students are in high demand for jobs.
“The average number of active jobs in our JobLink database on any given day over the past two years has been 550-plus. There is a long line of companies eager to hire our graduates, with our employer database now over 5,000 employers strong,” she said.
Additionally, big-name employers travel to Alfred State’s campuses to attract top talent for their workforce, including San Francisco-based Cisco Meraki; Balfour Beatty; Corning, Inc.; Anheuser-Busch; Main Drilling and Blasting; and Tesla. Companies eagerly seek Alfred State students, offering them jobs and many paid internships that turn into full-time jobs. Some notable companies where Pioneers have found careers include Fisher-Price, Walt Disney World, and The Hershey Company, among numerous others.
Over the past several years, Morsman said, word of the value and effectiveness of Alfred State’s career fairs has spread among students, faculty, and employers. For example, in the fall 2012 semester, 34 employers came to the Wellsville Career Fair, and 37 employers attended the one on the Alfred campus, with 63 total unique employers for both fairs.
In the fall 2017 semester, however, both of those totals had risen substantially, as the Wellsville Career Fair brought in 68 employers, while 85 employers came to the Alfred Career Fair, for a total of 129 unique employers attending – crushing the record of 109 for last year’s fall recruitment.
“I often receive calls from recruiters who state that a colleague in their industry told them about the Alfred State career fairs and suggest that they start attending,” Morsman said. “On the student side, we see a steady flow of students stopping by for a résumé critique and to pick up a stack of complimentary résumé paper that we offer. One student who dropped in for résumé paper asked if there was a limit, since he planned to connect with 30 employers at the Alfred campus fair.”
And not only do employers support ASC students through jobs and internships, they also provide equipment to give students real-world experience working with the latest technology in their fields. Recent examples include Pierce Steel donating steel for student classwork in the welding program, and Monroe Tractor donating heavy equipment machinery.
Many ASC majors traditionally have more employers ready to hire than there are available graduates. A list of these in-demand degrees is available at www.AlfredState.edu/more-jobs.
As for students looking to further their education, Alfred State’s programs provide a seamless transition for pursuing advanced degrees. Some Pioneers choose to continue their education at other SUNY institutions, University of Rochester, Syracuse University, Cornell University, or dozens of other schools across the country.
“Alfred State is doing its part to ensure that students are well prepared for that next step after graduation, whether it’s continuing in a higher degree program or having a job lined up as soon as they have that diploma in hand,” Morsman said. “Students are at the heart of everything we do here at Alfred State, and our ultimate goal is to prepare them to succeed.”