Penn State’s press Release Site had an interesting little tidbit about the success of the IST job placement program.
While the average salary for students who will graduate in May 2005 has increased to $55,000, signing bonuses have skyrocketed to $8,000 — a 400-percent jump from previous year’s bonuses, Knight said.
“These are preliminary numbers as a lot of students have offers with deadlines in December,” said Knight who will survey students again in February. “And we have heard from a lot of companies — some new and some who have established relationships with IST — still looking to hire IST graduates.”
What are these students getting hired to do? I’ve taken a few IST classes and have interviewed many IST students for intern positions. As far as I can tell, most students don’t have enough programming knowledge to write semi-complex applications. You would think they would at least have a good background in systems administration, but most IST students are lacking in that department as well.
One common thread, I found with all the resumes of the IST candidates last year was a high GPA. Every IST candidate had 3.5+ GPA’s with at least one internship, yet none of them seemed to have a well rounded background in programming. I realize IST is not meant to be a programming school, but if you have a 3.7 GPA, you should have enough common sense to know that the job titled “Java programming Intern” is going to involve some degree of coding.
I’m guessing that the bulk of these high salary figures are coming from large corporations that are looking to higher college grads with high GPA’s. Most larger companies have such an intensive and thorough training process, that an incoming grad doesn’t need to have any prior knowledge of the job’s skill set. A high GPA proves that the student can be obedient and following instructions well. A good formula for success in a large bureaucracy.