UW-Stout grads finding success entering the workforce - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW-Stout grads finding success entering the workforce

Menomonie (WQOW) - 

When UW-Stout grads receive their diplomas this weekend, they'd better be ready to work. The university boasted a 97% placement rate last year, and in some majors, every graduate was hired.

20 majors had a 100% placement rate last year, including Information Technology Management. There were 16 grads, and all 16 have a job related to that major. The average salary is $48,000. We asked the school how it has reached such high numbers.

"Students are really interested in becoming animators, cinema artists, illustrators," said Kevin Pontuti, UW- Stout Entertainment Design Program Director.

They may have different dream jobs. But these stout students have at least one thing in common. They're chances of finding employment are exceptional.

"It would be Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Those are fields right now that have great demand, and we have many employers right now that are hiring from those programs," said Dr. Amy Lane, UW-Stout Career Services Director.

Last year, there were 20 different undergraduate majors that had 100% post-graduate employment.

"We provide a really hands-on kind of learning experience for the students, which really prepares them with real-world, kind of professional projects," said Pontuti.

One thing the school does is sign up students for co-op programs, where students earn credit while working at a company. It helped entertainment design students see the demands of the industry.

"The students were assigned a project by the Jim Henson Studios that they worked on here for two weeks under their supervision. And then went out and pitched the projects to the Jim Henson Studio in Los Angeles," Pontuti explained.

The co-ops aren't mandatory for every student, but it's a type of learning the school strongly supports.

"We encourage them to do one as well, even if it's not required. One of the things I think our students understand is they're going to compete with everyone out there, including their classmates. And they need to set their skills apart," Lane added.

Last year, UW-Stout had close to 1,000 students in a co-op program.

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