Aug. 28, 2012

Contact: Amy Hewes

Cal Poly Named Nation’s Go-To University for Recruitment
of Highly Skilled Aerospace and Defense Workers

SAN LUIS OBISPO – The job readiness of Cal Poly graduates has landed the school atop the rankings in Aviation Week’s Workforce Study of “go-to” universities. Aviation Week and Space Technology’s annual study has been a mainstay for aerospace and defense (A&D) industry recruitment, planning and trend analysis since 1997.

It is the second consecutive year that Cal Poly has been named No. 1, though the rankings were divided into three categories this year.

New for the 2012 study, Aviation Week used three lenses to examine the schools most likely to supply the science, technology, engineering and math talent needed for the future. Categories included: industry’s preferred schools for recruiting; the universities that produced the greatest number of A&D job placements; and the schools that young professionals believe gave them an edge in being hired and promoted.

In that order, the trio of schools at the top includes Cal Poly, Iowa State University and Georgia Institute of Technology.

“‘Go to’ so aptly encapsulates our graduates’ ability to ‘go do,’ ” said Debra Larson, dean of Cal Poly Engineering. “The ranking validates the university’s Learn by Doing paradigm in real world terms – and by an industry sector that’s at the fore of the future. We are immensely proud to be recognized as a leading resource for highly skilled graduates who are trained, ready and inspired to help take these industries to new levels.”

According to Aviation Week, a major concern among industry respondents is the lack of high-level knowledge and experience needed for many positions in A&D: “(There’s) the need for people who can dream and create; develop new technologies, products and services; and connect the dots between what is possible and anticipate the next need.”

Those needs, said Larson, “are the very areas in which Cal Poly graduates excel.”

Graduates agree. In addition to its standing among recruiters, Cal Poly won high marks from recent grads, placing third among schools considered to have “made a difference” in young professionals’ career success.

2012 University Rankings:

Corporate Preference
1. Cal Poly
2. Purdue University
3. University of Maryland and Rochester Institute of Technology
4. Georgia Institute of Technology
5. Virginia Tech

By Number Hired
1. Iowa State University
2. University of Washington
3. Purdue University
4. University of Iowa and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Young Professionals’ Perceived Value to Career
1. Georgie Institute of Technology
2. Purdue University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and Virginia Tech
3. Cal Poly
4. Penn State University
5. Brigham young University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

The 2012 Workforce Study was produced by Aviation Week in collaboration with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA), and National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).

For more information, visit Aviation Week Study Ranks Universities.

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