Megan O’Rourke, Associate Director of Career Services
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
3:09 – Total Time
0:16 – Hiring Graduates
0:39 – Salaries
1:27 – Hot Career Areas
2:29 – Employment Trends
2:58 – Lead Out
Sevie Kenyon: What comes after college education? We’re visiting today with Megan O’Rourke, Associate Director of Career Services, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Megan, are people hiring our college graduates?
Megan O’Rourke: Yeah, absolutely all the research that’s out there right now that’s coming out is that hiring across the United States for entry level candidates is up, the employers feel very good about their outlook to be able to hire undergraduates and the salaries are up a little bit too.
Sevie Kenyon: You mentioned money, what kind of salaries are we talking about these graduates getting?
Megan O’Rourke: Sure, so across the board, across the United States in all industries employers are reporting an ability to increase starting salaries about four to five percent over last year’s salaries. A little more specifically within colleges are graduates within sciences and agricultural degrees we’re seeing salaries on the high end of around $53,000 for students in those biological engineering degrees all the way, maybe on the lower end around $33,000 in some of those entry level biological sciences, kind of those lab technician type of positions that we see.
Sevie Kenyon: And Megan, give us a little snap shot out of what’s hot and what’s not.
Megan O’Rourke: Yeah, so I would say some of the hot areas of course are going to be in the biological engineering in the technology fields so when we think about computer science but within the sciences and agriculture those types of jobs are going to bring more on the higher side of the scale usually over $50,000 for starting wages and then you look at ag economics, agriculture business, are going to be in those high to mid $40s range and food scientists are going to be a little bit in the higher range as well here.
Sevie Kenyon: Megan, we talked about agriculture, what do we see with degrees in agronomy, horticulture, soil science, plant pathologies?
Megan O’Rourke: So students who are graduating with bachelors of science in the plant sciences have fantastic job opportunities but if they see themselves going on even after working for a few years and getting a masters or Ph.D. in plant genetics there are a plethora of job opportunities for them.
Sevie Kenyon: Megan, what are some of the surprises you see in the employment trends?
Megan O’Rourke: I think that one interesting thing is that students that are interested in the environmental sciences, wildlife biology, those areas some of the salaries are increasing in those areas. As consumers and as people living in society we are very much concerned about sustainability and environmental protection and we’re starting to see a reflection in the value of those jobs.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Megan O’Rourke, Associate Director of Career Services University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.