PULLMAN, Wash.–More than 60 high-tech companies want to court Washington State University students from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the hallways of College of Engineering and Architecture’s Dana Hall.
The increased demand for display space — double last year’s — reflects the intensely competitive job market in the Pacific Northwest for people to fill a growing number of high-tech positions in manufacturing, computing, software and aerospace industries. This more targeted high-tech fair dovetails with the combined all-university Career Fair for WSU and U of I to be held in Beasley Coliseum Oct. 2.
This year’s College of Engineering and Architecture Career Fair will fill several floors of Dana Hall, located on Spokane Street. Participating companies include architecture and construction, microelectronics, wireless communications, chemical, energy, manufacturing, and materials engineering firms. Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Weyerhaeuser, ARCO, Boise Cascade, IBM, Intel, two national laboratories, several government agencies, and even the FBI are some of the returning visitors.
“Recruiting efforts right now are intense,” said Tom Shannon, WSU liaison at Hewlett-Packard at Liberty Lake. “My rough guess is that there are two jobs for every graduating engineer this year. The biggest demand is for computer scientists — but there were 192,000 positions for entry-level college graduates in general that went unfilled in the nation last spring.”
The event, sponsored by the college’s student coordinating council, has been helping introduce students to companies since the 1980s. As many as 500 students are expected to attend.
Laurie Swift, recruiter last year from Microsoft, suggested students know what they want in terms of a job, do some research on the web about the companies they talk to, and have their particular skills and interests listed on their resumes.
Other industry recruiters say they seek new talent, people with high-tech skills, good grades, enthusiasm about technology, good communication skills, motivated hard workers and team players. “We’re looking for potential hires with initiative, self-managment, flexibility, a desire to learn, and who are excited about the product or the work that in some way helps other people or industries,” says Steve Moen, quality engineer for ATL of Bothell.