Students Flock to Arkansas Engineering Programs

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 12:00 am  

Eric Sandgren

He also said that the current students weren’t like those of 10 to 15 years ago.

“While this generation is probably the best user of technology, it’s not like they really want to develop it,” he said. Sandgren said he wanted the graduates to create the next Acxiom Corp. or other information-based companies.

There’s a targeted push from Gov. Mike Beebe to increase the number of graduates with degrees in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, Sandgren said. “He sees that as the future of the state’s economy.”

One troubling trend Martin noted is the high student-loan debt carried by UA’s graduating students.

The average cost for tuition and room and board for an undergraduate resident at the UA is $16,225 for the current school year.

Sandgren, however, said a number of UALR students take advantage of scholarships and work during the year, so they have little or no debt when they graduate.

And when the students do complete their degrees, most of them are finding jobs.

Between 80 and 100 percent of Fayetteville’s undergraduate engineering students and nearly all of its graduate students find jobs, Martin said.

UALR’s students also have a high rate of success in landing jobs after graduation, including at companies such as Google or Facebook, Sandgren said. And a high percentage of the graduates end up working for Arkansas companies, he said.

“The job market has been good,” Martin said.



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