Placement of Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Grads at Record High

Placement rates for graduates of the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have soared to new heights reaching a record-breaking 99.2 percent according to College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services Office.

A survey of graduates from the 2016-2017 academic year completed by the CALS Career Services Office, revealed that 99.2 percent of respondents had a job, plans of furthering their education, or military obligations within six months following last year’s commencement. The college’s prior placement rate was 97.8 percent and has ranged from 96.7 – 99.2 percent throughout the past decade.

Mike Gaul, director of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services, attributes the high placement rate to the quality of graduates.

“Employers really value the quality of our academic programs and students. The large number of companies at our fall career day is a testament to these qualities,” said Gaul.

Achieving this high rate has been in the works for several years.

“Since 2005, the college has grown its enrollment and is now the third largest program in the nation. This extra effort in recruitment was in response to our partners who predicted increasing demand for top talent in the food, agriculture, environment and life sciences fields,” said David Acker, associate dean for academic and global programs.

With tuition rates on the rise, this high placement rate sends a strong signal to prospective students wanting to pursue a career in the agricultural and life sciences fields.

“Our placement rate of 99.2 percent means that our students will see a return on their investment of time and money,” said Acker.

Gaul predicts placement rates will remain high for the college.

“There is truly no better time to be a CALS student,” said Gaul.

Nichole Wilson, a recent graduate in animal science, accepted a job with Pig Improvement Company (PIC) as an account manager in the sales division. She was able to get into contact with PIC through Gaul and the Career Services Office.

“Had I not made the connection with Mike by using the Career Services Office, I would not be where I am today,” Wilson said.

For Wilson, along with many other CALS students, preparation for employment began early.

“Right away freshman year, we are pushed to begin building solid resumes through obtaining internships as well as becoming active in departmental clubs. Because of this preparation, CALS students immediately have a step up in the interview process,” said Wilson. “A placement rating of 99.2 percent places a comprehendible value on the college.”