Companies Target High Tech at Career Fair

By Dennis Walikainen | Published

Interviewing with Target at last spring's Career Fair.
Interviewing with Target at last spring's Career Fair.

“High tech.”

That was Jim Turnquist’s simple answer to what companies are looking for at this spring’s Career Fair at Michigan Technological University.

“The jobs, now and into the future, will be focused on technology, science and math,” said the director of Career Services, discussing the Career Fair taking place Tuesday, Feb. 18, noon to 6 p.m. at the Student Development Complex.

Some 217 companies are coming. In comparison, a job fair near Detroit is attracting 50-something companies to their event.

“We can attract employers to Houghton because we have the majors they want,” he said. “We are a target school for them.” Starting salaries seem to reinforce that fact, many in the $70,000 range, and internships and co-ops remain popular, he added.

The most popular majors for recruiters—mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and civil engineering—all produce grads with high-tech expertise.  Computer-focused majors are also in high demand.

“We have the technology in the classroom,” he says. “We are teaching differently, moving graduates in that direction.”

Companies new and old are coming to the Career Fair: Titan International, Epic, Ford (“focused on IT this time”), DENSO, Bosch. “Automotive is really bouncing back,” said Turnquist. Energy, too, is hiring. And one more skill set can’t be overlooked.

“Communication skills,” he said. "They add value to a company and increase your chances in a job market. Of course, communication is full of technology now, too.”

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.