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RIT ranks No. 3 among preferred colleges for aerospace, defense

Rochester Business Journal
September 4, 2012

Rochester Institute of Technology ranks third among schools that companies prefer when recruiting and hiring for the aerospace and defense industries, the annual workforce study by Aviation Week found.

Aviation Week studied schools to find the ones most likely to supply science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent needed for the future, RIT officials noted. The survey looked at a few key areas: the preferred, go-to schools for hiring quality grads; the universities where aerospace and defense hired the most graduates; and the schools young professionals believe give them the edge in being hired and being promoted.

Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Purdue University ranked first and second, in the “Go-to Universities” category, followed by RIT tied for third with University of Maryland.

“This is a significant testimonial to our graduates, which is delivered directly from aerospace and defense leaders who are in need of talented and skilled workers,” said William Destler, RIT president. “It demonstrates that our graduates are exceptionally prepared to meet the demanding needs of the industry, a vital innovative sector of the U.S. economy.”

Aerospace and defense corporations expect to hire 28,000 positions next year, Aviation Week found.

Employers consistently note the quality of RIT students and the academic preparation received within the engineering, engineering technology and computing areas, university officials noted.

Students in the mechanical engineering-aerospace option are particularly in demand, said Manny Contomanolis, associate vice president and director at RIT’s Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services.

“Of particular value to the employer is the ability to recruit and hire students through RIT’s mandatory cooperative education program,” Contomanolis says. “Employers have early access to student-talent which they can then further develop and bring into the company when students complete their degrees. More than half of RIT’s co-op students will accept an offer of full-time employment from one of their co-op employers.”

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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