Pathways and Networks to Career Success
A full 96 percent of our last graduating class is employed, with an average starting salary of $52,500, according to our latest one-year-out survey. Such post-graduation success is no outlier; impressive employment statistics are a steady trend at the School of Business, the result of a school-wide strategy for continual career development that puts our students on a pathway to great career outcomes.
Exposure to the professional world begins in the first year, through both general opportunities (business leaders are frequent guests at on-campus lectures and panel discussions) and discipline-specific initiatives (a semester-long accounting colloquium surveys the field and connects students with accounting professionals). Events such as our twice-yearly career fairs, corporate-sponsored case competitions, and the dean’s breakfast with corporate leaders, among others, sustain long-term relationships between the school and our students’ potential employers.
Strong alumni networks reap big rewards for students, too. Our alumni come back to campus to participate in class projects and recruit for positions with their companies; they also host our students in professional settings, from tours of Wall Street to forums in the New York headquarters of international firms. Many of our students start their professional networks through connections with alumni.
Nearly 80 percent of our students complete at least one internship or co-op experience, proof of the strength of our career development efforts and the effectiveness of the TCNJ Career Center. Additional support is provided by our own student development specialist, a staff member dedicated to guiding business students to the course selections and professional opportunities that support their career goals.
All this is built on the framework of a practice-based, forward-paced business curriculum that has earned the School of Business recognition as one of the top 35 undergraduate business schools in the nation.
An Education Built for Business Today
The TCNJ business curriculum equips students with a broad understanding across all major business disciplines, a deep expertise in a specialized business major, and an intellectual flexibility and lifelong commitment to continual learning.
This knowledge is delivered through practice-based learning that reflects the realities of the business world. Through our Financial Learning Center and Tax Audit Lab, for example, students gain hands-on experience with the tools and technologies used by economists, auditors, and finance professionals. Team-based projects—sometimes for community clients—produce viable business plans or professional-quality deliverables, from budget projections to policy recommendations to multiplatform media campaigns.
Experiences that shape professional ethics and attitudes—a leadership role in a student organization, or an independent research project in a capstone course—are critical components of a TCNJ business education. That’s because business today places an extraordinary emphasis on the individual. Employers expect what TCNJ delivers: a workforce that is self-directed, tied into interconnected communities and networks, and proactive about learning new things and building new skills.
Our graduates tell us, again and again, that the business-first professionalism of their TCNJ educations—in skills, knowledge, and attitude—made them well poised for the real world, ready to hit the ground running from day one.
Steps to Success: A Message from Dean Bill Keep
Success comes with the growth and development of our young men and women as they gain valuable skills, confidence, and a foundational understanding of key business concepts. Faculty expertise and course-based learning provide the necessary business foundation. Internships, interactions with alumni and other business professionals, and student leadership initiatives through student organizations and community engagement further develop each student’s understanding of the social context within which successful careers are created.
Naturally, this takes time as each student creates a set of accomplishments and experiences that become their unique story. Employers look for students who have made the effort to create such a story. Students are encouraged not only to build something they are proud of but also to seek support and assistance. Faculty and staff throughout TCNJ work to help students learn more about the world around them, highlight career opportunities, and build understanding and skills. Students do their part by taking advantage of opportunities and accessing all the helpful resources we offer to support a business education.