“The fields of industry are strewn with the bones of those organisations whose leadership became infested with dry rot, who believed in taking instead of giving…who didn’t realise that the only assets that could not be replaced easily were the human ones.” – Le Roy H. Kurtz
Colleges have been collaborating with leaders of industry for well over a century, but according to a report from the Science|Business Innovation Board, the rise of a global knowledge economy has intensified the need for partnerships between business and higher education providers.
“World-class research universities are at the forefront of pioneering such partnerships,” notes the report. “They are designed to run longer, invest more, look farther ahead and hone the competitiveness of companies, universities and regions,” it adds. “In short, they transform the role of the research university for the 21st century, anchoring it as a vital centre of competence to help tackle social challenges and drive economic growth.”
When it comes to the development of cutting-edge and innovative technologies, there’s no doubt that colleges contribute invaluable resources towards the complex, and often ground-breaking process, including access to funding; access to the most current and thorough database; access to physical assets, like existing technologies and specialist project equipment; and much more. But in order to truly get the best out of new ideas and inventions, these institutions must work alongside leading industry figures to forge meaningful products and services in a mutually beneficial situation.
“While universities and industry have different missions and cultures, there are mutual benefits to these collaborations,” writes Rebecca O. Bagley, a contributor for Forbes. “Therefore, if both universities and industry are more creative and flexible when approaching collaborations it will lead to stronger results.
“From the university perspective,” she adds, “this can be accomplished through building a university-innovation ecosystem where campus policies encourage and reward industry collaborations. Ultimately, the goal is to foster an environment that supports innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.”
With many of today’s most in-demand employers, like Goldman Sachs and J. Walter Thompson, stating they consciously seek to hire graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit, and the majority of modern employers citing industry experience as the most desirable attribute among prospective hires, it’s clear that the best way to set yourself up for a long and successful career is to pursue an outstanding education at a university with unparalleled industry links.
Think you’ve got what it takes? Here are 5 U.S. colleges with excellent links to industry and pathways to employment…
Set on a vibrant, picturesque campus in the historic central Maryland city of Frederick lies Hood College, an independent liberal arts college that continues to exceed expectations. With its well-regarded faculty and caring support staff, the institution provides high-quality education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
As a diverse, intimate and inspiring learning environment, Hood College perfectly integrates the liberal arts with professional studies and experiential learning opportunities. Whole-heartedly committed to continuous improvement, comparative excellence and academic attainment, both the Hood’s current cohort and its expansive network of 2,300 global alumni hold the institution in increasingly high regard.
The College works collaboratively and strategically with powerful industry partners to strengthen student learning and enhance quality of life in the local region and beyond. Students work alongside experienced career center staff to secure meaningful volunteer positions, internships or even permanent work positions with one of more than 600 partner organisations in government, or private and non-profit industries throughout the U.S and the world.
Consistently seeking the curious and those committed to developing their leadership skills, Davidson College engages students in direct, original research and creative work across the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities. Both in and out of the classroom setting, Davidson is an institution renowned for its ability to cultivate student compassion, creativity, resilience, and moral courage.
As a testament to Davidson’s success in serving as a launch pad for graduate careers, around 80 percent of Davidson students study or work internationally during their College careers. Not only do these notable offerings allow graduates to thrive in a complex global society, they also allow students to impact communities in the most positive way.
Davidson’s Center for Career Development offers students a range of employment and industry opportunities, giving them the confidence to tackle problems head-on, and contribute to the working world on a local and global scale. Here, students can mould their academic prowess into a produtive career, with an expansive array of resources that can help them secure graduate degrees, internships and jobs.
With a history that spans almost two centuries, Middlebury College has earned its place among the most reputed liberal arts institutions in the U.S. In a lively residential community that boasts remarkable facilities, enriching co-curricular activities and outstanding student support, Middlebury College students are armed with the tools they need to thrive not just in academia, but in their careers.
A comprehensive range of initiatives provides a wealth of opportunities for engaged learning, where students develop their qualities and skills to prepare them for challenges they’re bound to meet in the future. To help make this happen – both on-campus and beyond – the College proactively supports creativity, engagement, and career preparation.
Middlebury’s career-centered facilities include: the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI) – preparing students for career exploration, from internships to graduate applications; the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) – allows students to pursue community collaborations; and the Center for Social Entrepreneurship – creating opportunities for students to become positive agents of change.
Haverford College is a leading liberal arts undergraduate college set just outside the buzz of Philadelphia. Known to offer a one-of-a-kind education, Haverford lets students become actively engaged with their learning, urging them to progress in the field of their choice as they shape a unique path to their future.
The Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA) at Haverford enables students and alumni to prepare for meaningful work. Students of the College consistently find jobs and internship positions by referrals from CareerConnect, or via campus interviews and career fairs, or even independent searches, or by networking with the institution’s expansive industry connections.
Haverford’s comfortable size allows it to provide a highly personalised and hands-on academic experience. Renowned Professors work alongside students to produce impactful research, all the while developing their analytical thinking skills, and encouraging them to break through boundaries with the potential to hold them back.
Founded more than 200 years ago, Hamilton College represents both the traditional and the progressive, teaching students to think independently and communicate effectively through an interdisciplinary programme that offers internships alongside a wealth of experiential learning opportunities.
Whether it’s taking what you’ve learned in class and applying it within a biomedical research lab at UCLA, spending your summer assisting congressmen in DC, or interning as a Financial Analyst on Wall Street, Hamilton is guaranteed to hone the skills you need and guide you down the ideal path both before and after graduation.
The College offers numerous internship options, including an Intensive Summer Program that allows students to explore various careers. On top of this, College funding means students can pursue internship positions they may not previously have been able to consider.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International