Military Recruiters Peak Science Students Interest
March 17, 2005 2:09 PM
SF State engineering students interested in military job opportunities met with recruiters on campus last week to discuss employment options, despite the loud yells of student protestors.
The Army Corps of Engineers, the Air Force and the Marines set up tables at the Career Center Employer Showcase last week in Jack Adams Hall to pass out information and talk to students interested in working for the military after graduation.
There are an estimated 100 engineering graduating students this semester, said Shy-Shenq Liou, engineering department director. For many of the soon-to-be graduates, finding local jobs would be ideal.
Matt Ford, a junior studying electrical engineering, went to the job fair to talk to the recruiters.
“The recruiters are offering management and leadership positions, and officer training," said Ford, who talked to the U.S. Air Force recruiters. "For what I am pursuing that would be a good option for me after graduation.”
According to Tyson S. Eckerle, a biologist with the Army Corps of Engineers, the military is always looking to recruit.
“We are looking for civil engineers, biologists, physical scientists and civic planners,” said Eckerle. “When a student comes into the fair and approaches our booth, we immediately let them know about current job openings, and if they are interested, we start the application process.”
Master Sgt. David Erbe, a full-time Air Force recruiter who was at the career fair, said he thinks it's important for students to have access to this information.
For junior Amir Ali, a civil engineering major, it was difficult to get information about job opportunities with the demonstrators’ presence.
“I'm a little surprised by the protests,” said Ali. “Do they realize the military is here recruiting for science and technology jobs?
“I know that engineering is a subject that will contribute to society, no matter who does it, but I also think it's good students are able to express their concerns with the military being on campus.”
Specialized positions in the medical field, like nursing and dentistry, and positions in the civil engineering fields, like design and research, are needed in the military, said Erbe.
“There is a real lack of people filling these positions, so we are here to find qualified students who may be interested in joining when they graduate,” said Erbe.
Ford, who has been studying electrical engineering at SF State for three years, is concerned about
“A job in Silicon Valley was way more of an option five years ago, so I have to look in other places,” said Ford.
Military recruiters such as Tyson and Erbe are able to hire students directly because of the Federal Career Intern Program, which former President Bill Clinton signed in 2000.
The program is designed to assist federal agencies in recruiting and attracting men and women who have a variety of experiences, academic disciplines, and skills to help agencies meet critical needs. It is designed to offer professional civil service experience to students and to provide a pool of experienced job candidates to agencies.
“Once they submit a resume it's a fairly easy hiring process because of the program,” Tyson said about students interested in military jobs.
The most important thing for electrical engineering student Ford is to find a job within his field after graduation and the military recruiters gave him all the information he needed to start making those important choices.
“The military inspires me,” said Ford. “I don't really support everything that is going on in the Middle East right now, but to me it's a job like any other.”
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