Job Market Shows Promise for Tennessee State University 2016 Graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A number of Tennessee State University students graduating on Dec. 10 have gotten early Christmas presents: jobs.

Graduates prepare to receive their degrees during the Fall 2015 Commencement ceremony in the Gentry Complex. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

More than 600 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees in various disciplines when the university holds its fall commencement in the Howard C. Gentry Complex.

The recent Job Outlook 2016 Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employees says employers expect to employ 11 percent more new graduates from the Class of 2016 than they did in 2015.

That’s good news for TSU students like Danielle Haik, a computer science major who is among those walking from the graduation stage into the workforce. Haik is taking an Information Technology Specialist position at Caterpillar Financial Services in Nashville.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal listed Tennessee State among its top 10 historically black colleges and universities. In ranking TSU 10th, the WSJ/THE College Rankings took into account the salaries graduates earn.

“I am very excited about becoming an employee of Caterpillar,” said Haik, who attributes her success to the training and mentoring she received at TSU. “I had some great faculty and mentors who gave me the right exposure and connected me with professional people and organizations that put me in the right direction.”

Justus Jarvis, a member of the fall 2016 graduating class, also has a job offer. He has accepted a position with Boeing.

“Tennessee State University preparation gives you the full package,” Jarvis said. “They prepare you to be able to stand out among your peers and in front of employers, and that may be my best asset going into the workforce.”

Like all TSU students, Haik and Jarvis have the capabilities that companies are looking for, particularly in the areas of leadership and teamwork.

According to NACE, employers are looking for candidates with evidence of leadership skills, strong work ethic, and who are team players.

“We instill our students with skills for success in the real world,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our curriculum requirements make our students more marketable, as well as reinforces classroom learning to prepare them for industry, government, or entrepreneurship.”

Tina Reed, associated director of the TSU Career Development Center, said in addition to workshops and professional development conferences, TSU students receive one-on-one career advising to help them make career choices.

“The Career Development Center assists our students with developing and enhancing  21st Century job-readiness skills that are needed in the workforce,” Reed said. “From developing a top-notch resume to attending professional development conferences, our students are constantly encouraged to take advantage of career enrichment opportunities.”

Dr. Gloria Johnson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, agrees.

“In the College of Liberal Arts, we continue to encourage our students to seek relevant internships and practical experience,” she said. “I am personally encouraging more students to seek more help from the Career Development Center for resume development and possible placement.”

Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is expected to inspire students even more when he gives the keynote address at TSU’s Dec. 10 commencement.

Crump is the noted Florida lawyer who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Terence Crutcher in police shooting cases that made headlines around the world. Crump was also an advocate in the Robbie Tolan police brutality U.S. Supreme Court case, as well as the Martin Lee Anderson boot camp death case.

In October, Crump was the keynote speaker at the 25th anniversary gala for the National Association of African American Honors Programs held at TSU.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at