Performing academically is only one component of landing a job or getting into graduate or professional school upon graduation. The University of Illinois, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science (ACES), and The Grainger College of Engineering offer many resources for you to develop your skills as a career professional.
The University of Illinois prides itself on attracting students who have already demonstrated an ability to lead and on providing them with ample opportunities to further develop those leadership abilities. Students in ABE and ETMAS can hone those leadership skills with the assistance of the Illinois Leadership® Center, by minoring in Leadership Studies, and through serving in a leadership role in one of over 1,000 student organizations across campus. The Illinois Leadership® Center offers a series of 60- to 90-minute workshops to club, class, or alumni groups, as well as a six-day leadership development program. It also provides a Leadership Certificate Program. For students looking to better understand the science and theory behind leadership and its study, the College of ACES offer a minor in Leadership Studies.
Career & Placement Services
More than 80% of our students land at least one internship during their undergraduate career. Through internship experiences, students can apply what they learn in the classroom and become competitive for the job market or graduate or professional school. The average starting salary for ABE graduates is $66,000 while the average starting salary for ETMAS graduates is $62,000. ABE graduates work as project, test, reliability, civil, environmental, mechanical design, product, agricultural, design, and biological engineers. ETMAS graduates work as construction project engineers, control systems specialists, technicians, water quality specialists, grain elevator managers, parts operations supervisors, marketing representatives, appraisers, equipment dealers, golf course managers, and international agriculture development specialists. Alumni are self-employed or employed by Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms, academia, government agencies, non-profit groups, and research institutions.
Within the Department
Our department works closely with companies and individuals looking to employ our students. Internship and job opportunities are sent out weekly throughout the regular semester in our Advising eNews. We also host a departmental career fair in which companies and governmental agencies come to campus specifically to hire ABE and ETMAS students.
From the College and University
College of ACES Student Development & Career Services
The College of ACES provides many career services to its students. They host workshops, graduate school panels, and career fairs, offer career and interest assessments, provide resume review services, and hold mock interviews. Students can utilize Handshake, a platform that employers utilize to find our students. Services are open to anyone in the department although they are more relevant for ETMAS students.
Engineering Career Services
ECS hosts workshops, resume reviews, mock interviews, career fairs, and corporate interviews. ECS serves as a liaison between engineering students and employers.
The Career Center
The campus-wide TCC offers many of the same services as the college-based centers offer. Their services are available to all Illinois students, graduate students, and alumni.
Going to Graduate School
Many of our undergraduate students go on to graduate school. Whether you choose to continue your education at Illinois or go elsewhere, you should make an informed choice.
We offer the following graduate programs:
- M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering
- Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering
- M.S. in Technical Systems Management
- Professional Science Master's in Bioprocessing and Bioenergy
- Professional Science Master's in Technical Systems Management
Picking a Program
Here are some helpful hints on how to select a graduate program.
- If you know what your research interests are, you may want to speak with one of our faculty about their program or about researchers they would recommend.
- Another option if you know where your interests lie is to do an article search and then contact the authors of the articles which most appeal to you.
- Look at national rankings such as U.S. News & World Report to find out who has a good graduate program in ABE or in a different area of engineering. Technical systems management and related programs are not ranked, but the ranking of the associated ABE program is a good indicator of the quality of the TSM program.
- Attend the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Annual International Meeting and talk to people about their work and the programs at their institutions.
- Do undergraduate research to determine if you enjoy doing research.
- Visit the programs you are considering. While there, speak to some graduate students about their satisfaction with the program, their research, their advisor, and the institution.
- Ask about financing your education. Will you receive a stipend? Tuition waiver? Research funds?
Going to Professional School
Some of our students choose to pursue a professional degree upon graduation. The Career Center is an excellent source of information about the skills and coursework important to the pursuit of professional degrees in law, health, or veterinary medicine upon graduation.
Fundamentals of Engineering Exam
For ABE majors, the first step to becoming certified as a Professional Engineer is to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.