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RPI-More Than a Tech School

First stop on my tour: the students we spent the day with were engaged in work, school, and graduate plans,, as well as happy, athletic, and incredibly mature and competent!

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, long respected for technology-based academics, states, "Information technologies are-and will continue to be-the driving force of every industry on the planet." Its Informational Technology and Web Science undergraduate program is ranked #1 by College Choice with 100% job placement. (By the way, this commitment to Information Science was echoed at every college on the Upstate NY Tour.)

Some RPI stats: #6 Engineering College, USA Today, #6 Physics Major Program and #32nd Best Undergraduate Engineering Program, US News and World Report, #17th School of Architecture, Design Intelligence , #10 out of 50 Game Design Program, Animation Career Review. 40% of students dual major for Master's degrees.

The AACSB-accredited Lally School of Management provides a "business education at the intersection of entrepreneurship and innovation." Student plans and products are evaluated and internships are plentiful. One of the few universities to offer a Quantitative Finance major, RPI helps Lally graduates get hired by Amazon, Deloitte, General Electric, Google, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, J.P. MorganChase, Microsoft, Pfizer, Xerox , among others.

RPI looks for curious, enthusiastic students looking for a challenge: "Those who can find the question and then answer it," or in other words, "Problem solving of unstructured problems." However, RPI's First Year Experience is supportive: help with time management, academics, it's set up to flag and catch students who fall behind. The unique Arch summer semester and junior away semester shifts the academic calendar to provide a transformative experience for students, who engage in co-ops, internships, research, fieldwork and fun activities in the nearby Adirondacks as well as global employment.

Only about two hours away from the NY area, RPI sits on a hilly green campus above the city of Troy, a small, revitalized city on the Hudson River with restaurants, theatres, shopping, and a weekend farmer's market. The East Campus Athletic Village hosts 24 sports, including Men's and Women's Division I hockey. Rensselaer ranks high-among all divisions-in its number of National Academic All-Americans.

RPI is clearly poised to prepare students to confidently take on the confluence of business and technology-the world they will inhabit. My impression is that students who love learning, even those who do not see themselves as "techies," will thrive there.

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