When: 8:30 a.m. Friday, but CU officials recommend early arrival because the crowd is projected to be 20,000. Stadium gates open at 7 a.m.
Where: Folsom Field, regardless of weather
Security: Guests are asked not to bring large purses or bags to the ceremony. People entering the stadium may be subject to a search.
Parking: Most of the available parking for the ceremony will be in lots off Regent Drive, just south of Colorado Avenue, and parking attendants will be on hand to direct people to the lots. Commencement planners encourage people to consider alternatives to driving.
Closure: The access road called Stadium Drive, north of the Dal Ward Athletic Center, and Pleasant Street east of Old Main will be closed to all traffic between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. for the graduation procession.
Other: No tickets are required for the ceremony.
Online: Stream the full ceremony at commencement.colorado.edu.
Graduating seniors in the University of Colorado’s computer science department have more than one reason to celebrate Friday.
Ken Anderson, associate chair of computer science, said that as of last week, all 47 of the department’s soon-to-be-graduates reported having jobs lined up, with just a few exceptions — students who chose to attend graduate school instead of entering the work force.
“The skills these students are learning are recession-proof,” Anderson said. “Some of our students had 10 job offers and were having a hard time choosing.”
With CU awarding a record 6,237 degrees at Friday morning’s spring commencement at Folsom Field, campus career counselors say the overall job outlook is still good for graduates this year. Yet most students seeking jobs will not have it as easy as the computer science grads.
“While full-employment is rare… I’m not surprised that, if it did happen, it would happen in computer science,” said Lisa Severy, director of CU Career Services. “It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. There is a huge demand in just about every industry for computer science graduates and it remains a relatively small group of students.”
For the last six years, the “vast majority” of computer science graduates have procured jobs before graduation, Anderson said.
“There are a lot of tech startups here in Boulder and our students are going to companies like Amazon and Google, too,” Anderson said. “But almost every company needs IT people, so there are a lot of options and demand for these skills.”
Graduating senior Doug Stillings said having a job lined up made his senior year “so much better.”
Stillings accepted a position at Ricoh Production Print Solutions, where he will develop software for commercial printers.
As he prepared for the department’s ceremony on Thursday, Stillings said he’s not going into graduation completely stress-free.
“I’m so lucky to have a job already, but I’m still going into graduation wondering what’s next,” Stillings said. “It’s a big change for anyone, but I feel really blessed to have some of the pressure taken off.”
Anderson said the department is hoping to offer a new computer science track through the College of Arts and Sciences that he hopes will be available for students beginning next year.
Career Services’ Severy said students should have options for entering the job market this year, but they may also face an extra challenge this summer as CU is reporting its largest graduating class ever. Severy said this could pose a problem in the supply-and-demand balance for new graduates, but students entering high-demand fields, such as computer science, will see few complications.
“So, in general, a larger graduating class means a larger supply of graduates,” Severy said. “In our case, it may be a little diffused by the fact that some people in this candidate pool will be returning home to different states or countries to do their job search, thus spreading out the pool.”
Career Services has partnered with the Alumni Association to expand career resources to graduates, giving seniors more services to help them with the hunt.
Severy said despite expanding resources, graduates should be patient as the economy continues to recover.
“The job market certainly is not yet at its peak levels, so new graduates should be prepared for the job search to take some time,” Severy said.