U.S. agency says $48,200 is norm

Eden Cohen, Staff Writer

Some may be heartened to hear that Pitt-Oakland and Pitt-Johnstown students earn the same average salary after graduation, though it changes few minds.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that Pitt campuses’ students earn an average of $48,200, which is nearly $14,000 more than a national average.

It was unclear how long after graduation the average earnings were calculated.

Junior Michael Dowling took it as good news.

“It gives me more confidence in Pitt-Johnstown,” he said.

Student Affairs Assistant Vice President Bob Knipple, who is in charge of the Career Services office, said he is not surprised at the average, since Pitt-Johnstown students are prepared well and educated with the same quality as Pitt-Oakland students.

All Pitt students have access to Oakland’s job database and can attend every campuses’ career fairs, Knipple said.

Some employers ask for Pitt-Johnstown graduates specifically, Knipple said, such as software company, Problem Solutions, along Eisenhower Boulevard.

Faculty members often get jobs for students, Knipple said, since they know alumni and people in their field. In this way, students benefit from a small faculty-to-student ratio.

“I like to believe there’s a more personal relationship here,” he said.

Though Pitt-Johnstown has received a ranking equating it to Pitt-Oakland, it does not seem many students are swayed by the finding.

Dowling and senior Jennifer Jacobs said they did not consider statistics and rankings much when choosing a school. Dowling chose Pitt because his mother is an employee, he said, and Jacobs because her mother is an alumna.

Jacobs’s mother researched before she chose Pitt-Johnstown, Jacobs said, and was delighted with the results.

Student tour guide and Admissions representative Victoria Mercado said parents are more into ranking and statistics than prospective students.

“The prospective students are more interested in the feel of the campus,” she said.

Fellow guide and representative Gary Swope said class sizes, weekend activities and food are the most influential student concerns.

Ultimately, it seems that, although Pitt-Johnstown compares to Pitt-Oakland after graduation earnings results, students attend Pitt-Johnstown for other reasons.