The number of recruiters seeking University of Wisconsin student engineers has doubled since the spring semester of 2004, leading to multiple job offers for UW engineering majors.

“This is one of the busiest seasons we’ve had since 2001,” associate director of Engineering Career Services Susan Piacenza said.

In the past several years, multiple job offers for engineering students were very rare; however, the current job market is vastly improving for all engineering students, according to Piacenza.

The college’s spring job fair, Career Connections, continues today after many UW students attended Tuesday’s all-day fair. Piacenza said the fair has attracted employers from across the nation looking to recruit engineering students for jobs, internships and co-ops.

“More than 100 employers are registered, which is more than ever,” Piacenza said.

According to Piacenza, the reason for the large increase in recruiters could be attributed to the improvement in the market since the 2001 recession. Before 2001, the percentage of graduates hired within six months after graduation was well into the 90s, but in the past couple years, the percentage of hired graduates dropped to the 70s.

“Spring of 2004 was the slowest I’ve seen in the last 16 years,” Piacenza said.

UW sophomore Ben Stark, who attended a career fair in spring 2004, said the fair was disappointing because there were not many employers present at the fair. However, Stark said he plans to attend future fairs now that more employers are eager to hire more people.

“Last year’s spring fair didn’t have many recruiters, so it is good to know that there is more out there now,” Stark said.

Ryan Clemens, a UW junior and engineering major planning to attend the career fair, said it is important for engineering students to do internships and co-ops before they graduate to stay competitive.

“There is a lot of competition between engineering students,” Clemens said. “The rate [of finding a job after graduation] lowers drastically if you don’t have an internship or co-op.”

The 100 employers scheduled to visit UW for the Career Connections fair include Microsoft, Ford and Toyota, according to Piacenza.

“Microsoft has been back three or four times this past semester,” Piacenza said. “They have been very interested in our graduates.”

Other employers present at the fair are Boeing, Chevron Texaco, Sub-Zero and IBM.

Piacenza said many engineering students have a strong determination to succeed in their field. She said even freshmen are now trying to look for work experience before they graduate.

“Many students that are attracted to this program do have a strong work ethic and realize the importance of gaining some practical experience,” Piacenza said.

The Career Connection is open today at the Engineering Centers Building Lobby from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for all UW students. A full listing of employers present at the fair can be accessed at ecs.engr.wisc.edu/student/jobconnection.cfm.