Have a quick question? Navigate to our Employer FAQ page!
Employers recruiting at the California Institute of Technology Career Development Center must adhere to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines, CIT Recruiter Policies, as well as the National Association of Colleges and Employers Principles of Professional Conduct for Employment Professionals.
On Campus Recruiting For Employers: Pre-Select System
We are now working with organizations to ensure the right students connect with the right companies. The three most common problems when pre-screening Caltech students are:
- screening on GPA
- screening on major
- screening on experience
Screening Based on GPA
This can be very misleading. Some employers screen out Caltech students on arbitrary criteria such as "must have a 3.2 GPA." However, the difference between a 3.2 and a 3.0 or even 2.8 GPA at Caltech may have nothing to do with a student's ability or mastery of course material.
Caltech is ranked as the most difficult college curriculum in the United States by the Princeton Review. Our freshman class has the highest SAT scores in the country according to US News and World Report, with a math score range of 770 - 800 out of a possible 800. To complement this impressive ability, the Caltech curriculum is advanced and undergraduates master a range of quantitative and analytical skills as well as having to take advanced writing intensive courses.
Our graduate students have distinguished graduate records and take a set number of classes for grades based on the requirements of their graduate degree program. The skills presented by graduate students include research, mastery of complex equipment andexperimental techniques and communication skills. Their GPA at Caltech is only one aspect of their "portfolio."
Companies that use GPA for screening purposes at Caltech are doing themselves a disservice, and we strongly encourage firms to look at additional factors when screening candidates.
Screening Based on Academic Option (Major)
Caltech's core requirements are broad and deep. Some of our majors (referred to as "options") are very multi-disciplined and may not fit the language a company uses to sort candidates at other schools. Students regularly work in research groups on projects outside of their declared option. Organizations that interview students from a variety of majors are often surprised at their level of competence outside the traditional categories. Also, some options have fewer students, and an organization that insists on narrow selection criteria will miss out on many qualified students and probably not fill their schedule.
Screening Undergraduates Based on Experience
Caltech's rigorous curriculum makes it difficult for students to spend long hours on activities and part-time work as students from other schools often do. Undergraduate students are typically involved in advanced research and interact with graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty, which adds to their scientific sophistication.
Caltech does not offer scholarships or stipends for many extra-curricular activities that other schools may offer, and co-ops are not part of our curriculum. We find that a student's strong work ethic and ability to focus, problem solve, and work in teams puts them ahead in the learning curve and makes them excellent employees.
Final Advice on Effective Screening of Candidates
One of the best marketing strategies a company can utilize is to interview a few extra students that do not exactly match pre-selected criteria. Positive word of mouth is the best way to keep students interested in your organization. Smart organizations interview broadly, treat students well and use the interview as a chance to educate students on how to present themselves to future employers. We appreciate it when employers realize that the interview is not only a time for selecting future employees for their organization, but also undering that they are becoming partners in the educational process of career planning, as they help students succeed through feedback and encouragement.
We often hear that a company's patience and willingness to work with students in transition makes it a popular and sought-after organization on campus. If you would like to pre-select Caltech students, please contact us at (626) 395-6361. We can work with you to make your recruiting efforts a success.