At this weekend’s 108th Commencement, graduates stepped into a brighter future at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. From BFIT's historic auditorium, the Class of 2016 left the college with degrees, certificates, and valuable job skills in technical fields experiencing strong job growth. Perhaps most importantly, they are entering the workforce with the ability to communicate, to work in teams, to find and evaluate information, and to solve problems. These abilities prepare the graduates for a lifetime of learning and career success.
Student speaker, Ben Alvarez, put it perfectly, “Wherever we go, that degree, that knowledge, those skills, that time spent on our trade or science; these will follow us and be a base, and a rock for us to lean on.”
"Wherever we go, that degree, that knowledge, those skills; these will follow us and be a base, and a rock for us to lean on."
In the next few years, it’s estimated that Massachusetts will have 300,000 jobs available that will require a background in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Graduates with a certificate or associate degree in STEM fields, like those from BFIT, will certainly play a vital role in meeting this demand. Moreover, the degrees our students earn energize industries and transform lives.
Like a large share of his classmates, Alvarez became the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned an associate degree in Computer Technology and aims to ride the wave of job opportunity in this growing field.
While enrolled at BFIT, Alvarez took advantage of all the opportunities available to him. He completed an independent study on Android app development and got hands-on work experience as a computer support specialist through BFIT’s partnership with PlumChoice.
His newly acquired skills put him in a position to advance himself and to help support some folks who were cheering for him in the audience: his parents and his brother. “There are a lot of expectations riding on me being able to have a high-paying job. This is a win for our family.”
The degrees our students earn energize industries and transform lives. Like a large share of his classmates, Alvarez became the first in his family to graduate from college.
Ben’s story is just one of the many inspiring success stories from this year’s graduating class. BFIT's students come from all backgrounds. Our student body is ethnically diverse: 31% Black, 25% White, 23% Latino/Hispanic, 8% Asian, 4% Multi-Ethnic, and 9% Other/Non-disclosed. More than half are Boston residents. A large number are the first in their family to graduate. And when they graduate they go on to successful careers. According to the Department of Education’s College Scorecard, BFIT students earn the highest salary after attending compared to students from all private, two-year colleges (excluding nursing) in Massachusetts.
Juma Crawford, Executive Director of the Lewis Family Foundation and this year’s commencement speaker, recognized the accomplishment students achieved by earning a degree. “Only 29.3% of folks in the United States have a college degree,” Crawford said. “This room is special.”
For more than 100 years, BFIT has served as a catalyst for economic growth by providing a diverse pipeline of skilled workers.
For more than 100 years, BFIT has served as a catalyst for economic growth by providing a diverse pipeline of skilled workers. We remain committed to offering affordable degree programs that are relevant to industry so that today’s young people can have a chance to build a better life for themselves, a goal fittingly echoed by Alvarez in his speech, “Today is about a commitment we made to ourselves and our family saying ‘We're going to do our best’ so that we might have a better tomorrow.”