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Jacobs succeeds with Graduate Development Program

Category: Recruitment, Career opportunity, Career and Talent Development, Preparing for the future, jacobs, industries, career aspirations, Graduate Development Program, New grads, Top 25 Best Employers for New Grads

Early careers


Forbes has released their Top 25 Best Employers for New Grads list aimed at identifying the companies most liked by new workforce candidates. Out of a list of 250 companies that made the cut, Jacobs found our way into the Top 25!

This list comes out after a year of uncertainty for pandemic-era graduates who are struggling to find their place in the workforce. In a world of unknowns, Jacobs’ strong backlog and global presence helps us stand out as an industry leader in early career talent for the recruitment, retention and development of our new grads. This focus on graduates has also been marked by Jacobs’ investment in creating a global Graduate Development Program.

Our Graduate Development Program (GDP) is an investment in the graduates and their career – and the learnings are transferable across roles, functions and the diverse market sectors we serve. A two-year, self-directed program, the GDP exposes new graduates to senior leaders and various business units and functions across our company. The program focuses on the learning and development of future skills, and employees are given the opportunity to map out their careers with Jacobs and network with other graduates.

jacobs Barney Gray, an engineer-in-training and Graduate Development Program participant, recently reflected on his first year at Jacobs.


“When I stop to think about the number of tasks I’ve done, I see the increase in my technical and professional skills,” Barney shares. “With everything at Jacobs, I am in control of my career and my growth, and I am ready to take on the next challenge.”

As part of the GDP, graduates develop competency in core Jacobs focus areas that pave the way for early growth and development. The GDP learning model highlights 70% learning on the job, 20% learning directly through mentoring and coaching, and 10% learning completed through formal training courses. Two key milestones of the program are the GDP Conference at the end of the first year, and a GDP graduation ceremony to conclude the program experience.

This fall we held a virtual conference for the U.S./Canada GDP participants, where graduates had the opportunity to hear from various stakeholders and discover the resources, tools and knowledge to successfully own their career and activate their full potential.

"As we continue investing in our people and their success, we’re committed to making Jacobs a place where all employees – including future innovators and graduates – want to join, stay and thrive," shares Executive Vice President and Chief People & Inclusion Officer Shelie Gustafson. "Jacobs is honored to be recognized in the Top 25 of the 2021 Best Employers for New Grads list, and we look forward to growing, engaging and developing early career talent within our company.”

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