As a part of the Atlanta Consular Corps, I regularly attend informative presentations that discuss Atlanta’s place in the international community. During a recent event, I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Chaouki T. Abdallah speak.
Dr. Abdallah is the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a direct report to President G.P. “Bud” Peterson and a member of the president’s cabinet, the EVPR serves as chief research officer for the Institute. In his presentation, Dr. Abdallah discussed how Georgia Tech is one of the top ranked engineering schools in the U.S. and has taken a leadership role with study abroad programs and overseas engagement. It has a campus in Metz, France that has been open for more than 30 years, as well as a new campus in Shenzhen, China that is scheduled to open this year.
Likewise, Georgia Tech has a very substantial international student body at its main campus in Atlanta. In FY 2018, GT had a research budget approaching $1 Billion, almost doubling in size over a decade from FY 2008. Various major international corporations have located their Corporate Innovation Centers at Georgia Tech in order to keep them independently administered. Approximately 86% of the job-seeking students who received their degree from Georgia Tech in May 2018 had been offered a job at graduation. In terms of expected salary, $70,000 is the median starting salary for BS graduates, and $95,000 is the median starting salary for MS graduates. For BS graduates, Georgia Tech is ranked No. 8 in Annualized Return on Investment in Higher Education by PayScale.com.
Following this, we next took a tour of the brand new Coda Building at Tech Square. It has almost 750,000 square feet and will house a mix of highly secure data and research facilities for the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Additionally, there will be various private industry tenants to be connected in a “town square” type of public space for shared collaboration. We even had the opportunity to experience the world’s tallest continuous spiral staircase.
All in all, it was a great day to learn about how Georgia Tech is helping Atlanta expand its international footprint and attract individuals and businesses from around the world.