The Principal Financial Group

August 06, 2007 11:30 ET

From Classroom to Career: The Principal Financial Group and DMACC Collaborate to Offer Degrees and Guaranteed Employment

DES MOINES, IOWA--(Collegiate Presswire - August 6, 2007) - Buy backpack - check. Pick up books - check. Land a career with the Principal Financial Group® after graduation - check.

Planning for the future just got easier for students at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Through an innovative collaboration between the Principal Financial Group and DMACC, eligible students are guaranteed full-time employment at The Principal® as an associate business analyst within the company's information technology department, or a client service assistant or individual investor trainee in the company's Retirement and Investor Services division.

Graduates will receive either an Associate's Degree in Applied Science in Business Information Systems or an Associate's Degree in Business Administration by combining core courses with specialized curriculum that meets business needs of The Principal.

Requirements of the new program include:

-- a maintained cumulative 3.3 or higher GPA

-- the final 10 credits be completed at DMACC

-- completion of the entire program within two years

-- completion of all Principal Financial Group specialized courses at DMACC

Students must also have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and leadership skills demonstrated through community or extracurricular activity involvement or previous employment to be eligible for the program.

"As a large employer in Iowa, The Principal is always creating new ways to recruit the best and brightest workforce. This collaboration with DMACC enables us to work directly with students who have an interest in our business, and the careers for which we have an immediate need," said Jim DeVries, senior vice president of Human Resources of the Principal Financial Group.

"DMACC plays a key role in developing Iowa's workforce and addressing the growing needs of the state's diverse employers," said Robert Denson, president of Des Moines Area Community College. "Creating this integrated program that helps our students very specifically plan for and reach their professional goals is exciting, and we look forward to participating in their success."

Candidates completing the first year of the program successfully may be offered part-time employment at The Principal during their second year of study, which also makes the eligible for tuition reimbursement upon hire, up to $5,000 per year for any future coursework.

Program Fills State Information Technology Gaps

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2011 there will be a shortage of 500,000 IT professionals in the U.S., driven by three factors: an increasing demand for IT professionals; Baby Boomer retirements; and lower numbers of students pursuing IT-related fields. "The United States has a growing shortage of information technology professionals, and business growth in Iowa is creating more opportunities for IT professionals in our state. A curriculum providing training specific to the business analyst profession - a group that is in short supply - is offered in very few college settings outside of DMACC," noted Gary Scholten, senior vice president and chief information officer of The Principal. "As an IT leader, I am pleased to see The Principal and DMACC step forward and create a solution to an obvious workforce issue."

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®)(1) is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $282.1 billion in assets under management(2) and serves some 18.1 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.

About Des Moines Area Community College

DMACC (www.dmacc.edu) is committed to educating, training and encouraging success for students of all ages. DMACC is Iowa's largest community college, annually serving more than 28,000 students enrolled in credit classes and more than 34,000 students in non-credit programs on six campuses across Central Iowa.

(1) "The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.

(2) As of June 30, 2007

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