News

Job, Grad School Placement For Recent Grads Strong

Nearly 97 percent of recent St. Lawrence University graduates were either employed or attending graduate school less than one year after graduation, a career outcome rate that has remained consistent for several years.

The Career Services Follow-Up Survey asked St. Lawrence University’s Class of 2015 what they were doing seven to 10 months after graduation. The survey is an important component of Career Services’ efforts to understand the kinds of work and graduate programs new graduates are interested in pursuing.

According to the survey, members of that class had a total career outcome rate of 96.9 percent, which is a slight increase of 0.1 percent over last year’s survey. Of those, more than 78 percent were pursuing a career, and nearly 19 percent were attending graduate school. The return rate on this year’s survey was nearly 80 percent.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the nationwide career outcome rate for 2015 graduates was 82 percent, and for institutions comparable in size to St. Lawrence was 90.3 percent.

“The University’s exceptional outcome rate reflects the vitality of a St. Lawrence liberal arts education, one which includes experiential learning such as internships with alumni and research collaboration with leading faculty,” said President William L. Fox ’75. “Employers and graduate schools seek candidates who are strong writers, skilled public speakers, inquisitive learners, and also those who think of themselves as global citizens.”

For those who are employed, 83 percent indicated that their work is either directly or somewhat related to their desired career path, while the number reporting they are satisfied or very satisfied with their employment held strong at 95 percent.

A trend over the last 10 years has been for more graduates to pursue careers over graduate school, with 70 percent of 2005 graduates working and 25 percent in graduate school one year after their graduation. The top-career paths for 2015 graduates included education, finance and banking, health care, and technology.

A large portion of the Class of 2015 also took part in some kind of experiential learning experience while attending St. Lawrence, including 70 percent who took part in an internship. That’s a 30 percent jump from 2009.

“We can be especially proud of the increasing number of students who are seizing experiential learning opportunities,” said Ron Albertson, director of Career Services. “There’s no better way to learn about one’s unique gifts and purpose than through direct experience, and some St. Lawrence students do as many as three or four internships during their undergraduate years.”

In the the 2016 edition of The Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back” guide, St. Lawrence was ranked No. 6 for schools with alumni who will jump-start your career.

The survey of St. Lawrence graduates stands in stark contrast to popular claims that liberal arts graduates are either under- or unemployed. According to Association of American Colleges and Universities, 80 percent of employers believe that every student should acquire a broad knowledge in the liberal arts.

“A liberal arts education emphasizes forming independent judgments, articulating cogent arguments, and developing the tools and taste for continued lifelong learning,” said Georgia Nugent, senior fellow with the Council of Independent Colleges and a member of St. Lawrence’s Board of Trustees. “We live in a world where graduates will be employed in roles that don’t event exist today. This kind of learning is more practical than training in a specific skill that may well be obsolete almost upon graduation.”