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Career Services Follow Up Survey - Class of 2016 Executive Summary

(Executive Summary For the Most Current Year)

Most members of the Class of 2016 are working or engaged in advanced study; those employed are “generally” or “very” satisfied with their current situation, and they are earning higher salaries than the cohort of graduates from the previous year. These are among insights gained from the follow-up survey conducted 6- to 10-months after graduation. A 97.1 percent career outcomes rate for these new alumni continues the steady success reported over the past several years from the annual survey.

The study, conducted by the offices of Career Services and Institutional Research, helps the St. Lawrence community to assess its effectiveness by capturing first destinations, and it informs future planning based on responses received directly from the newly-minted graduates. Open-ended comments at the end of the survey are especially useful in identifying potential areas to improve efforts to guide and inspire the personal and career development of current students. Information collected in this summary is shared with the St. Lawrence community including University Communications, Admissions, academic departments and University Advancement to assist them in accomplishing their work objectives, and it is shared with the general public through prominent placement on the University’s web site and in other media. The results also serve as a source of pride as we celebrate our graduates' successes.

This year’s survey includes the responses of 414 members of the Class of 2016 (students who graduated in

May 2016 and August 2016) for an overall response rate of 77 percent (down from 79 percent for the Class of 2015). Respondents completed the survey on-line or over the phone with a career services student staff member. Graduates were mailed a postcard with the survey site address, and subsequent follow-up was conducted through personalized emails, phone calls and social media outlets. Career Services also collaborated with faculty, other administrative staff and coaches, who contacted many non-respondents to urge them to complete the survey. Data were collected beginning in late November, 2016, and the survey closed on March 12, 2017.

Those reporting graduate studies as their primary activity rose slightly from 18 percent of the class of 2015 to 19 percent of the 2016 class, but the overall acceptance rate fell from 96 percent to 94 percent and the average number of graduate schools applied to fell from 4.2 to 3.5 schools. Full-time employment dropped a couple of points to 66 percent after having risen to 68 percent in 2015, with a corresponding rise in those reporting part-time work over last year’s report. But overall satisfaction with work remained strong with 94 percent saying they are generally or very satisfied and only 6 percent being generally or very dissatisfied. Median entry salaries for full-time positions are up $3,000 ($40,500 is the median salary reported by 2016 respondents), and 86 percent report their job is one that typically requires completion of a bachelor’s degree.

There were no significant changes in industry or job category listed, with education, finance and banking, health care and sports and recreation leading the pack, but the survey captured an interesting shift in the number of graduates who describe themselves as entrepreneurs or engaged in temporary or contract work. That number increased from 12 graduates (3 percent) in 2015 to 35 graduates (9 percent) in 2016. 

An adjustment to this year’s survey produced relevant insight by capturing the ways graduates of the Class of 2016 responded to the question “Which of the following were influential in finding your current position?” Prior to this year, the wording of the question was “How did you learn about your current position?” – focusing more on a specific job referral that often resulted in a narrow response such as “job posting site.” The change in emphasis has generated useful information about the iterative process of finding a destination.


The importance of internships/previous employment for finding a job (35 percent of all graduates of 2016 vs. 20 percent for 2015 and 18 percent for 2014 in responding to the earlier, more restrictive question);

The role of faculty and staff (cited by 22 percent of all graduates of 2016 as being influential, compared to 5 percent of 2015 graduates who learned directly about their current position from faculty/staff);

The importance of SLU’s alumni network, recruiting events such as the Eastern College Career Days and Career Services in general – all praised in many open-ended comments as well.

Open-ended comments highlighted areas for improvement, such as the following:

Career advice is still perceived to be strongest for economics/business/government majors (and by the geology department through its robust network) and weakest in health and science career fields, anthropology and the arts. Students perceived a lack of representation of these fields in recruitment and networking events. They seek more specific advice in individual career services appointments and are looking for better graduate school counseling. This is an ongoing concern for St. Lawrence, but might be on the rise with the increase in students in life and health sciences fields. Intentional programming and messaging by Career Services this past year may help to alleviate the perception, and we continue to seek effective ways to meet students’ interests and needs, especially focusing on following the successes of alumni in various fields and engaging them in our programming and as mentors. We will watch future follow-up studies to see if those efforts have helped to shift such perceptions.

Some reported interest in more international options for post-graduate internships and graduate school. Is there an opportunity for special or better networking with alumni who live abroad to help address this? Several respondents mentioned they were pointed to LinkedIn and felt that was inadequate.

The following detailed report contains information on the top career industries and job functions, salary ranges, a sampling of jobs, a breakdown of graduate school attendance, a sampling of graduate and professional school programs and internship information.

Respectfully submitted,

Ronald Albertson
Director of Career Services
July 2016


See the Full Report.

See the 5 year academic division and department Outcome Profile summaries.




Employed Full-Time 248 60.6%  
Employed FT Volunteer 15 3.7%  
Employed FT, Grad School PT 6 1.5%  
Employed FT, Prof/Bacc. School FT 1 0.2%
Employed FT, Prof/Bacc. School PT 1 0.2%
Employed FT Volunteer, Grad School PT 0 0.0%  
Total Employed Full-Time 271 66.3%  
Employed PT 43 10.5%  
Employed PT, Grad School PT 3 0.7%  
Total Employed Part-Time 46 11.2%  
Internships or research experience, unpaid 2 0.5%  
Total Primarily Pursuing a Career 319 78.0%  
Grad School FT 28 6.8%  
Grad School FT, Volunteer PT 1 0.2%  
Grad School FT, Employed FT 9 2.2%  
Grad School FT, Employed PT 34 8.3%  
Grad School PT 0 0.0%  
Other Professional Postbaccalaureate Education FT 3 0.7%  
Other Professional Postbaccalaureate Education PT 3 0.7%
Total Primarily Graduate/Professional School 78 19.1%  
Other Postbaccalaureate Education 0 0.0%  
Total Primarily Pursuing Education 78 19.1%  
Pursuing Employment or Graduate School 12 2.9%  
Final Outcome Rate* 397/409 97.1%  
Total Reporting Rate: 414/535 77.4%

*Data analysis excludes 5 new graduate who is neither pursuing a job or graduate study at the time of the survey.