An improving economy and our emphasis on early job search activity is having a major impact on the immediate post-graduation experiences of our students.
Every semester we get survey responses from roughly 600 graduating seniors about their employment prospects. Comparing the results for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters with the same two semesters for 2013/2014 (we don’t have the numbers for this summer yet) shows dramatic improvements in the percent of graduating students entering the workforce and securing employment. The percent of students who were either already employed or seeking work jumped from 75 to 84 percent. Eleven percent more students were either continuing in an existing job or had a job offer (62% vs. 51%) than the year before. Those staying in a job that they had already secured before school as well as those who had only a part-time job offer fell slightly (about 2%). So the entire gain in the post-graduation numbers came from students who reported they had secured a full-time offer of employment before graduation (31% vs 18% the year before).
For our career coaches, these numbers are early affirmation that their emphasis on internships and networking is working. For Lonny, it’s more than enough encouragement to continue his message about the importance of forming a career plan and putting it into action while the student is still in school. And despite being at this for only a year in our professional development courses, Lonny had the opportunity to deliver this message to many rising seniors this past year as they took his class to make up for core credit hour deficiencies they experienced as a result of our curriculum change.
Most importantly, these numbers tell students that having a job offer BEFORE they leave school is a very attainable goal. The number of students who are achieving this result is increasing and postponing your search until after graduation just means you will be shut out from more and more opportunities. If I were a slacker, I’d take that to heart, meet with my career coach and get busy.
Let’s see if working together we can drive the percent of students who graduate with a job in hand next year above 67%.