Seventeen percent will attend professional or graduate school
The Center for Work and Service (CWS) conducts a survey on the graduating class’s post-graduate employment and education plans several weeks before commencement every year. The survey includes students across all academic departments, and 74 percent of last year’s graduating seniors completed the survey in May.
The survey revealed that for the Class of 2014, 50 percent of job seekers received at least one job offer by the time of graduation. 66 percent of last year’s seniors who responded to the survey intended to work for pay fulltime in the fall. Additionally, about 12 percent planned to work for pay part-time in the fall, and about two percent planned to start up their own company or organization.
“These numbers actually surprise me, I expected the Wellesley numbers to be a lot higher,” an anonymous senior said this year.
Compared to the Class of 2013, the percentage of seniors last year who had received job offers by graduation fell from 55 percent to 50 percent. Joanne Murray, director of the Center for Work and Service, emphasized that hiring takes place at different times, and the survey may not capture the accurate percentage of seniors who found employment directly after graduation.
“What’s important to understand about the senior survey is that it is a snapshot taken at a particular period — every different industry and company has different hiring cycles, so for many people they conduct their job search over the summer,” Murray said.
Approximately 17 percent of the Class of 2014 planned to attend a graduate or professional school full time after college and another two percent indicated that they planned to attend a graduate or professional school part-time. Additionally, 93 percent of surveyed students who hoped to go to graduate or professional school had been accepted into a program and about 74 percent of these students were accepted by their first choice university.
Of the 17 percent of graduates planning to obtain another degree, 47 percent will pursue a master’s degree, 13 percent legal degrees, 11 percent medical degrees and 24 percent doctoral degrees. About eight percent reported that they were unsure whether they will pursue a graduate or professional degree or plan to pursue another type of degree.
A majority of students were pleased with their overall experience at Wellesley. Over 80 percent of the class of 2014 claimed that Wellesley contributed “very much” to their critical thinking, written communication, self-understanding and ability to synthesize and integrate information.
“Wellesley is a very driven place,” Abigail Golden ’15 said. “There are many students who are still exploring, and Wellesley seems more prepared and willing to teach us how to break into different careers.”
However, 10 to 16 percent reported that attending Wellesley did not contribute to their career-related knowledge and skills. A group of students of the Class of 2015 claimed that they sought outside help with cover letters because they felt the CWS lacked certain resources.
Approximately 85 percent of surveyed students had a one-on-one counseling session with CWS staff during their 4 years. This is a marked increase from the previous year’s 69 percent. Seventy-nine percent of the class attended workshops, seminars or other CWS-sponsored events, but over a third of the respondents said the services were not as helpful as they had hoped.
The CWS recently transferred the alumnae database to LinkedIn, which Murray believes has made communication much easier.
“It is also very important for students to begin their job search earlier. It has been a trend at Wellesley that not all students begin their search before graduation,” Murray stated. “The numbers are always important to be seen in context. The students need to understand the importance of networking as well.”
For the Class of 2014, approximately 10 percent of job offers came from service organizations such as Americorps, City Year, Teach for America and the Peace Corps.
Nidhi Saxena ’15 feels that the CWS helped her secure finance job interviews.
“Wellesley and the CWS has definitely helped me get a lot of interviews in the top-tier finance firms,” Saxena said. “The Wellesley network is good and very supportive. It would be really helpful if the CWS held more networking events. So far, most of the alums have returned my calls and have helped me figure out whether their firms will be good for me.”
Golden also commented on finding a science-related job as a Wellesley student.
“I’ve done two different research internships at Wellesley, worked as a lab-tech for a professor and worked at the Wellesley College Greenhouse, which helped get me at internship at the Museum of Science in Boston,” Golden said. “Someone in the horticultural museum knew someone at Wellesley, which really got my foot in the door as an environmental studies major.”
Murray emphasized the advantages of a liberal arts degree as opposed to other professional or business program.
“The data shows that liberal arts students will sometimes begin with a slightly lower salary. However, the data also shows that over time the salary of liberal art students exceeds that of business or other professional programs,” Murray stated. “Liberal arts is the best possible training ground, making students more employable because it is mostly done by people who have a love for learning, and that is the hallmark of a liberal arts education.”