The job market looks good for DePaul graduates.
Each year, the Career Center asks newly minted graduates whether they’re employed. In 2012, nearly 3,000 bachelors graduates answered the survey (an 82 percent response rate), as did more than 1,300 masters graduates (a 64 percent response rate).
“Few universities who do surveys like this have such high response rates,” says Carol Montgomery, associate vice president for Career and Money Management, “and we make a strong effort to gather this important outcomes information.” A case in point, in 2012, the Career Center did some extra digging, looking through LinkedIn to find as many “missing” graduates as possible.
“We looked up, one by one, every graduate who hadn’t responded to the survey,” says Gillian Steele, director of the Career Center. “In this way, we augmented the data by 1,203 people — 526 bachelors graduates and 677 masters graduates.”
So, what are DePaul graduates doing six months after graduation? The findings for 2012 tell a great story:
- 85 percent of bachelors graduates are employed and/or in graduate school
- 89 percent of masters graduates are employed and/or pursuing advanced studies
- 84 percent of bachelors graduates and 86 percent of masters graduates working full-time do so in a field related to their degrees
- 75 percent of bachelors graduates and 58 percent of masters graduates working full-time are in new or better jobs
- Seven (7) percent of bachelors graduates and eight (8) percent of masters graduates are self-employed
“If we make an apples-to-apples comparison — that is, looking only at survey responses from 2011 and 2012 — we see a gain of three percent in employment overall,” Montgomery says.
“Prospective students look at numbers like these as they make very difficult choices about where to pursue their degrees and how much they are willing to spend relative to a likely return on investment,” says David H. Kalsbeek, senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing. “Naturally, career outcomes are central to students in professional programs, but these indices are broadly reflective of the quality, currency, and relevance of all our academic programs.”
Above and beyond a possible upswing in the economy, the increase in employment might be traced to several proactive programs within the Career Center, including efforts to reach out to more students with targeted information and to help them succeed in the job application process. One of the most effective innovations has been customized services, such as events for specific populations by college or department. Here are three examples:
- Tours for Teachers: This series helps College of Education graduates align their interests, values, and skills with different school environments. During each workshop, graduating seniors tour multiple schools and talk with the schools’ administrators and teachers.
- 9-5 not for you? Career Paths for Creative and Unconventional People: During an afternoon, students mix and mingle with artists, writers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other creative folks to discover how they’ve navigated a non-traditional career path.
- Profiles in Health: This networking event brings together students and health professionals for roundtable discussions about the fields available in health and requirements for entry.
“More and more of our services are customized,” says Steele.
“In the marketplace, there’s so much general career information — every newspaper, magazine, and website puts out content that may or may not be useful. Our students find it particularly helpful when we make information relevant. We have the specialized expertise to do that; it was just a question of becoming more customer-oriented at the granular level. We want students to take advantage of everything we have to offer.”