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Class of 2019 career outcomes announced

Commencement 2019
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
Career outcomes help shape consumer perception of a university's value and serve as a measure of institutional success. Data on the class of 2019 released by the university on May 29, 2020, reaffirm DePaul produces graduates prepared to contribute from day one.

Undergraduate degree recipients had a career outcomes rate of 90 percent and graduate degree recipients 92 percent. The rates are compiled by multiple surveys as well as a review of LinkedIn profiles and represent the proportion of graduates employed, continuing their education or pursuing other goals within six months of graduation.

"While the rates are considered strong, they are slightly lower than the class of 2018. Given the strength of the job market at graduation, the outcomes warranted further investigation of the underlying data," says Karyn McCoy, assistant vice president for the Career Center in Enrollment Management. “We noticed a decrease in full-time employment. While part-time employment increased, full-time dipped slightly across most programs and was down 9 percentage points for undergraduates and 6 percentage points for graduates.

“Digging further, we found the number of students with internship experience declined modestly as well," McCoy continues. “This wasn't surprising given the strong relationship between having an internship—especially two or more—and full-time employment."

Fewer students pursuing further education also contributed to the rate change. Unlike employment, however, it was more program-specific than an across-the-board trend.

To better understand the overall differences, the Career Center conducted a follow-up survey in March 2020 with 2019 graduates who indicated on previous surveys they were still seeking or employed part-time.  Fifty percent were employed full-time by the follow-up survey. Of those still seeking employment, 40 percent had received at least one job offer and half began their job search after graduation. 

“Given the data, our assumption is that more graduates were comfortable taking risks in a job market with abundant options," McCoy says. “More were willing to work part-time until their dream job—or at least a really attractive position—became available.  A strong job market presented upside opportunities for graduates who were in a position to wait."

The Career Center offers a Career Success website using three-year averages to provide more insight into outcomes rates, salaries and career paths of DePaul graduates.

Changes in data collection for 2020 graduates

The economy can change quickly and dramatically, as the job market for 2020 graduates looks decidedly different than just a few months ago. Data collection from this class will be adjusted based on the unique circumstances.

The primary instrument for collecting outcomes data, the First Destination Survey, will be launched electronically on June 25. This survey has traditionally been conducted at cap and gown distribution, allowing for a sizable initial response.

“The inability to connect in person may affect response rates," McCoy states. “We're looking to faculty and staff partners to help promote the survey to graduates because the more we understand the better we can direct resources toward our students' most pressing needs.  That's more critical than ever in a depressed market."

Questions on the FDS will predominantly remain the same as last year, although the wording will be changed in parts to reflect the sensitive situation. For instance, a question about the respondent's current status will be amended to inquire about their desired status as well.  

A new question will also be added for graduates who have secured employment to gauge their attitude toward the position.

“We will get insights into how students feel about the opportunity and the direction they are heading," McCoy explains. “This kind of information helps us understand the support they need now as well as when the economy begins to recover."