UCS survey reveals 2013 post-grad pursuits

After conducting five months of surveys, Undergraduate Career Services published a comprehensive report on Thursday detailing the postgraduate plans of the class of 2013.

This year marks the first that UCS collected information on seniors’ postgraduate plans since 1968, as the survey was previously conducted by the Office of Institutional Research. The report — entitled “First Destination Report: Class of 2013” — drew data from a UCS survey that was sent in May 2013 to 1,288 graduates of the class of 2013. At the close of the survey on Sept. 30, 1,066 graduates had responded, making for a 82.8 percent response rate. The graduates were asked a number of questions regarding plans for their first year out of college.

UCS administrators said they believe that having the senior survey under UCS’s supervision will better help the office track the career interests of current undergraduates, as well as connect students with recent graduates who may be working in the region or industry of their interest.

“I’m really excited about the survey because it gives us an empirical insight into what our students end up doing,” said UCS Director Jeanine Dames, adding that she believes many students will be surprised at the diversity of industries that recent Yale graduates join.

According to the report, more graduates from the class of 2013 were conducting research — 14.5 percent — than any other type of pursuit. Students in the consulting industry constituted the next highest percentage, at 13.8 percent, while finance and education were the only other industries that approached double digits, at 9.2 percent and 9 percent respectively. Several other industries, including film production and health care, each hired between 2 and 6 percent of the class of 2013.

All nine students and recent alumni interviewed were surprised at the diversity of careers that Yale students undertook after graduation. Additionally, all said they had expected the number of students working in finance or consulting to be higher.

“I was definitely surprised that the numbers were so low for finance,” said Jacob Marcus ’14, adding that he has seen many students voice the belief that “everyone ends up working on Wall Street.”

The wide range of careers represented by the class of 2013 seems to be a testament to the success of Yale’s liberal arts education, said Kellen Svetov ’16, adding that he believes Yale’s loose curriculum encourages students to follow their passions and work in fields that are not necessarily related to their majors.

Kenneth Koopmans, director of employment programs and deputy director of UCS, said that UCS needs to know which industries are becoming more or less popular in order to effectively plan events and outreach to employers. Koopmans added that UCS might plan more education workshops and events in the coming years, after seeing the surprising popularity of the education and teaching fields for the class of 2013.

But computer science, which attracted only 2.9 percent of graduates last year, is one field in which the number of events organized by UCS may exceed the number of students interested in that industry, he said.

The survey’s findings also suggest that UCS should do more to foster links between small firms and students, Dames said, adding that she was surprised that nearly 40 percent of the class of 2013 works for firms with fewer than 100 employees. Such empirical data could help UCS persuade more small businesses to compete with large Fortune 500 companies in hiring Yale graduates, she said.

“The senior survey also enables us to start building a database where alumni can list their contact details for current students to reach out and ask for help,” said Dames, adding that 988 of the 1,066 recent graduates agreed to publish their contact and employment information on Symplicity, the resource system available to Yale undergraduates. “If you want to see what it’s like to work at Citigroup or if you want to work in Arkansas but don’t know anyone living there, you can sign into Symplicity and reach out to a relevant graduate.”

UCS also plans to expand the number of surveys it will conduct for each graduating class. Dames said she hopes to send a six-month check-in survey to recent graduates, as well as another survey five years after graduation, in order to better study alumni career trajectory.

Nick Letizio ’13 and Chris Clarke ’13 were two survey respondents who agreed to share their contact details, because they wished to guide Yale students in the same way they had been helped by other Yale alumni.

“I think one of the best parts of Yale is the availability and accessibility of the people. Me serving as a resource for current undergraduates is a way to give back to Yale and to pay [it] forward for all the help I got at Yale,” Letizio said.

The five largest employers for the class of 2013 were Yale, Teach for America, JP Morgan, McKinsey & Company and National Institutes of Health.

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