The class of 2014 is gravitating towards the same careers as the preceding one, but 2014 graduates are making more money, working at larger employers and securing positions later in the year.
For the past two years, the Office of Career Strategy has administered a survey to graduating seniors, asking them to indicate their plans for the fall after graduation. These data are then compiled into reports, detailing information such as the main industries, post-graduate locations and average salaries of new alumni. After releasing preliminary data in November regarding last year’s graduating class, OCS finalized the class of 2014 report last week. With 1,232 of the 1,295 graduates responding to the survey, the report is representative of 95.1 percent of the class.
According to the report, over 70 percent of the class of 2014 is working a full-time or part-time position, 17 percent is attending graduate or professional school and the remainder of the class is conducting research, traveling, volunteering or engaged in military or care service.
The most popular industries for recent graduates have stayed the same over the past two years, with the classes of 2013 and 2014 mainly pursuing careers in financial services, education, consulting, research and technology. However, 2.1 percent more Yalies entered financial services this year.
The number of students working at large businesses this year also increased, from 44.5 to 49.5 percent. Dames said the report shows that many students — over half of the class — choose to work at smaller and mid-size employers, but that a great mass of students still ends up at companies with over 501 employees because of the vast range of areas in which these companies are hiring.
For example, Dames said, large companies like Google need programmers, but they also need employees in research and marketing, among other sectors, which means they recruit different types of students.
However, Yale is still by far the number one employer of recent graduates, Dames added, which is reflected by the large number of alumni staying in New Haven. Both Abeer Hasham ’14 and his classmate Demetra Hufnagel ’14 said they made early decisions to stay in New Haven after graduation, and now both alumni are conducting research at different University labs.
Another change from last year’s report is the starting salary range of the recent graduates. More than half of the class of 2014 will begin their career making more than $50,000, while 28 percent of respondents will start with a salary of over $70,000 — significantly higher numbers than the class of 2013.
She added that last year, 54.8 percent of students making over $100,000 a year were working in the financial services industry, but this trend has since shifted.
Though the number of students attending graduate school decreased slightly from last year’s figure, OCS Director Jeanine Dames said this does not necessarily mean that less students are interested in pursuing a Ph.D.
“This year, we asked respondents not immediately attending graduate school if they plan on going in the next five years,” Dames said. “82.2 percent said they were. So it’s not that less people are going to graduate school, they’re just deciding to go later. Five years out, we’re going to see a huge boost in people attending graduate school.”
Dames said OCS is interested in tracking students five years past graduation because the office suspects that many of these initial numbers — such as the number of self-employed students — will change. This number will likely increase, Dames said, because many students may decide to work for a major organization before starting their own business.
Further, Dames added that the number of students working for government or nonprofit organizations will probably increase within the next five years. One-third of the class of 2014 is currently working in one of these positions, she noted.
Adrienne Le ’14 said her position as a digital writer and producer at Everytown for Gun Safety — a national nonprofit organization with the mission of ending gun violence and building safer communities — is fulfilling because it allows her to fight for a cause she believes in.
“I feel motivated because I know I’m contributing to a movement to reduce violence and suffering in this country,” Le said. “I wouldn’t feel the same way if I were spending 11 to 12 hours a day dedicating my skills and brainpower to making money for someone or some company.”
In addition, more students from the class of 2014 secured their jobs during the spring of their senior year, with over 46 percent of the class receiving job offers between the months of March and June. Dames said this statistic contradicts the stereotype that the majority of graduating seniors receive job offers in the fall.
Three students interviewed said they were surprised that such a large number of students secure jobs later in the year.
“It’s comforting to know that I don’t have to worry about having a job by October of my senior year,” Duane Bean ’17 said.