Some would call it the classic Yalie dilemma — to continue studying or to go to Wall Street. The results of this year’s Office of Career Strategy Summer Activities Survey show that, once again, educational internships and financial services internships were the two most popular summer activities among students, with 15.8 percent of students pursuing education-related internships and conducting research, and 13.1 percent working in the financial services industry.
The survey, which hit a record 84.2 percent response rate this year, also showed a spike in the number of students who worked technology and nonprofit jobs over the summer, as well as a slight increase in early acceptances of internships.
Almost 70 percent of respondents chose to take summer jobs in the U.S., and the top five destinations were the same as in 2016 — Connecticut, New York, California, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Internationally, Yalies mostly worked in the United Kingdom, France, China, Spain, Italy and Germany.
For the first time since 2013, the tech sector claimed the third spot on the list. Just over 8 percent of respondents worked in that field over the summer.
But Office of Career Strategy Director Jeanine Dames noted that only 4.7 percent of the respondents said they worked on programming or software development this summer, which means that many students worked in tech firms, but not on traditional technology-related tasks.
“I think the beauty of the liberal arts education and why employers have gotten excited about Yale is that they can hire these incredibly smart students who have huge, broad-based education who are not just going to be programming,” she said. “I think that’s the kind of diverse candidate that employers are attracted to at Yale.”
Dames also said that the tech industry — together with financial services and, to some extent, consulting — is one of the few that recently started to hire interns earlier in the school year, which might also have led to the spike in internship participants.
Overall, Dames said, the Office is seeing a slow but steady increase in the number of respondents who secured their positions earlier in the year. The vast majority of students still decide on internships in the spring, Dames said. But, this year, 77.8 percent of students accepted positions in January or later, a significant drop from 2013, when more than 90 percent of respondents accepted positions in the same time frame.
“I think, as the economy has improved, the competition for talent among employers has increased,” said David Halek, director of employer relations at the Office of Career Strategy. “Some employers have adopted a greater focus on building their talent pipelines, and those who can plan and budget earlier have moved up their recruiting cycles.”
Because of accelerated hiring in some industries, Dames added, the Employer Relations team at the Office of Career Strategy has been putting all networking events at Yale on the same timeline so that students can learn more about all their options early in the year, even if some of the industries they are considering might not start hiring until later.
Unlike last year, when slightly more than half of respondents worked for for-profit companies, this year’s report shows that 50.6 percent of respondents worked for a nonprofit, NGO, government or other public agency.
Robyn Acampora, director of strategic initiatives and public service careers at the Office of Career Strategy, said that she was impressed by the diversity of industries within the nonprofit sector in which students worked.
“Students can now find nonprofit opportunities across the board, no matter what industry they are interested in,” Acampora said. “One of the main goals of the Common Good & Creative Careers Team within OCS is to ensure that Yale students are aware of all of the opportunities that are available within these areas, and we have been able to do this through our specialized advising, bringing alums and employers back to campus and our internships and summer fellowships.”
The Office of Career Strategy assumed responsibility for administering the Summer Activities Survey in 2013.
Anastasiia Posnova | firstname.lastname@example.org