Saint Mary’s students to partake in variety of post-graduation plans
Genevieve Coleman | Friday, May 21, 2021
The Career Crossings Office administered its annual Graduate Destination Survey in order to collect data on seniors’ post-graduation plans. Stacie Jeffirs, director of Career Crossings, explained how the Office uses the survey.
“We use the data internally to follow up with graduating seniors who need assistance with their pursuits, and [we] also share their pursuits on our social media channels to celebrate their accomplishments with the Saint Mary’s community and beyond,” Jeffirs said.
This year’s survey concluded that 58% of graduating seniors are planning to enter the workforce, 28% are planning to further their education in graduate or professional school, 8% are planning to pursue post-graduate internships or externships, 3.5% are planning to complete volunteer programs, 1.5% are planning to pursue other gap year opportunities and 1% is planning to enter the military.
Jeffirs noted that, while the percentage of students receiving post-baccalaureate degrees has increased compared to previous years, this trend is not an unexpected one.
“This is slightly higher than what we typically see, but over the past five or 10 years, the percentage of graduating seniors immediately pursuing additional education ranges from 20 to 25%,” she said. “Within five years of graduation, we typically see about 55% of our graduates who pursue additional education (master’s and doctoral degrees). So, the 28% is higher than what we have seen, but not surprising, given the strong interest that our graduates have to pursue additional education.”
The Career Crossings Office is also tracking the effects of the pandemic on graduating students, Jeffirs said.
“We had a stronger response rate to the survey this year as compared to last year, and we are seeing that COVID has not impacted this graduating class nearly as much as last year’s,” Jeffirs explained. “For last year’s survey, we added questions to ask how COVID has impacted graduating seniors in terms of their post-grad plans. We kept the questions this year, so that we could gauge the ongoing impact of COVID.”
Regarding the responses to this year’s survey, Jeffirs said students reported their plans not being as affected by the pandemic as the plans of the class of 2020.
“There are some graduating seniors who indicated COVID has had an ongoing impact on their job searches, but not at the same rate that we saw last year at this time,” she said. “This is partly due to graduating seniors adjusting to the realities of COVID, starting their searches earlier and being more persistent in their searches, and a larger part is due to industries recovering over this past year.”
Jeffirs emphasized that the Career Crossings Office serves Saint Mary’s students throughout their college careers, as well as alumnae throughout the rest of their lives.