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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 02 

Post-graduation report shows next steps for students

February 26, 2015

Sixty percent of Virginia Tech's 2013-14 graduates who responded to a university survey are employed or have a job offer, while 23 percent are continuing their education, according to a recently released report. Employed graduates willing to share their pay rates reported a median salary of $53,000.

Virginia Tech Career Services surveyed all bachelor’s and associate degree graduates from December 2013 and from May and summer 2014 graduates with 60 percent responding. The report includes their self-reported employers, salaries, continuing education plans, and other reflections on preparation for life after graduation.

The number of graduates with firm plans, 83 percent, is at the highest level at Virginia Tech since 2007-08.

Employed graduates reported more than 1,000 employers. The top employer was Virginia Tech, with 52 graduates employed. Accenture (35 graduates), Deloitte (31 graduates), U.S. Army (30 graduates), and Amazon (17 graduates) rounded out the top five.

For graduates continuing their education, 61 percent are pursuing master’s degrees; 13 percent, medical degrees; 10 percent, doctoral degrees; 5 percent, veterinary degrees; and 4 percent, law degrees.

Career Services has tracked data on graduates for more than three decades. The same methodology has been used the past 11 years.

“The survey and its comparable data creates a fantastic tool for current and prospective students and their families to analyze the investment of a Virginia Tech education,” said Donna Ratcliffe, director of Career Services. “The information can be sorted by college and major to help inform students of salary ranges and the types of jobs graduates obtained with their degrees.”

Beyond job types and salaries, the survey gives other insights into student career preparation. The most recent survey, as well as previous surveys, found past employment and networking are the top ways graduates found jobs, with 27 and 23 percent respectively for 2013-14 graduates. Career fairs came in third at 18 percent.

“Year after year, the survey demonstrates the benefits of students who participate in internships or part-time jobs and who network by using referrals from their family, friends, and employers to land that first job out of college,” said Catherine Copeland, senior assistant direct of information technology and assessment for Career Services, who administers the post-graduation survey. “More than half of students have some regrets about career planning. The top regret is wishing they had acquired even more career-related experience, but the regret level has dropped from the past four years. We work very hard to reach our first-year and sophomore students to encourage them to start seeking experience early and in many forms. Hopefully those efforts are paying off.”

“While the survey has fantastic information to make educated decisions about fields of study and employment opportunities, it doesn’t tell full human story,” said Ratcliffe. “For some graduates, their first job out of school doesn’t do justice to what they will be doing five, 10, or 20 years from now. Still, we think the data is a valuable tool for current and prospective students to make more informed decisions and dream about their future.”

The full report, which can be broken down by college and major, is available on the Career Services website. Previous reports, as far back as 1995, also are posted on the website.

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