First Destination Survey Reports High Post-Graduation Activities Rates for Class of 2016

Results say 91 percent of 2016 graduates are employed, continuing their education or otherwise engaged.

The First Destination Survey visualization provides a navigable database of post-graduation outcomes.
The First Destination Survey visualization provides a navigable database of post-graduation outcomes.
April 19, 2017

By Ruth Steinhardt

Ninety-one percent of the George Washington University class of 2016 has secured employment, enrolled or plans to enroll in a post-baccalaureate degree program or is participating in service, travel or other activities, according to GW’s annual First Destination survey reporting activities within six months of graduation. The results show an uptick from the survey results of the class of 2015, which came in at 87 percent in the same categories.

The Center for Career Services (CCS) and Survey Research and Analysis also released an updated version of GW’s First Destination visualization this month, offering students, alumni, families, employers and others an in-depth view of the paths taken by the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Assistant Provost for University Career Services Rachel Brown said a number of factors have played into that increase. Not only are employers hiring more graduates directly out of college, but also GW’s own career services offerings have expanded thanks to the Career Services Enhancement Initiative.

“The Center for Career Services has expanded our coaching model, which features a team of career coaches who focus on career exploration and assessment, as well as a team of coaches who provide a targeted industry-specific focus so we can offer more individually targeted career coaching,” Ms. Brown said. “And our enhanced employer services team allows us to build and strengthen employer partnerships, providing more personalized opportunities for students to connect with employers and alumni.”

Ms. Brown said GW also has been able to do more outreach to graduates through LinkedIn searches, faculty connections and other approaches, providing a more complete picture than ever of recent graduates’ first destination activities. More than 2,000 members of the class of 2016—about 85 percent—provided responses.

With the visualization, viewers can search the results by school or major, exploring for example which companies employ English majors (for example, Disney, communications and advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, and the Embassy of Japan) or what the median post-college salary is for a graduate of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (about $60,000).

“The First Destination visualization helps current and prospective students see how a GW education can connect them to their career, and it illustrates how many post-graduation options exist for students in all fields,” Ms. Brown said.

Of 2016 graduates pursuing post-baccalaureate education, 61 percent are seeking a master’s, while 19 percent seek a law degree and 7 percent a medical degree. Of those, more than 300 have chosen to continue their education at GW.

“We continue to work with colleagues across the university to help students connect their academic and professional interests,” Ms. Brown said, emphasizing the importance of early engagement in developing a career plan.

“Career coaches, faculty and staff across the university, and alumni and families are all a part of this—helping students reflect on what they are learning in and outside of the classroom and how that translates to their personal career plan and professional goals,” she said.

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