The College of Letters & Science released data from two University of Wisconsin Survey Center surveys of recent alumni showing that 86.8 percent of the respondents are employed full-time, in graduate school or both.
The first survey targeted graduates from 2012-2013, while the other focused on the classes of 2003 to 2006. Nearly half of all alumni responded to both surveys, which far exceeds industry average response rates.
From the percentage of those who are not employed full-time, the report said 5.9 percent do not have paying jobs. Less than one-third of those without paying jobs were either laid off or have not found a job since graduation, and 64.3 percent of alumni who have full-time jobs have positions that require a bachelor’s degree.
“Our alums go into Wall Street, Main Street businesses, all sorts of different positions. The education that students are getting here is preparing them for literally anything,” Letters & Science Dean John Karl Scholz said.
The data from both surveys also showed that more than 70 percent of the employed alumni said the education they received at UW gave them an advantage over graduates in the workforce from other universities. Additionally, more than 90 percent of UW graduates said they would choose to attend again.
“We help teach students to think critically, to be adaptable, to be imaginative, to write well and to express themselves creatively,” Scholz said. “And employer survey after employer survey says those are the skills that employers are looking for.”
L&S has numerous career resources for students including the L&S Career Initiative, which Scholz started in 2013. The program aims to help liberal arts students start thinking about career options early and develop a professional network before graduation.
Since 2013, the Career Initiative has created a one-credit class for sophomores devoted to career exploration and reached out to alumni to help advise and network with students. These initiatives are part of Ogg Hall’s new Career Kickstart program, Director of Professional Networks and Career Resources Dave Nelson said.
Nelson, who helped write the survey report, said although the survey results exceeded expectations, L&S still hopes to do more by continuing to expand the Career Initiative and get students involved in career services.
“The College of Letters and Science is serving 16,000 students and we want to make sure that all of them are utilizing career development resources that are here on campus,” Nelson said.