Fewer recent University of Notre Dame graduates still were looking for work at Commencement than any class in recent history, according to the preliminary results of a survey on graduates’ post-Commencement plans.
“This year’s graduating class seemed to have dodged any fallout from a poor economy,” said Lee Svete, director of the Career Center.
Only 11 percent of graduating seniors listed themselves as still looking for work during the survey, which is annually conducted by the Office of Institutional Research during graduation week. That number is down from last year’s statistic of 12 percent and the results of the 2006 survey, when 14 percent of undergraduates still were looking for work.
Survey results indicate that while 10 percent of undergraduates are doing service work and many are continuing their education—law and medical school or other graduate or business school—there is no statistical indication that students fled to post-graduate work to avoid a poor economy, Svete says.
The survey results surprised and delighted the Career Center staff, said Rose Kopec, Career Center associate director, who handles early career outreach. Increasingly, sophomores and some first-year students make their way to her door. Last year, the Career Center staff conducted close to 200 workshops and presentations, organized career fairs, and held some 5,000 individual advising sessions.
Kopec and Svete identified one trend, affecting around 20 students, that reflects the economy, particularly the troubles experienced by the financial industry. Students who had been hired by major corporations were asked to defer their first day of work through the summer. For example, a July 1 starting date has been shifted to the fall.
“We’ve had contacts with these employers, and they say the jobs will be there in fall,” Kopec said.
Some businesses are hiring graduates but assigning them to a different industry within their corporation and a different city than first discussed. For example, students who planned to work in the financial industry are being shifted within the same firm to the financial arm of the health care division.
Median starting salaries continued to climb, Svete adds: $59,500 for engineers, $55,000 for business school graduates and $48,000 for graduates of Arts and Letters. Increasingly, he says, Arts and Letters students are taking internships that prepare them for jobs in sales and marketing.
Originally published by newsinfo.nd.edu on June 30, 2008.at