UConn Grads Finding Jobs at Record Rates Within 6 Months of Earning Degree, New Report Shows

New graduates toss their caps at the end of the School of Engineering commencement ceremony at Gampel Pavilion on May 11, 2019. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo) May 11, 2019. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

New figures show that 90 percent of UConn graduates report being established in jobs, post-graduate academic programs, or other pursuits of their choosing within six months of graduating, including a large number of Connecticut residents who stayed in the state to build their careers.

The figures, released this week by UConn’s Center for Career Development, also show a noteworthy increase – up 6 percentage points – in just the past three years.

The center’s post-graduate survey of the 2019 graduating class found 90 percent of those students reported favorable outcomes: More than 60 percent were employed, while almost 30 percent were in post-graduate programs and smaller segments were in the military or participating in volunteer service.

The data, known as the Undergraduate First Destination report, comes from surveys of members of the UConn Class of 2019, with the methodology based on national standards set by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The results underscore the University’s focus on preparing students to be job-ready with internship assistance, career counseling, employment fairs, resume workshops, mentor networking, and many other services that the Center for Career Development offers.

In addition to the 90 percent favorable outcome rate, the percentage of students who remained in Connecticut after graduating last spring is a noteworthy indicator of UConn’s work to support a talent pipeline for the state’s industries and its economic development as a whole.

About 68 percent of the recent alumni landing jobs in Connecticut were residents of the state before enrolling in UConn, and about 26 percent of the graduates who came to UConn from other states also ended up staying in Connecticut for jobs.

Many of the state’s most prominent employers hired UConn graduates over the past six months, including United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, Synchrony, Stanley Black & Decker, Aetna, Cigna, Deloitte, Travelers, and several others.

In alphabetical order, the top job titles of the new graduates were auditor and audit associate, business analyst, electrical engineer, financial analyst, manufacturing engineer, project engineer, registered nurse, and software developer and engineer.

The survey data also found that 81 percent of the 2019 graduates used services offered by the Center for Career Development during their time at UConn, and three-quarters of the students with positive outcomes said they’d participated in experiential education programs for hands-on learning before graduation.

“We place a strong emphasis on providing students with the necessary tools to articulate their value proposition in areas such as critical thinking, teamwork, leadership, ethical decision-making, and global perspective, to name a few,” said James Lowe, executive director of UConn’s Center for Career Development. “This, combined with our robust corporate partner relations focus, provides opportunities for students to actively engage with employers to explore meaningful career opportunities.”

The newly released figures are one of several indicators of success at the Center for Career Development, which has greatly expanded its reach and programs in the past several years to focus on students’ needs at all stages of their college career, not just as they’re about to enter the workforce.

Lowe said that in 2018-19, the center conducted about 600 career-related presentations, with about 10,000 students attending; had about 7,200 students participating in career fairs that drew over 1,000 employers; and held about 6,700 one-on-one career counseling sessions with students.

Potential employers also are seeing the value of partnering with UConn in order to fill their talent pipelines. The Center for Career Development hosted 90 employers for on-campus interviews during the academic year, and employers posted more than 22,000 jobs through the Center’s HuskyCareerLink site.

Programs at the Center for Career Development include regular events on topics ranging from internships to resume preparation, interviewing, networking, navigating career fairs, and many other areas.

Students can take advantage of the services as early as their freshman year, helping set a foundation of skills on which they can build leading up to their search for internships and post-graduation employment.

“Our mission is to engage students as early in their academic careers as we can,” Lowe said. “Early engagement gives students the opportunity to intentionally plan and navigate their time at UConn so they are better prepared for what lies beyond graduation.”