Career Services Releases First Destination Report
for Class of 2013 Graduates
Traditionally before graduation, the majority of Lehigh University undergraduate students have secured jobs, been accepted to graduate school, or determined alternate opportunities to help them pursue their dreams. For more than 30 years, Lehigh’s Office of Career Services has asked, tracked, and reported these post-commencement plans and recently released the First Destination Report
for the Class of 2013. According to the report, 97% of those who responded are exactly where they want to be.
“Lehigh has a long history of collecting this data and we improve the report each year,” said Lori Kennedy
, director of Career Services, who explained that the placement summary’s new title, First Destination Report
, reflects trends in higher education and the proactive role of the department.
“Our staff promotes student success by teaching life-long skills to navigate and evaluate opportunities,” she said. “Lehigh students maximize Career Services, campus resources, networking contacts, alumni connections, mobile devices, and technology to aid in their search.”
During the yearlong process, the Career Services staff discovered the exact destinations of where almost 90% of the 2013 graduates landed after earning their bachelor’s degrees. In a time when the value of higher education is being questioned, the statistics show impressive outcomes. Of the 1,020 bachelor degree recipients, verifiable post graduation career activities were obtained for 88%. The data shows that 66% found employment, 29% enrolled in graduate school, and 2% pursued other activities such as volunteering or joining the military.
The data composed is so specific that the 2012 report was praised by the Department of Education last year when the Obama administration announced plans to develop a national college rating system.
Kennedy said that it takes a community to annually repeat this kind of success rate, and Lehigh’s network just keeps building. Campus partnerships with faculty, alumni, employers, and parents all contribute in developing a range of opportunities.
“I’m very fortunate to work in this role and connect our students with alumni and recruiters. Every day, I receive an email, phone call, or meet with an alum who wants to interview on campus, post a position, or offer an internship,” said Kennedy. “These partnerships make Lehigh very strong. The First Destination Report tells the story of our student success and conveys the impact of talented students intersecting with committed alumni, faculty, staff, and employers.”
Mutually, Kennedy said, deans, faculty, and staff members campus wide regularly present internship or employment opportunities to the department.
These connections keep the Career Services staff hopping. Last year, more than 200 organizations visited campus to recruit Lehigh students, resulting in 2,500 individual interviews. Career Services also worked with 1,151 businesses to post 2,801 full-time positions and 969 internship and co-op opportunities. Twenty-one percent of students hired last year previously had a summer job, internship, or co-op experience with their new employer.
Impressive placement statistics only continue to raise the value of a Lehigh degree and, ultimately, the candidacy of a Lehigh graduate in the eyes of a recruiter. Top employers in 2013 who hired graduates from Lehigh’s three undergraduate colleges were Ernst & Young; PricewaterhouseCoopers; KPMG, LLP; IBM Corporation; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; ExxonMobil Corporation; Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; Morgan Stanley; and Teach for America.
Kennedy said the university’s strong relationship with recruiters is a testament to Lehigh providing employers with the type of graduate they need.
“I’m convinced Lehigh has invented a formula that leads to strong first destination results – we connect talented students with internationally recognized faculty combined with committed staff, alumni, and employers,” she said.
Because such a high tracking rate has been acquired for so long, decade trends for career patterns, graduate and professional school placement, top employers, and mean starting salaries are used as admissions recruitment tools, bringing the process full circle.