Office of Career Services

Post-Graduate Survey

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    Phi Beta Kappa biochemistry graduate Zach Jenner is pursuing degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso, TX.
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    Phi Beta Kappa accounting graduate Phuong-Hieu Nguyen works as an assurance associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, NY. Prior to graduation, Nguyen, a Kemper Scholar, interned with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and with Roger Vester Inc., a CPA firm in Georgetown.

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About the Survey

Each year Career Services surveys new graduates about their post-graduation pursuits to learn whether they have secured employment, have been admitted to graduate school, are volunteering or are in process of pursuing one of these goals.

Data collection begins in April prior to May Commencement and continues through the following February, usually resulting in a 95-99 percent response rate.  Surveys are emailed to graduating seniors in April, hard copies of surveys are collected at Commencement in May, follow-up emails are sent in October, Phonathon calling takes place in November, December and February and continued phone calls and emails round out the data collection in early March.

The resultant aggregated data includes information about percentage working or going to school, locations, a sampling of employers and graduate programs, salaries, and internship information.  For questions or more detailed information please contact

Downloadable archived data is available from the links below, followed by highlights for the most recent class. For each class from 2000 through 2007 the class comprises graduates from August, December and May.  For 2008 the class comprises graduates from August 2007, December 2007, May 2008 and August 2008.  From 2009 forward the class includes December, May and August graduates.

Where are they now?: 10 years after Southwestern

For decades Career Services has been collecting traditional first-destination data through annual surveys of new graduates within the first year after graduation. Relationships with our alumni and a growing “gap year” trend nationally, however, led us to believe that a one-year time horizon does not adequately tell the career story of liberal arts graduates. Taking a longer-term view better illustrates the impact of liberal arts education on graduates’ career development. In 2013, Career Services conducted a first-ever 10-year-out survey of the Class of 2003 to gather data to support our anecdotal evidence.  See what we found out.

To take the Survey

The Class of 2015 (December 2014, May 2015, August 2015) survey takes place from April 2015 to March 2016.  To respond to the survey, click here. For questions or problems, email or call 512.863.1346.

Where is the Class of 2014 now?

The Class of 2014 comprises 323 graduates from December 2013, May 2014 and August 2014. Career Services obtained responses from 319 (99 percent of the class). 

69.9 %    Employed
21.9 %    Graduate / professional school or advanced coursework
8.2 %      Other (seeking, volunteering, etc.)

The 47 graduates who earned two or more majors were tallied in each major for a look at responses by major and corresponding school/division.  Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding:

Brown College of Arts and Sciences        

Division of Humanities        
81.2 %    Employed
10.6 %    Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
8.2 %      Other
Division of Natural Sciences    
53.7 %     Employed
40.3 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
6.0 %       Other
Division of Social Sciences    

71.8 %     Employed
21.1 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
7.0 %       Other 

Sarofim School of Fine Arts              

76.9 %     Employed
17.9 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
5.1 %       Other

Independent / Interdisciplinary majors            

62.9 %     Employed
17.1 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
20.0%      Other


what type of employment is it?

2 %        Post-graduate internship or fellowship
6 %        Freelancer/Entrepreneur
7 %        Volunteer service (e.g. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, missionary work)
7 %        Temporary/contract work assignment
78 %      All other employment

How did they locate positions?

For employed graduates who reported the method by which they secured positions:

33.2 %   Other networking (e.g. family, friends)
18.0 %   Directly contacted organizations
14.6 %   Internet
12.2 %   Career-related experience/internship
6.3 %     Alumnus/a
5.4 %     Other (e.g. self-employed, family business)
3.4%      Career Services
2.4 %     Employment agency
2.0 %     SU professor
1.5 %     Career fair
1.0 %     Classified ad

Where are they working?

86 %    Texas
10 %    12 other states, including:
             1.8 %   California
             1.8 %   New York
             1.3 %   Colorado
             0.9 %   Washington, DC
             0.9 %   Mississippi
             0.9%    New Mexico
4 %       Internationally (China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Korea,                      Spain and Taiwan)

When did they begin their search?

Graduates employed or seeking employment who responded about their job search process reported beginning:

24 %    Before senior year
23 %    Falls semester of senior year
21 %    Beginning of spring of senior year
16 %    End of spring of senior year
16 %    After graduation

What do they earn?

Respondents working full-time who reported annual salaries earn:

46 %    less than $30,000
43 %    $30,000 to $50,000
11 %     more than $50,000

Since a liberal arts education prepares students broadly for many kinds of work, majors do not typically correlate directly with specific job titles.  Instead, employed graduates evaluated their satisfaction with their outcomes, and how well their outcomes match their expectations and meet their interests.  Those who reported on these questions stated:

Is the work in their field of interest?

53 %    Completely
32 %    Somewhat
15 %    Not at all

How satisfied are they with their outcome?

44 %    Very happy
38 %    Satisfied
12 %    Slightly unsatisfied
6 %      Completely unsatisfied

How well does their outcome match their expectations?

35 %    Meets expectations
37 %    Close to meeting expectations
25 %    Does not match but is happy
4 %      Does not match and is unhappy

Selected organizations and positions

Accenture, Software Engineer
American Enterprise Institute, Research Assistant
Arlington Public Library (via AmeriCorps), Literacy Coordinator
AXA Advisors, LLC, Financial Advisor
Belton Journal, News Editor
Christian Youth Theatre Austin, Set Designer
City Year (an AmeriCorps program), Tutor/Mentor
Clarksdale Baptist Church, Youth and Music Minister
Comal ISD, Middle School Orchestra Director
Dell Inc., Inside Sales Account Manager
E’lon & Company, Developer
First Texas Bank, Accounting Specialist
Geico, Management Development Program
Henery Press, Editorial Assistant
Houston Astros, Baseball Operations Apprentice
Insight Global, Technical Writer
James Avery Jewelry, Social Media Associate
Leander ISD, Elementary Special Education Teacher
Main Street Hub, Social Media Community Manager
Media Sourcery, Inc., Junior Developer
Peace Corps (China), Volunteer
Pearson, Proofreader and Copy Editor
Phillips 66 Company, Analytical/Environmental Chemist
PhysAssist Scribes, Scribe
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Health Center Assistant
Population Research Center (UT Austin), Research Associate
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Assurance Associate
Raise Your Hand Texas, Digital Producer
Reading Partners (via AmeriCorps), Site Coordinator
Roger Vester Inc., Staff Accountant
Round Rock ISD, Spanish Teacher
Seton Medical Center Williamson, Clinical Assistant III
Sierra Club, Program Assistant - Our Wild America
SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, Head Women’s Volleyball/Basketball Coach
Southwestern University, Coordinator of Civic Engagement
SpareFoot, Developer
Swaton Language School, English Teacher
Tauber Oil Company, Investment Analyst
Teach for America, Math Teacher
TEKsystems, IT Recruiter
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Environmental Investigator
Texas Monthly, Marketing Services Coordinator
Texas Physical Therapy Specialists, PT Technician
Texas Senate Research Center, Bill Analyst
TGR Exotics LLC, Zookeeper
US Government Accountability Office, Computer Science (IT) Analyst
UT Southwestern Medical Center, Research Assistant
URS Corporation, Chemist
Waters & Kraus LLP, Legal Assistant
Xerox Corporation, Technical Customer Support Representative

Graduate / Professional School and Advanced Coursework

What kind of programs are they pursuing?

Nearly 22 percent of the Class of 2014 continued their education after Southwestern.  Of those continuing their studies, they did so in the following ways:
57 %    Graduate school (e.g. Master of Arts, PhD, etc.)
23 %    Medical School (MD, DO)
11 %    Law School
7 %     Advanced coursework (e.g. teacher or EMT certification, grad school pre-requisites, second Bachelor’s)
1 %      Other professional school (e.g. DDS, OD, DVM, etc.)

Where are they studying?

61 %    Texas
38 %    16 other U.S. states

One studied internationally in Taiwan and one additional student studied part-time in China through a program based in Washington, DC.

Selected institutions and programs of study

Antioch University Seattle, MA in Art Theory
Arizona State University, MM in Classical Guitar
Baylor Law School, JD
Claremont Graduate University, PhD in Interfield Economics-Political Science
Emerson College, MA in Journalism
Johns Hopkins University, MA in International Studies
Keck Graduate Institute, Master of Bioscience
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, DO
Oklahoma State University, MBA
Our Lady of the Lake University, MSW
Portland State University, MA in Urban Planning
Texas A&M Health Science Center, MD
Texas State University, MS in Recreation and Leisure Service
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, MD/MPH
Trinity University, Master of Health Administration
Tulsa University, MEng in Petroleum Engineering
University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, JD
University of Houston, MEd in Counseling
University of North Carolina School of the Arts, MFA in Costume Design
University of Texas at Austin, PhD in African and African Diaspora Studies & Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin School of Law, JD
University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, DDS
University of Texas Medical Branch, Master of Physician Assistant Studies
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, MD
University of the Arts, MA in Museum Education
University of Virginia, MS in Accounting


Total internships

Nearly 66 percent of the Class of 2014 (70 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported completing at least one internship experience. Nearly 38 percent of the class (40 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported having two or more internships. Those respondents reported on their internship experiences:

0.3 %         8
0.3 %         7
0.7 %         6
1.0 %         5
3.6 %         4
9.2 %         3
24.9 %       2
29.8 %       1
30.2 %       0

Number of internship for academic credit

(for those reporting about academic internships)

10.9 %     3 or more internships
23.5 %     2 internships
65.5 %     1 internship

Number of internships for experience only

(for those reporting about experience-only internships):

10.2 %     3 or more internships
34.6 %     2 internships
55.1 %     1 internship

Pay for internships

28 %        Paid
51 %        Unpaid
21 %        Both (for graduates with more than one experience: some paid, some unpaid)

Helpfulness of internships

65 %    Very helpful
29 %    Somewhat helpful
6 %      Not helpful


In addition to the evaluation of satisfaction with their outcome and the closeness of the match between their outcome and their expectations, graduates reported on their satisfaction with their interaction with Career Services as well as their overall satisfaction with their Southwestern University education. 

Satisfaction with Career Services

Graduates reported their responses to the question, “How satisfied are you with Career Services regarding guidance provided for securing your job/grad school acceptance?”  Interactions with Career Services can include individual advising appointments, participation in group workshops/events, utilizing the resource library, etc.  More detailed evaluations of each of these components are available through Career Services. Of students who reported using Career Services, respondents were:

38 %    Very happy
49%     Satisfied
11 %    Slightly unsatisfied
2 %      Completely unsatisfied

Satisfaction with Southwestern

Graduates reported their responses to the question, “Based on your SU experience, how satisfied are you with your preparation for your [intended] job/graduate school program?” Of students who answered this question, respondents were:

40 %     Very happy
46 %     Satisfied
12 %       Slightly unsatisfied
1 %       Completely unsatisfied