Office of Career Services

Post-Graduate Survey

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    Anthropology/Spanish graduate Alejandra Benitez works as an English teaching assistant through the Ministry of Education of France English Teaching Assistant Program in Riems, France.
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    An economics and mathematics graduate, Andy Claradge is pursuing a PhD in statistics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

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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 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 2014 (December 2013, May 2014, August 2014) survey takes place from April 2014 to March 2015.  To respond to the survey, click here. For questions or problems, email or call 512.863.1346.

Where is the Class of 2013 now?

The Class of 2013 comprises 321 graduates from December 2012, May 2013 and August 2014. Career Services obtained responses from 315 (98 percent of the class). 

67.3 %    Employed
25.1 %    Graduate / professional school or advanced coursework
7.6 %      Other (seeking, volunteering, etc.)

The 52 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        
67.8 %    Employed
20.7 %    Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
11.5 %    Other
Division of Natural Sciences    
51.3 %     Employed
43.6 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
5.1 %       Other
Division of Social Sciences    

74.6 %     Employed
21.0 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
4.3 %       Other 

Sarofim School of Fine Arts              

74.4 %     Employed
15.4 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
10.3 %     Other

Independent / Interdisciplinary majors            

76.9 %     Employed
15.4 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
7.7 %       Other


How did they locate positions?

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

33 %   Other networking (e.g. family, friends)
21 %   Directly contacted organizations
14 %   Internet
10 %   Career-related experience/internship
6%      Career Services
5 %     Other (e.g. self-employed, family business)
4 %     SU Professor
4 %     Alumnus/a
1 %     Employment agency
1 %     Career fair

Where are they working?

83 %    Texas
13 %    21 other states, including:
             1 %      Arkansas
             1 %      California
             1 %      Colorado
             1 %      Georgia
             1 %      Minnesota
             1 %      Oklahoma
4 %       Internationally (Burkina Faso, France, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, Panama and South Korea)

When did they begin their search?

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

25 %    Before senior year
26 %    Falls semester of senior year
20 %    Beginning of spring of senior year
12 %    End of spring of senior year
18 %    After graduation

What do they earn?

Respondents working full-time who reported annual salaries earn:

40 %    less than $30,000
51 %    $30,000 to $50,000
9 %     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?

56 %    Completely
31 %    Somewhat
13 %    Not at all

How satisfied are they with their outcome?

36 %    Very happy
47 %    Satisfied
14 %    Slightly unsatisfied
3 %      Completely unsatisfied

How well does their outcome match their expectations?

36 %    Meets expectations
34 %    Close to meeting expectations
28 %    Does not match but is happy
3 %      Does not match and is unhappy

Selected organizations and positions

Accella LLC, iPhone/Mobile Developer
American Red Cross of Central Texas (via AmeriCorps), Development VISTA
AmeriCorps NCCC, Team Leader
Apple Inc., Apple Store Leadership Program Associate
Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services, Research Assistant
Austin Travis County Integral Care, Outreach Worker
Bliss Event Planning, Owner/CEO      
Brown, Graham & Company, Accountant
Canyon ISD, Assistant Choir Director
City of Austin, Austin Resource Recovery, Strategic Initiatives Planner
City Year San Antonio (via AmeriCorps), Corps Member
Costco Wholesale Corp., Marketing Analytics and Research Analyst
Dallas ISD (via Teach for America), Middle School Teacher
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Office Assistant
Denim Group LTD, Software Consultant
Dougherty & Dougherty, Legal Assistant
First United Methodist Church of Bartlesville, OK, Director of Children’s Ministries
Grant Thornton LLP, Business Advisor Associate
Helping the Aging, Needy and Disabled, Inc. (via AmeriCorps), Communications/Development Associate                 (VISTA)
Hospira, Inc., Biological/Environmental Quality Site Technician
Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, English Language Teacher
La Vernia ISD, High School Theatre Teacher
Meridell Achievement Center, Youth Care Counselor
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Family Programs Assistant
National Instruments, Internal Communications Coordinator
Opportune LLP, Revenue Analyst
Peace Corps (Burkina Faso), Health Volunteer
Peace Corps (Panama), English Teacher
Texas Representative Joe Straus, Administrative Aide
Transmission Events, Retail and Non-Profit Vendor Coordinator
Round Rock ISD, Algebra 1 Teacher
San Antonio Bike Share LLC, Business Development Director
South By Southwest, Inc., Platinum Conference Crews Volunteer Coordinator
Southwestern University, Academic Advisor - Upward Bound
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of San Antonio, TX, Communications Director
Teaching Assistant Program in France, English Teaching Assistant
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Enforcement Coordinator
Texas Physical Therapy Specialists, Physical Therapy Technician
The Richards Group, Brand Manager
Union Pacific, Associate Applications Developer
US Navy, Flight Officer
Whitley Penn, LLP, Auditor
Yodle, Inc., Sales Representative
Zurich Insurance, Underwriter

Graduate / Professional School and Advanced Coursework

What kind of programs are they pursuing?

63 %    Graduate school (e.g. Master of Arts, PhD, etc.)
10 %    Other professional school (e.g. DDS, OD, DVM, etc.)
10 %    Advanced coursework (e.g. teacher or EMT certification, grad school pre-requisites, second Bachelor’s)
9 %      Law School
8 %      Medical School (MD, DO)

Where are they studying?

62 %    Texas
32 %    17 other U.S. states

Five students studied internationally in England, Mexico, Scotland and Taiwan.

Selected institutions and programs of study

Auburn University, MA in Counseling
Baylor College of Dentistry, DDS
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, MD
Columbia University, MA in Education
Durham University, MA in Medieval History
Eastern Washington University, MFA in Poetry
Iowa State University, MS in Journalism and Mass Communication
Louisiana State University, JD
Portland State University, MS in Electrical Engineering
Princeton University, PhD in Molecular Biology
Rice University, PhD in Economics
Royal Holloway, University of London, MSc in Geopolitics and Security
Southern Methodist University, PhD in Statistics
Texas A&M University, Master of Public Service Administration in Environmental Policy
University of Alabama, PhD in Cognitive/Developmental Psychology
University of Denver, MA in Conflict Resolution
University of Georgia, PhD in Forest Resources
University of Houston College of Optometry, OD
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MS in Library Science and Information Studies
University of St. Andrews, MLitt in Art History
University of Texas at Austin, MA in Sports Management
University of Texas at Austin School of Law, JD
University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center, MPH
University of Texas Medical Branch, MD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, DPT
University of the Incarnate Word, PharmD


Total internships

Nearly 66 percent of the Class of 2013 (70 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported completing at least one internship experience. Thirty-six percent of the class (38 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported having two or more internships. Those respondents reported on their internship experiences:

0.3 %         7
1.0 %         6
2.3 %         5
5.0 %         4
11.1 %       3
19.1 %       2
31.9 %       1
29.2 %       0

Number of internship for academic credit

(for those reporting about academic internships)

35.3 %     2 or more internships
64.7 %     1 internship

Number of internships for experience only

(for those reporting about experience-only internships):

40.3 %     2 or more internships
59.7 %     1 internship

Pay for internships

25 %        Paid
48 %        Unpaid
27 %        Both (for graduates with more than one experience: some paid, some unpaid)

Helpfulness of internships

64 %    Very helpful
31 %    Somewhat helpful
5 %      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:

46 %    Very happy
41%     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:

48 %     Very happy
42 %     Satisfied
8 %       Slightly unsatisfied
2 %       Completely unsatisfied