Post Graduate Survey

The Center for Career & Professional Development 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.

About the Survey

Data collection begins in April prior to May Commencement and continues through the following March, 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 Pirate2Pro@southwestern.edu.

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 the Center for Career & Professional Development 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, therefore, the Center for Career & Professional Development began conducting periodic 10-year-out surveys to gather data to support our anecdotal evidence. See what we found out:

To Take the Survey

The Class of 2018 (December 2017, May 2018, August 2018) survey takes place from April 2018 to March 2019. Click here to take the survey. For questions or problems, email Pirate2Pro@southwestern.edu or call 512.863.1346.

Where is the Class of 2017 now?

The Class of 2017 comprises 403 graduates from December 2016, May 2017 and August 2017. The Center for Career & Professional Development obtained information on 386 (96 percent of the class). 

67.1 %    Employed
23.1 %    Graduate / professional school or advanced coursework
9.8 %      Other (seeking, volunteering, etc.)

The 63 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        
71.3 %     Employed
16.0 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
12.8 %       Other
Division of Natural Sciences    
55.7 %     Employed
37.4 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
7.8 %       Other
Division of Social Sciences    

68.7 %       Employed
19.6 %       Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
11.7 %       Other 

Sarofim School of Fine Arts            

89.3 %     Employed
7.1 %       Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
3.6 %       Other

Independent/Interdisciplinary Majors

67.7 %     Employed
22.6 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
9.7 %       Other


What Type of Employment Is it? 

0.0 %       Military service
3.1 %       Volunteer service (e.g. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, missionary work)   
3.1 %       Post-graduate internship or fellowship
3.6 %       Freelancer/Entrepreneur
5.7 %       Temporary/contract work assignment
84.4 %      All other employment

How Did They Locate Positions? 

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

28.1 %   Internet (other than organization’s own website, e.g. Indeed.com)
21.2 %   Directly contacted organizations
18.0 %   Other networking (e.g. family, friends)
12.9 %   Career-related experience/internship
5.5 %     Alumnus/a
5.1 %     Other (e.g. self-employed, family business)
4.6 %     SU professor
2.3 %     The Center for Career & Professional Development
1.8%      Employment agency
0.5 %     Career fair

Where are They Working? 

87 %    Texas
12 %    14 other states, including:
             2.4 %   Colorado
             2.0 %   California
             1.2 %   Florida
1 %       Internationally (England, Spain)

When Did They Begin Their Search? 

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

21.5 %    Before senior year
19.6 %    Fall semester of senior year
17.0 %    Beginning of spring of senior year
20.8 %    End of spring of senior year
21.1 %    After graduation

What Do They Earn?

Respondents working full-time who reported annual salaries earn:

29.6 %    less than $30,000
53.8 %    $30,000 to $50,000
16.6 %    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? 

60.3 %    Completely
30.4 %    Somewhat
9.4 %      Not at all

How Satisfied are they With their Outcome? 

46.1 %    Very happy
40.8 %    Satisfied
10.6 %    Slightly unsatisfied
2.4%       Completely unsatisfied

How Well Does Their Outcome Match Their Expectations? 

40.6 %    Meets expectations
33.2 %    Close to meeting expectations
23.4 %    Does not match but is happy
2.9 %      Does not match and is unhappy

Selected Organizations and Positions 

Accenture Federal Services, Client Financial Management Analyst
AIG, Organization Processing Associate
American Airlines, Inc., Revenue Management Analyst
American Cancer Society, Cancer Resource Specialist
AmeriCorps NCC Traditional, Volunteer Team Member
Apple Inc., Translator
Applied Geographics, Inc., GIS Analyst
Austin Oaks Hospital, Mental Health Technician
AXA Advisors, LLC, Financial Advisor
Boys Town National Research Hospital, Research Assistant
C3 Presents, Concerts Community Coordinator
Conroe ISD, Secondary Science Teacher
E.ON, HSE (Health, Safety, Environmental) Intern
Eye Associates of Central Texas, Ophthalmology Technician
Georgetown ISD, Middle School Media Publications Teacher
GM Financial, Pricing Analyst
Goodwill San Antonio, Career Navigator
Grassroots Campaigns, Field Manager
Gustavus Adolphus College, Assistant Football Coach
Heart of Texas Region MHMR Center, Caseworker 1
Helping Hand Home for Children, Therapeutic Child Care Specialist
HomeAway, Inc., Lead Development and Conversion Specialist
Hyliion, Inc., Associate Director of Supply Chain Management
IBM, Digital Strategist
Illuminidol, Graphic Designer
KPMG LLP, Audit Associate
Lockheed Martin, Government Financial Analyst Associate
Main Street Hub, Inside Sales Representative
Manor ISD, Assistant Band Director/Percussion Specialist
March of Dimes, Development Specialist
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Zookeeper, Carnivore Dept.
National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, Fellow/Post-Baccalaureate Researcher
Outlyrs LLC, Co-Founder/Web Developer
PhysAssist Scribes, Inc., Medical Scribe
Quad City Steamwheelers, Quarterback
Randstad Technologies US, RCD Technical Recruiter
RedLine Contemporary Art Center (via AmeriCorps), ArtCorps VISTA
RedLine Athletics, Sports Performance Specialist
Round Rock Police Department, Logistics Officer
Safe Place of the Permian Basin, Victim’s Advocate
SHI International Corp., Inside Account Executive
Stage Alliance, Stage Hand
Stitch Fix, Client Experience Agent
Teach for America, Teacher
Texas Senate, Senate Research Associate
Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Medical Research Technician
The Art Garage, Studio Manager
Transportation Security Administration, Officer
Uber Eats, Account Representative
US Army Corps of Engineers, Park Ranger
US Olympic Committee, Sports Medicine Intern
UT Southwestern Medical Center, Genetic Counseling Assistant
Walt Disney World Resort, Actress
Yale Law Group, Paralegal

Graduate / Professional School and Advanced Coursework

What Kind of Programs are They Pursuing? 

Twenty-three percent of the Class of 2017 continued their education directly after Southwestern. Of those continuing their studies, they did so in the following ways:

63 %    Graduate school (e.g. Master of Arts, PhD, etc.)
11%     Law School
9 %      Advanced coursework (e.g. teacher certification, grad school pre-requisites, second Bachelor’s)
7 %      Medical School (MD, DO)
1 %      Theological School
9 %      Other professional school (e.g. DDS, OD, DVM, etc.)

Where are They Studying? 

55 %    Texas
40 %    21 other U.S. states
5%       Internationally (England, Hungary, Ireland)

Selected Institutions and Programs of Study 

Auburn University, PhD in Human Development and Family Studies
Columbia University, MS in Journalism
Duke University, MA in Economics
Harvard Law School, JD
Iowa State University, MS in Kinesiology (Physical Activity Epidemiology)
North Carolina State University, PhD in Mathematics
Ohio State University, MPA (Master in Public Administration)
Savannah College of Art and Design, MFA in Film and Television
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy, PharmD
Texas Woman’s University, DPT
The College of William and Mary, MPP (Master of Public Policy)
Tulane University School of Medicine, MS in Microbiology and Immunology
University College London, MSc in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition
University of Chicago Divinity School, MDiv
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, MA in Clinical Psychology
University of Denver, MSW
University of Missouri, Kansas City, MFA in Costume Design 
University of North Texas, MA in Ethnomusicology
University of North Texas Health Science Center, MPAS (Master of Physician Assistant Studies)
University of Oregon, PhD in Philosophy
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, MD
University of South Dakota, PhD in Biology
University of Texas at Austin, MPH
University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, MD
Vanderbilt University Law School, JD
Washington University in Saint Louis, MS in Mechanical Engineering


Total Internships

Sixty-three percent of the Class of 2016 (69.1 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported completing at least one internship experience. Thirty-four percent of the class (nearly 38 percent of respondents to the survey’s internship questions) reported having two or more internships. Those respondents reported on their internship experiences:

27.7 %        0
36.0 %        1
20.5 %        2
9.1 %          3
4.4 %          4
1.4 %          5
0.3 %          6
0.6 %          7

Number of Internships for Academic Credit 

(for those reporting about academic internships)

10.0 %     3 or more internships
18.7 %     2 internships
71.3 %     1 internship

Number of Internships for Experience Only

(for those reporting about experience-only internships):

12.7%     3 or more internships
24.9 %     2 internships
62.4 %     1 internship

Pay for Internships

29 %        Paid
53 %        Unpaid
18 %        Both (for graduates with more than one experience: some paid, some unpaid)

Helpfulness of Internships

61 %      Very helpful
34 %      Somewhat helpful
5 %        Not helpful


In addition to evaluating satisfaction with first-destination outcomes and the match between those outcomes and their expectations, graduates also reported on their satisfaction with the Center for Career & Professional Development interactions as well as overall satisfaction with their Southwestern University education.

Satisfaction with the Center for Career & Professional Development

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 the Center for Career & Professional Development 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 the Center for Career & Professional Development. Of students who reported using the Center for Career & Professional Development, respondents were:

53 %    Very happy
38%     Satisfied
7 %      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:

50 %     Very happy
41 %     Satisfied
8 %       Slightly unsatisfied
1 %       Completely unsatisfied