Post Graduate Survey

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.

About the Survey

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 career.services@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 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, therefore, Career Services 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 2017 (December 2016, May 2017, August 2017) survey takes place from April 2017 to March 2018.  Click here to take the survey. For questions or problems, email career.services@southwestern.edu or call 512.863.1346.

Where is the Class of 2016 now?

The Class of 2016 comprises 328 graduates from December 2015, May 2016 and August 2016. Career Services obtained information on 324 (99 percent of the class). 

68.2 %    Employed
22.8 %    Graduate / professional school or advanced coursework
9.0 %      Other (seeking, volunteering, etc.)

The 49 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        
75.9 %     Employed
20.3 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
2.5 %       Other
Division of Natural Sciences    
47.4 %     Employed
39.7 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework
11.5 %       Other
Division of Social Sciences    

72.9 %     Employed
20.1 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
6.9 %       Other 

Sarofim School of Fine Arts            

75.7 %     Employed
10.8 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
13.5 %       Other

Independent/Interdisciplinary Majors

57.6 %     Employed
21.2 %     Graduate/Professional School or Advanced Coursework        
21.2 %     Other


What Type of Employment Is it? 

0.0 %       Military service
4.6 %       Freelancer/Entrepreneur
5.1 %       Volunteer service (e.g. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, missionary work)   
6.8 %       Post-graduate internship or fellowship
7.4 %       Temporary/contract work assignment
76.1 %      All other employment

How Did They Locate Positions? 

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

29.5 %   Directly contacted organizations
23.3 %   Other networking (e.g. family, friends)
22.4 %   Internet
11.9 %   Career-related experience/internship
6.2 %     Alumnus/a
3.3 %     SU professor
1.4 %     Career Services
1.0 %     Other (e.g. self-employed, family business)
0.5 %     Career fair
0.5%      Classified ad

Where are They Working? 

83 %    Texas
15 %    17 other states, including:
             2.3 %   California
             2.3 %   New York
             1.8 %   Washington, DC
2 %       Internationally (France, Taiwan and Vietnam)

When Did They Begin Their Search? 

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

26 %    Before senior year
22 %    Fall semester of senior year
20 %    Beginning of spring of senior year
13 %    End of spring of senior year
18 %    After graduation

What Do They Earn?

Respondents working full-time who reported annual salaries earn:

36 %    less than $30,000
47 %    $30,000 to $50,000
17 %    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? 

55 %    Completely
33 %    Somewhat
12 %    Not at all

How Satisfied are they With their Outcome? 

36 %    Very happy
51 %    Satisfied
10 %    Slightly unsatisfied
2 %      Completely unsatisfied

How Well Does Their Outcome Match Their Expectations? 

39 %    Meets expectations
33 %    Close to meeting expectations
25 %    Does not match but is happy
3 %      Does not match and is unhappy

Selected Organizations and Positions 

24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., Personal Trainer
Advantix, Web Developer
Aerotek, Recruiter
AGE of Central Texas, Development Associate
AIB, Inc., Web Developer
Andrews Distributing Company, Market Intelligence Analyst
Apex Companies, LLC, GIS Technician
Ashton Woods Homes, LLC, Assistant Superintendent
Austin State Hospital, Psychiatric Nursing Assistant
AXA Advisors, LLC, Financial Advisor
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Real Estate Agent
Bootin & Savrick Pediatric Associates, Medical Assistant
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Retirement Plan Specialist
City Year San Antonio, Mentor
Concordia University, Assistant Golf Coach
Disney College Program, Character Performer
Georgetown ISD, High School Math Teacher
GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group, Inc.), Survey Research Associate
HilltopSecurities Inc., Analyst
HomeAway, Inc., Lead Development and Conversion Specialist
Ivy Creek Family Farm, Farming Apprentice
Kibo Software, Inc., Associate Software Engineer
Killeen ISD, Music Teacher
Landworks, Inc., GIS Specialist
Library of Congress, Junior Fellow
Literacy First (via AmeriCorps), Literacy Tutor
Mako’s Wine & Taphouse, LLC, Chief Operating Officer
MetLife, Inc., Field Service Consultant
MHMR of Tarrant County, Substance Abuse Counselor
Milwaukee Police Department, Police Officer
Ministry of Education Teaching Assistant Program in France, ESL Instructor
Mitratech, Business Development
Peace Corps, English Teacher
San Antonio Military Medical Center, Research Assistant
SHI International Corp., Inside Account Executive
Signpost, Marketing Consultant
Southwestern University, Civic Engagement Coordinator
Tableau Software, Enterprise Sales Area Manager
Teach for America, High School English Teacher
Texas Legislative Council, Copy Editor
The Arc of the Capital Area, Marketing and Volunteer Coordinator
The Hertz Corporation, Manager-in-Training
ThoughtWorks, Inc., Associate Consultant
Tulsa Legacy Charter School, Elementary School Teacher
US Customs and Border Protection, Agent
United States Geological Survey, Hydrological Technician
Urban Roots, Youth Specialist
UT Austin, Field Data Coordinator
UT Austin McCombs School of Business, Development Associate
Wilson and Franco, Junior Analyst
YMCA of Greater San Antonio, Sports Coordinator

Graduate / Professional School and Advanced Coursework

What Kind of Programs are They Pursuing? 

Nearly 23 percent of the Class of 2016 continued their education directly after Southwestern. Of those continuing their studies, they did so in the following ways:
53 %    Graduate school (e.g. Master of Arts, PhD, etc.)
19 %    Advanced coursework (e.g. teacher or EMT certification, grad school pre-requisites, second Bachelor’s)
12 %    Law School
4 %      Medical School (MD, DO)
1 %      Theological School
11 %      Other professional school (e.g. DDS, OD, DVM, etc.)

Where are they Studying? 

64 %    Texas
33 %    17 other U.S. states

Two graduates studied internationally in Grenada and Scotland.

Selected Institutions and Programs of Study? 

Auburn University, MS in Animal Science Genetics
Baylor Law School, JD
Boston University, MM in Vocal Performance
Brandeis University, MA in International Economics and Finance
Brite Divinity School, MDiv in Theology
California Institute of Technology, PhD in Chemistry
Louisiana State University, PhD in Chemistry
Oklahoma State University, MA in Art History
Parsons School of Design, MA in Fashion Studies
Queen Margaret University, MA in Arts, Festival, and Cultural Management
Stanford University, PhD in Chemical and Systems Biology
Texas A&M University, PhD in Astronomy
Texas Woman’s University, DPT
University of Colorado, Boulder Law School, JD
University of Delaware, PhD in English
University of Houston, MSW
University of Iowa, PhD in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
University of Kansas, MS in Counseling
University of Maryland, College Park, PhD in Applied Mathematics
University of Minnesota, MS in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration
University of Texas at Austin, MPA (Public Affairs)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, PhD in Clinical Psychology
UT Health Houston, MD
UT Health San Antonio, DDS
Washington State University, DVM
Washington University in St. 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:

0.3 %        12
0.3 %         6
0.7 %         5
7.4 %         4
7.7 %         3
21.1 %       2
31.5 %       1
30.9 %       0

Number of Internships for Academic Credit 

(for those reporting about academic internships)

13.5 %     3 or more internships
20.7 %     2 internships
65.8 %     1 internship

Number of Internships for Experience Only

(for those reporting about experience-only internships):

16.4 %     3 or more internships
23.6 %     2 internships
60.0 %     1 internship

Pay for Internships

30 %        Paid
52 %        Unpaid
19 %        Both (for graduates with more than one experience: some paid, some unpaid)

Helpfulness of Internships

67 %      Very helpful
28 %      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 Career Services interactions as well as 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
45%     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:

48 %     Very happy
44 %     Satisfied
7 %       Slightly unsatisfied
1 %       Completely unsatisfied