UC Davis Today: What’s up next? Jobs and graduate school

Matt Wandell dives in the Steinhart Aquarium

What’s up next? Jobs and graduate school

Even in tough economic times, most UC Davis students earning a bachelor’s degree find jobs in their chosen field or go on to graduate school, according to UC Davis statistics.

Graduate Sean Southard, a statistics major with plans to be an actuary, made news recently with his success in getting several job offers. Prospects traditionally look brightest for students like Southard in the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Division, but national statistics also offer hope for graduates with majors across the board. According to a spring study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than one-quarter of the 2012 graduates who applied for a job already have one in hand, up slightly from last year at this time.  

UC Davis has asked recent graduates about their job or graduate school prospects every three years since 1976, to provide a measure of UC Davis’ success in meeting student goals and providing a high-quality undergraduate education. 

The latest survey of recent alumni from 2009 found that 37 percent who received a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis in 2007-08 went on to graduate school. For the remainder, more than half (52 percent) were employed with full-time work a year after getting their degree — a considerable feat since job seekers in 2009 faced a very bad job market. 

Since 1976, the percentage of recent graduates finding full-time work — even in the worst of economies — has never been below 51 percent. The best it’s ever been — in 1999 and 2005 — is 64 percent.

The survey found that a clear majority of graduates from all undergraduate colleges and divisions were able to find employment in their chosen career field. And, the majority of full-time employed UC Davis respondents said they were working in positions that were highly or moderately related to their undergraduate majors (64 percent). 

In the next few weeks, undergraduates who received their degrees between 2007 and 2011 will be asked by the Student Research and Information Office to take a similar educational and occupational outcomes survey. 

UC Davis alumnus Matt Wandell ’07, who majored in the biological sciences, is an aquatic biologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, where he cares for a wide range of animals, especially those found on and around coral reefs. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo)

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