Lehigh tracks post-graduation placements of students across colleges

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For many colleges, post-graduation is nearly as important as the time spent at the institution itself. Many students come to obtain an education in order to be better equipped for the workforce. Thousands of dollars spent and several hours housed in a classroom must amount to some semblance of success when a student graduates.

Lehigh University is no different. Career services, an on-campus resource for assisting in a variety of areas such as finding an internship or securing a job, tracks Lehigh’s graduate success.

The most recent data from the students who received a bachelor’s degree between January and December 2014 shows that the university has a 91 percent knowledge rate of their graduates. This means that approximately 91 percent of the students who received their degree last year have been included in their data.

According to career services, “this data was acquired directly from graduates, employers, university staff members, parents, and LinkedIn profiles.”

It shows that overall, 69 percent of graduates were employed, 23 percent attended graduate school, 4 percent are still seeking and 4 percent are categorized as “other,” which includes traveling, military service and volunteering.

However, these numbers varied greatly in each college. The College of Business and Economics had about 88 percent of its students employed after graduation, with only 6 percent going straight to graduate school. On the other hand, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science had about 67 percent of its students employed, while 22 percent went to graduate school. Fifty seven percent of the students who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences were employed after graduation, while 29 percent enrolled in graduate school.

These statistics correlate well with the list of the top employers of Lehigh students in 2014, which were mostly business-oriented companies. They included: Ernst and Young, which hired 29 Lehigh graduates, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which hired 24, IBM Corporation, which hired 20, and KPMG, which hired 13.

Not all of these positions necessarily went to students who graduated from the CBE.

Lori Kennedy, the director of career services, provided insight as to why these business-oriented companies are consistently the top recruiters at Lehigh. She said when undergraduate business students are hired by a company like Ernst and Young, they often return when they are looking to recruit new hires. While recruiting, they have friends or people they can connect with based off of similar backgrounds at Lehigh. As more students are recruited, the cycle continues.

As of 2014, as many as 237 students have been hired by Ernst and Young in the last 10 years.

A significant amount of experience and success for students can also be attributed to the options provided by Lehigh, such as co-op opportunities. Co-ps allow students to combine academics with a long-term work experience. These programs allow students to gain real-world career experience.

Nick Praedin, the assistant director of co-op & experiential education, talked about his role in helping a particular student obtain a co-op.

Minutes after the student interviewed with their first choice company, the student consulted with Praedin about a follow up “thank you” e-mail to the interviewer. They discussed what important details should go into the message and the student sent it soon after the interview.

The interviewer ran into the student later that day and praised them for the additional effort and promptness of the e-mail.

“With his passion, drive, attention to detail, polite persistence, and ability to truly recognize an opportunity, this student was able to really set himself up for not only success within the Co-op program, but for future success as well,” Praedin said.

There are a multitude of other factors for post-graduation placement, such as geography, GPA or the amount of on-campus recruiting. However, the information and individuals from career services serve as apt guidance for what students and parents can expect from their chosen field after graduation.

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