DP poll shows students uncertain about postgrad employment
Eighteen percent of students are unsure about entering the workforce
February 18, 2013, 1:03 am·
A significant number of Penn students do not feel confident in their ability to find employment after graduation.
According to a political poll conducted by The Daily Pennsylvanian this past fall, only 70 percent of the 1,305 students who responded to a question on postgraduate employment said they planned to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
The number “mirrors the reality of last year,” said Director of Career Services Patricia Rose, who added that the Career Plans Survey for the Class of 2012 likewise showed that just about 70 percent of graduates went directly into the workforce.
The University registrar provided the DP with a random sample of 2,994 undergraduate and graduate student email addresses. Of those who received a request to complete the survey, 1,413 responded to the survey.
Approximately 18 percent of respondents said they were unsure of whether or not they would be directly entering the workforce, a statistic Rose said might be attributable to students who have not decided if they plan on continuing their education after graduation. One thousand, three hundred and five students responded to the question.
Rose also pointed out that the survey might well have included answers from underclassmen who had not created a clear picture of their post-Penn futures.
Additionally, 73 percent of the 1,304 students who responded to the question said they are confident they will find employment after graduation or after further schooling.
Rebecca Duncan, a Nursing and College senior, said that she “absolutely feels confident” in her prospects for after graduation.
“That’s one of the benefits I considered going into the field of nursing,” she said. “One reason was for better job stability.”
Likewise, Wharton senior Kelly Wyche said she is personally very confident in her ability to attain employment. She added, “Most people, at least in business, will get a job — maybe not the job of their dreams, but I think they will get a job.”
Nevertheless, 10.6 percent of students responded that they are not confident they will find employment, a number Rose thinks may be attributable to the negative news surrounding today’s economy.
“I can understand pessimism when students hear one story after another about how terrible the job market is,” she said. “But in fact, the job market is improving, and for Penn students, it has been pretty good for the past couple of years.”
This poll was conducted through SurveyMonkey.com from Oct. 17 to Oct. 24. Poll questions were modeled off those from polling agencies such as Gallup and the Pew Research Center. With the exception of “Are you registered to vote in the United States?,” no question was mandatory.