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254th Commencement of the University of Pennsylvania Speaker: Jon M Huntsman, Jr, US Ambassador to China Credit: Michael Chien

Employment statistics prove Penn’s reputation of high pre-professionalism, with very few graduates lacking post-Penn plans.

Every March, Career Services sends out survey reports to a number of recent Penn graduates to see what they’ve been up to after leaving campus. By the fall, most people typically respond that they have found their employers or have enrolled in various graduate programs.

Penn has one of the lowest rates of graduates seeking employment across the nation. Yet, a very small number of people are still looking for a job, according to the Career Plan Survey Report.

“When we do our employment survey, we know that our seeking employment rate is around four to five percent, which is exceedingly low for new college graduates,” Director of Career Services Patricia Rose said.

Penn has seen a seeking employment rate of approximately six percent in 2012 and 2013, less than Princeton’s 9.1 percent in 2013 and 7.5 percent in 2012, Rose said.

“Harvard is also six percent, but their survey asks for what do you plan to do instead of what you are actually doing,” Rose said. This comparison between Penn and other Ivy League institutions suggests that Penn is indeed a top-notch feeder for employers in different industries.

Senior Associate Director of Career Services Barbara Hewitt said that more Penn graduates may actually have jobs than the report suggests. “Some people just don’t fill out the survey. And sometimes a graduate is first unemployed when he fills out the survey, but later finds a job.”

The reasons why a very small number of graduates are still unable to find a job upon six months of graduation, Rose said, really vary from person to person. “Some may not start thinking about jobs until graduation, some others may travel, just to take a break,” Rose said.

“Someone might also get ill, or experience some family issues,” Hewitt added. “Sometimes life just gets in the way.”

Although not all Penn graduates may be immediately employed or accepted in graduate programs, the University’s low seeking employment rate suggests that the vast majority of students achieve their goals soon after graduating.

“Penn students are very successful overall,” Rose said. “So remember, it might take you a little longer to get a job, depending on what you do, but it’s always good to spend time exploring and thinking about it.”

Related: Full-time employment rate rises for recent graduates

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