The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


Mayor Jim Kenney and Gov. Tom Wolf two key players in the dynamic world of Philadelphia politics.

Credit: Ken Lund | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Significantly fewer Penn students remain to work in Philadelphia after graduation as compared to graduates from other universities in and around the city. 

An estimated 10.67 percent of Penn students who accepted full-time employment offers after graduation remained in Philadelphia to work, according to Career Services reports on Penn’s Class of 2015. While a small percentage of Penn students remain in Philadelphia for work after graduation, 64 percent of recent graduates from local and regional universities stayed in the city after graduation in 2014, according to the nonprofit Campus Philly.

In 2015, 189 Penn students answered Career Services surveys indicating they had full-time employment offers in the city after graduating. (While Penn conferred 2,773 degrees last year, 2,311 graduates answered Career Services’ career plans surveys.) An estimated 76.59 percent of the respondents reported accepting a full-time employment offer, while the rest went on to graduate school, part-time employment, travel or were still seeking employment.

A higher percentage of employed Nursing students, 44.90 percent, stayed in Philadelphia for work after receiving their diplomas. Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were the school’s top employers, according to the reports.

Only 6.49 and 4.28 percent of employed students from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Wharton School, respectively, reported plans of working in the city following graduation, while 12.33 percent of employed College students indicated the same.

“One of the main reasons why I chose Penn as a city where I wanted to study was because of Philadelphia,” said Giancarlo Medina, a College senior who will work at a health care consulting firm in Philadelphia after graduation.

“So, for me, I was definitely open to the idea of staying here after graduation,” he added. “Obviously when you get into school you don’t really think about where you’re going to work … but towards senior year, I definitely wanted to apply to jobs near Philadelphia.”

New York was the most popular city for employed 2015 Penn graduates. An estimated 44 percent of respondents from the College that received full-time employment offers went to New York in 2015, according to the reports. The same data was not available for graduating Wharton students, but would most likely be higher due to the school’s top employers being New York-based financial firms.

“I think it’s mostly based on the type of positions that Penn graduates look for,” Medina said. “You look at OCR and you go through PennLink and the majority of the positions aren’t actually in Philadelphia. If you look at the finance industry, most entry-level positions in investment banking or consulting would lead you to New York.”

Sarah Kho, a Wharton senior who will stay in Philadelphia after graduation to work at Boston Consulting Group, agreed with Medina’s observation. Kho noted that she ultimately chose to remain in Philadelphia due to the community and social connections she had developed while at Penn.

“So many people go to New York,” Kho said. “Graduates go where there is an industry, and Philly doesn’t really have any major finance companies.”

Campus Philly studies found that, out of the 64 percent of Philadelphia-area graduates who stayed, 79 percent were employed, 12 percent were in school, 7 percent were unemployed, and 2 percent were not working by choice. The report’s figures are based on a survey answered by 3,390 recent Philadelphia college graduates.

Philadelphia has done a formidable job at retaining its younger population. An estimated 31.40 percent of households in Philadelphia are occupied by 18 to 34 year olds, as compared to San Francisco’s 27.40 percent and New York’s 24.80 percent, according a study by Trulia, a real estate website.

Millennials in Philadelphia are also leaving the city at a reduced pace as compared to other cities nationwide. On May 5, Billy Penn reported that “people in Philly ages 18-to-34 are moving away at a rate lower than might be expected, compared to other big cities across the United States like New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.”

Affordability and increased urban development are factors that attract young graduates to the city.

“As compared to New York and Boston, it’s pretty affordable,” Kho said. “It has character. It’s not the cleanest, but it has character and there is a lot going on. My job is pretty hectic and I wanted a city that I can call home and relax, unlike in New York.”

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.