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View from Top of the Rock Credit: Aurelien Guichard | Creative Commons

Every year, students from across the United States arrive at the eight Ivy League schools peppered along the East Coast. After graduation, however, a disproportionate number of these students all head to one place: New York City. 

A recent report from Business Insider found that for six out of the eight Ivy League schools, New York City is the most popular destination after graduation. The data was drawn from a previous Wall Street Journal study that looked at graduation and alumni reports over the past 10 years. 

Penn was listed as one of the exceptions: The WSJ data shows that 20 percent of alumni reside in the Big Apple, but 25 percent have continued to stay here in Philadelphia. This is in contrast to Columbia University, where more than 50 percent of alumni were found to live in New York City. 

While Penn students on average prefer big cities, these trends are not consistent across all undergraduate schools. 

The most recent Penn-wide undergraduate summary, conducted for the Class of 2017 by Career Services Center, found that 52 percent from Wharton students moved to the state of New York after graduation, followed by 33 percent of College students and about 31 percent of Engineering students. Within the Nursing school, only 16 percent moved to the general Northeast region while 67 percent remained in the Mid Atlantic region including, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

These reports also indicate that a potential reason Penn students move to New York is to pursue the extensive finance and consulting opportunities offered there. According to Career Services, 41.7 percent of students who are employed full-time immediately after graduation work in finance and consulting.

These numbers could also point to pressures students feel to not only move to New York after graduation, but also seek summer internship and entry-level jobs at the Big Apple. 

New York City is currently undergoing one of its largest employment increases since the 1940s, according to the Office Of The New York State Comptroller. The city has gained 700,000 jobs in the last eight years — nearly a 19 percent increase. This increase accounts for 5 percent of all jobs added in the US over this time period, even though New York only makes up 3 percent of the US job market. 

Despite finance and consulting jobs still dominating the landscape, new jobs are burgeoning within healthcare, business services, media and technology, and tourism & recreation-related fields.


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