Illini Success report released
High percentages of young LAS alumni are finding jobs, graduate schools, and other opportunities after graduation
These results are according to the Illini Success initiative, a campuswide effort that launched in 2014 to gather career-related information about recently graduated bachelor’s degree recipients. The latest report—released this week—includes data about 2015-16 graduates of Illinois based on survey responses, employer and college reports, and the LinkedIn social media network.
“This year’s Illini Success report indicates that our students are clearly well-prepared for life after commencement, whether they are seeking employment, graduate or professional school , or volunteer and service opportunities,” said Feng Sheng Hu, Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of LAS. “We have many reasons to be proud.”
This year’s study reports that 83 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients in LAS had secured a first destination—employment, continuing education, or volunteer/service positions—within six months of graduation. Last year, the Illini Success report indicated that 77 percent of LAS graduates had secured first destinations.
About 70 percent of LAS graduates reporting a first destination were employed. Last year, 69 percent of LAS respondents were employed. The average annual salary of new LAS graduates in the study is $48,981. New LAS graduates’ average salary is the third-highest on the Illinois campus, after graduates from the colleges of Engineering and Business.
Of 3,104 LAS bachelor’s degree recipients from 2015-16 (including those from the August 2015, December 2015, and May 2016 graduations), the latest report includes data for 2,101 graduates, or 68 percent of the total. Last year’s study, which examined graduates from 2014-2015, included data for 71 percent of the total.
About 13 percent of new LAS graduates reported receiving signing bonus. Those bonuses averaged $5,960, compared to an average of $4,901 last year.
Of the 2015-2016 LAS graduates who continued on to graduate school, 51 percent are pursuing master’s degrees, 20 percent are pursuing professional degrees (law or medicine), and 21 percent are pursuing doctoral degrees. About 49 percent are continuing their education in Illinois.
Eighty percent of 2015-16 LAS graduates participated in one or more experiential learning opportunities at Illinois, including internships, assistantships, student teaching, service learning/volunteering, study abroad with internship or practicum component, clinical experience, co-op, or field experience with a practicum component. All of those who participated in an experiential learning opportunity ranked these experiences as “very helpful” or “helpful.”
Career data has important implications, from addressing the questions and concerns of prospective students to answering accreditors who are measuring institutional quality. Federal and state governments are asking for more information about the value of a college education, and making comparisons that can potentially be tied to funding of higher education institutions.
The Illini Success initiative was spear-headed by The Career Center, but it quickly gained support from units all across campus, including the Office of the Provost, the Division of Management Information, the Office of the Registrar, the Institutional Review Board Office, the Career Services Council, the Council of Undergraduate Deans, and all undergraduate colleges on campus.
Other items of note include:
- 96 percent of graduates in English and creative writing secured a first destination within six months of graduation. This is the highest rate in the college. About 83 percent had secured employment, also the highest rate in LAS.
- Graduates in astronomy and physics had the highest average starting salary in the college, at $62,489. Graduates in the chemical sciences (including chemistry and chemical engineering) had the second-highest average salary of any LAS discipline, at $60,864.
- 10 percent of graduates in literatures, cultures, and linguistics reported their first destination as a position in volunteering and service, which is far higher than any other category in LAS (history and philosophy graduates were second at 3 percent) and the overall campus figure (1 percent).
- Creative Writing
- School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics
- Chemical Sciences
- Chemical Engineering