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Post Graduation Statistics

Plans of Recent Graduates Upon Graduation

Post Graduation Statistics

Class of 2018

Surveyed upon graduation (class of 2018), 70% of students planned to pursue employment and 21% planned to attend graduate or professional school, with theremaining 9% planning to travel, conduct other academic study or remain undecided. Within five years of graduation, 81% plan to enroll in graduate or professional school. 

Employment Trends (first jobs upon graduation, 2014-2018)

Among graduating seniors, the largest percentages have entered research and business careers over the past five years.  Additional career fields with higher concentrations of graduates have included education, public service, technology/engineering and law.  

  • 25% of graduates chose business careers including consulting, investment banking, financial/actuarial services, marketing/advertising, human resources and management
  • 24% of graduates chose research careers:15% scientific research in academic settings, medical or pharmaceutical laboratories, 6% economics and policy research, 3% other types of research
  • 18% of graduates chose technology/engineering careers 
  • 10% of graduates chose education careers, primarily teaching in the US or abroad
  • 10% of graduates chose public service careers including roles in international development, voluntary service, government, non-profits, public health, religious and environmental organizations, counseling and community development
  • 6% of graduates chose law careers

The top geographic locations where graduating students begin their careers, 2014-2018:

  • New York City (20%) 

  • Philadelphia (19%)
  • Washington, D.C. (14%)
  • International (8%)
  • Boston (8%)
  • Northern California (6%)

Advanced Study Trends

Of the seniors who enter graduate school immediately upon graduation:

  • 46% enter Ph.D. programs
  • 31% enter Master's programs
  • 11% pursue medical degrees
  • 9% pursue law degrees

The top attended universities of those students immediately entering graduate school were:

  1. Harvard University 
  2. University of Pennsylvania
  3. Yale University
  4. Princeton University 
  5. Stanford University 
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. Cornell University 
  8. University of Oxford
  9. Columbia University
  10. University of Chicago

The top graduate fields include:

  • Math and Physical Sciences (31%)
  • Life Sciences (20%)  
  • Humanities (19%) 

  • Social Sciences (18%)
  • Engineering (13%)


Student/Alumni Career Paths by Major

Learn about what students and alumni are doing with their majors! 

Post Grad Plans by Major (or Recent Grad First Destinations [pdf]

Major Fact Sheets [pdf]


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Starting Salaries of Swarthmore Grads

Data collected from 2004-15, categorized by major

Salary Report [pdf]