Saints After Graduation

What are they doing?

Emily Kiemele

The College of St. Scholastica advertises an impressive 97% of their graduates either pursue a job or attend graduate school after receiving their undergraduate degree.

Mary Anderson from Career Services has more information regarding this statistic.

The survey responsible for obtaining this information is sent both during Senior Salute, which takes place in April, and six months after graduation. Career Services works diligently to collect as many responses as possible, communicating with students through email, LinkedIn, and sometimes contacting faculty and staff with whom a student may have been close with and told their future plans. This survey is given to undergraduate students from all locations: Duluth, Brainerd, St. Cloud, online, etc. Anderson guessed that students who choose not to respond may ignore the request.

She also noted it is “harder to track online students than traditional students.”

97% is an extraordinary statistic – something not all schools can boast. The Chicago Tribune reports national data by Stephen Rose of the Urban Institute that 67% of United States graduates were either enrolled in graduate school or entering the workforce (2014). This puts Scholastica roughly 20% above the average. It is important to note that Scholastica includes jobs in this percentage that may not be relevant to what the student studied in college.

However, Anderson explains it is tricky to see whether or not the job a student attains is relevant or not to their area of study. She gave the hypothetical example of a student who graduated with a four year degree in psychology, who works as a teller/banker at a Wells Fargo. While some may say this position is not related to psychology, Anderson argued that the student learned skills throughout their four years that they apply to job regardless of it being a different area of work.

In order to clarify this area of the survey Scholastica releases, two questions have been added: What is your level of satisfaction with your initial career activity? And what is the relationship between your job and career program? These questions should help clarify the percentage of students who are not working in areas related to their education.

Students should remember that there are also resources available to them to help them find work, including after graduation. In fact, 15% of the appointments scheduled at Career Services are with alumni.

Anderson says these meetings are often with alum who are “new graduates, undergoing a career change, or struggling on the job market.”

Currently all services for students are also available to alums, excluding the Minnesota Private College Job Fair. Alum also have to pay certain fees for career assessments they are given whereas current students get them for free. Anderson reminded current students to get help early with their job search.

There are four scheduled job fairs this spring semester for students including Diversity Job and Internship Fair, Minnesota’s Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair, Head of the Lakes Job and Internship Fair, and Minnesota Education Job Fair.

Wherever Saints end up after they graduate, whether entering the workforce or continuing their education, the college is here to support them and is interested in what they are doing.