Where do we go from here?

Annual job report shows CWRU ranks well compared to peers in job placement for recent undergraduates, but lags behind in average starting salaries


photo credit Arianna Wage / Observer

Anastazia Vanisko, Staff Reporter

Good news for CWRU undergraduates: Your degree is likely to get you hired or into graduate school. In the recently released 2013 First Destination Report, alumni of the undergraduate Class of 2013 have the lowest rate of unemployment in recent years, down to five percent from eight percent in 2012.

A deeper examination shows that CWRU matches up well against other universities as well.

Comparing CWRU to Carnegie Mellon University and New York University (both are institutions that CWRU administrations use in internal benchmarking), it’s clear that CWRU has many more students continuing on to advanced study, with 42 percent of undergraduates pursuing further education as compared to Carnegie Mellon University’s 27 percent. New York University had less than 16 percent of graduates continuing their education.

Though no one can pinpoint the reason that so many students choose to continue their studies, there are a few notable possibilities. CWRU welcomes its own graduates, with 39 of recent CWRU grads choosing to continue their education staying at CWRU.

Furthermore, many CWRU students plan on pursuing a job in a professional health field. According to Steven Scherger, the pre-health advisor, approximately one-sixth of CWRU students identify themselves as pre-health, though not all of these students will go directly to graduate school.

The largest number of CWRU students continuing their studies (53 percent) comes from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Since all CWRU students not majoring in engineering, business or nursing are a part of CAS, this is not surprising. CAS students that go straight into the workforce also make the least amount of money compared to other CWRU students, which may contribute to their decisions to pursue advanced study.

However, the economic outlook has been improving since 2009, when the smallest amount of alumni reported having full-time employment. Hopefully, this means that CWRU students don’t have to worry too much about the job opportunities available to them when choosing employment or graduate school.

Another aspect of the postgraduate report is salary information of alumni. At CWRU, the average wage range, $50,000-$54,999, is above the national average wage provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. However, when compared to Carnegie Mellon University, CWRU doesn’t appear so well-off, as CMU’s recent graduates rake in an average of $76,504.

This may in part be the locations CWRU graduates choose to work. University Hospitals, Epic Systems and Accenture, all of which hired CWRU graduates, are based in the Midwest. The Midwest has a lower cost of living than other regions, so jobs located here should not be expected to pay as much as jobs in California or New York. Two-thirds of CWRU graduates chose to work in the Midwest, while both CMU and NYU have more students working throughout the country. Though CWRU alums don’t have the highest reported salaries, they did have the lowest unemployment rate (CWRU, five percent, CMU, 11 percent, NYU, six percent) compared to other schools.