For a fourth consecutive year, Baylor set a graduate placement rate record. That means more Baylor graduates--nearly 9 in 10--are finding jobs or starting graduate school programs shortly after completing their undergraduate degrees at the university. The new rate of 86.5 percent is up more than 2 percent from last year, and represents a 20-point increase from this time four years ago.
Graduate placement rate is the percentage of students who have found jobs or entered graduate school programs within 90 days of graduation.
For the class of 2015-16, nearly 52 percent had accepted a new position or stayed in a position they landed before graduation, and 27.5 percent were attending graduate school at Baylor or elsewhere. Many students reported multiple job offers, while others were joining the military or becoming entrepreneurs by starting a business.
Those numbers represent a significant uptick. Baylor's placement rate was 66.2 percent after the 2011-12 school year, and the university targeted it as an area for improvement. Pro Futuris, Baylor's strategic vision, charged staff to raise that placement rate to 90 percent within five years. With a year to go, Baylor is approaching the goal.
The rate improvement can be linked to increased staffing and making sure students are aware that thinking about the job search begins when they arrive on campus.
The university has dedicated additional funds to increase the number of staff and resources available in the Office of Career and Professional Development (CPD) in the Paul L. Foster Success Center. From their earliest days on campus, students are encouraged to think about the steps they can take to find a job when they graduate. Such steps include devising a four-year plan that incorporates internships and other opportunities. They are coaxed to use CPD resources for résumé writing workshops, job interview coaching and job fairs, among others.
"Baylor is one of a few schools that is starting early and helping students realize the significance of 'beginning with the end in mind,'" Marjorie Ellis, CPD executive director, said. "Because Baylor wanted students to have a more successful return on their investment, they invested in CPD to give us the staff and resources to help make this part of the unique Baylor experience, something you don’t get everywhere. We want everyone that comes here to have the tools to be successful in the job market, so we provide a one-stop shop that gives students customized assistance from day one. You don't have to wait until your senior year to come here."
Access to CPD doesn't end at graduation. Baylor CPD is adding alumni resources to help graduates continue to use its resources, such as job databases, career fairs and alumni mentors. Visit baylor.edu/cpd for more information.