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Many college students hope to land a good job post-graduation, but not everyone does. Whether or not someone gets that dream job upon graduation depends on many factors; the most important being the current economy.
The Principia Academic and Career Advising Office was able to collect data for 88 of 118 students who graduated in 2013. “We have information on 75 percent of the graduating class,” ACA director Midge Browning said. “Of that group, 85 percent were employed full time.” Seventy-two percent of those are in career-related jobs, which is defined as a position that is full time and where the alumnus is not looking for other employment. Frequently the position is related to the alum’s area of study or is in a field he or she has chosen to pursue. Eight percent had post-graduate internships. Seven percent were full-time students in graduate school.
Some students choose not to obtain work or are unable to obtain work in the field they received a degree in. There are a number of graduates that decide to explore other options while doing work which relates to their degree on the side.
Genevieve Bergeson, for example, is a Class of 2012 graduate. She earned a bachelor’s in studio art with minors in English and music. She has been participating in an internship with Principia for two years. However, over the two years she has worked for different departments. Originally, she worked for the Writing Center during her first year as an intern. During her second year, she has been working for the Teaching and Learning Excellence Center. She said that she is essentially doing the same job for both places.
Bergeson did not apply for jobs in her area of study while she was applying for the internship. Upon asking why she chose to do an internship over a career in her field for which she had a degree, she said, “I wouldn’t say that I am choosing it over an art career because I still am definitely going to pursue that. It just seemed like the natural next step.”
She started working as an intern during the fall of 2012 and has been working for Principia ever since. She continues to do art work on the side and is currently working on illustrations for a book. She even has her own website, DrawsTheEvenTide.com, where she posts some of her artwork for sale.
Then, there are college graduates who take the more traditional route. Dennis Adjei Baah is a 2013 graduate with a B.S. in computer science. He is currently working for Worldwide Technology in St. Louis; he was hired in February of last year, during the spring term of his senior year, with a later start date of May 28, 2013.
He has been employed for eight months working as a custom applications developer. “The computer science department did a really good job at teaching me the fundamental principles and design patterns to help make learning of programming principles a quick process. The department helped foster vital team skills that are used almost all the time at my workplace,” Baah said.
Some students face challenges finding desired employment after graduation. Tim Crump is a 2012 graduate earned a bachelor’s in business administration with a minor in music. He is teaching piano part time. He is currently not working in a field which relates to his degree due to the bad economy. He says that Principia “has taught him necessary skills which employers are looking for.” Even though he is not working in a field which relates to his degree, he feels as though Principia did a good job of getting him ready for a career related to business administration.
Bergeson and Baah both agreed they are doing well with the degrees they earned from Principia. Even though the degree might not be directly related to their job, all three graduates indicated that they were grateful for their experience while attending Principia. As for Crump, he is fortunate to have been employed since 2008 while so many others have been out of work.
The Principia Career Conference is open to students interested in learning about how to effectively pursue jobs, and is held every year during the last days of winter break.
For those unable to attend, or would like assistance throughout the school year, students can make an appointment with the ACA for help in understanding the job market and career planning. Their office is located in the School of Government building, room 64.