The future looks bright for Syracuse University graduates, as job and career prospects improve in number and quality, according to a report issued by SU's Center for Career Services.
      "The Survey of 1997 Graduates," compiled under the supervision of career services director Kelley Bishop and senior career consultant Michael Cahill, was conducted through mailings in August and December 1997. The mailings, which went to Syracuse graduates who received their degrees in December 1996, or May, June, or August 1997, garnered a 53 percent response rate. "This is a snapshot of what happens to our students right after they leave SU," Bishop says. "It is also a measure of how effective the University is in preparing its students for life after graduation."
      According to the survey, 79 percent of the respondents reported being employed full time. That number is up from 74 percent in 1996 and 66 percent in 1995.
      Not only are graduates seeing an increased rate of employment, they also are seeing improvement in the quality of employment. For 1997, 89 percent of those employed full time reported that their positions were related to their career goals. This figure is up from 83 percent in 1996 and 69 percent in 1995.
      Salaries are also improving. The average salary for 1997 SU graduates was $28,801, compared to $27,305 in 1996 and $25,300 in 1995. Graduates of the School of Information Studies, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Architecture, and the School of Management showed the greatest increases in average salaries.
      The importance of on-campus recruiting is also on the rise. In the 1997 survey, 16 percent of respondents obtained their positions through on-campus recruiting, as compared to 13 percent in 1996 and 9 percent in 1995. Graduates of the School of Information Studies, the School of Management, and the College for Human Development appear to have benefited most from on-campus recruiting.


                                                                  tim o'sheaphoto
Leslie Chappell, left, of Lockheed Martin and Emmanuel Rivera '00 discuss career opportunities at Career Fair '99 in February. The event introduces students to a variety of career options and business contacts.

      The number of graduates who pursued further education declined slightly. In 1997, 13 percent of respondents continued their studies, down from 14 percent in 1996 and 16 percent in 1995. Of the 1997 graduates who pursued graduate studies, 43 percent stayed in New York State, and 20 percent moved to an adjoining state—Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey.
      The majority of 1997 survey respondents employed full time also remained in the Northeast: 44 percent reported employment in New York State; 25 percent in an adjoining state.
      Bishop says the 1997 survey is consistent with surveys from past years, but is especially noteworthy for its findings relating to on-campus recruiting. "A high percentage of respondents—especially those from the School of Information Studies and the School of Management—reported on-campus recruiting as the method used to obtain their current positions," he says. "That's encouraging, because it tells us the systems we have in place are working."
      In the future, Bishop hopes to use the survey to ascertain what happens to graduates 2, 5, and 10 years after they leave SU. "We'd like to learn how SU helps its graduates grow and become influential citizens," he says.
      For now, he asserts the good news of the 1997 survey. "Syracuse University does a good job helping its students go out into the world," Bishop says. "Most of our graduates are achieving success."
                                                —WENDY S. LOUGHLIN

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