30 Oct 19
Written by Raven Patzke

What Are College Students Doing After They Graduate

DigitalMediaIX recently completed a survey with college students across the United States [See Appendix for Demographics]. Answering a series of questions, we came across some surprising statistics. Believe it or not, a little more than half of college students (55% to be exact) plan to go straight to work immediately after graduation. This could be for a number of reasons.

Why aren’t graduates joining the work force?

Availability of jobs: During the 2019-20 academic years, 1,975,000 bachelor’s degrees are expected to be awarded…do we have 1,975,000 jobs ready for these fresh faces? Perhaps there aren’t enough opportunities for these students, as getting a degree is becoming more of a check mark than an impressive attribute.

A study by the University of Washington revealed that it takes the average college graduate three to six months to secure a job after tossing their caps in the air. If this is so, it’s possible that college students aren’t joining the work force not because they don’t want to work, rather it may just be because they haven’t put in enough time, effort & resources in in order to land that dream job.

What are graduates doing?

Continuing Education: The most popular place for a post-grad to go (besides the work force) is simply to stay in school. 18% of undergraduates plan to go directly into graduate school after they finish their undergraduate degree. A graduate degree can be very worthwhile endeavor, especially if it is a necessity for your desired professional field, like health care, law, teaching, & social work. However, it’s important to note that graduate school isn’t for everyone. It requires you to set goals, stay on track without a TA or Professor constantly reminding you to study and also a significant financial investment.

Travel: The other popular option for post-graduates (8%) is to fulfill those dreams of traveling the world before getting sucked into life’s roller coaster. Many people go on to travel after graduation before joining the “real world,” alternatively known as the nine-to-five life. Though some may argue that this decision will set you back, since you’re not grabbing at the first job you see after the ink on your diploma dries, it’s also arguable that traveling after graduation will provide fresh perspective, open up more doors and unexpected careers. This is because new environments will continuously expose you to your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as interesting people far and wide unknowingly ready to teach you something different about how the world works.

Some of the students surveyed seem confident in their future plans, but 18% of college students in our survey did not know what they want to do.  This is not necessarily a problem as many of these students will figure a plan, pick A, B or C, and ride the wave out.

What are you doing right after graduating?”

Demographics of Survey:






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