Best College in State for Grad Jobs? University of Puget Sound

April 7, 2017

Survey using federal data finds the national liberal arts college is #1 in the state for graduates in employment


TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound is the best college in Washington state for getting a job after graduation, according to a new ranking based on U.S. Department of Education data.

The study by career information website Zippia found that after 10 years, more than 92 percent of Puget Sound graduates were employed, putting the national liberal arts college alongside the top universities and colleges in the country, as measured by graduate employment.

The prospects for a job is a factor that has become increasingly important to new graduates across the country over recent years, according to a 2015 survey by the Higher Education Research Institute of University of California, Los Angeles.

In creating its ranking, Zippia used data from IPEDS, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics, which includes data on employment levels of graduates from each U.S. institute of higher education.

Puget Sound’s own survey of 2016 graduates, compiled by Career and Employment Services, asked new grads what they were doing seven months after they earned their degrees in May 2016. The survey found that 63 percent were employed; 22 percent were pursuing graduate studies or other continuing education at places including Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, and London School of Economics; 8 percent were doing public service for groups such as AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and the Peace Corps; 6 percent were looking for work; and 1 percent were traveling or pursuing other interests.

Employers of Puget Sound graduates include Allen Institute for Brain Science, Amazon, Apple, Boeing, Centers for Disease Control, Intel, Microsoft, National Institutes of Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Nike, NPR Radio, Seattle Magazine, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Students at Puget Sound are encouraged to take part in experiential education, which gives them individualized opportunities to develop hands-on skills and to work with employers and community groups. Importantly, such programs also give students time for reflection on how these experiences align with their academic studies so they are better prepared for careers and a lifetime of learning. Examples of such “high-impact learning” include the Summer Immersion Internship Programs; summer research grants; digital humanities work; courses in science, business, and education involving off-campus partners; study abroad programs, internships, program assistant jobs, undergraduate conferences, civic research, and community volunteerism.

Puget Sound is a national liberal arts college attracting students from 46 states and 8 countries, about three-quarters of whom come from out of state. It is in the top 5 percent of colleges in the country for students who go on to earn doctoral degrees and has a high acceptance of graduates to prestigious medical and law schools.

Photos on page: From top right: Two 2016 graduates at Commencement; student in a Puget Sound laboratory; Janet Marcavage's lithograph art class. Photos by Ross Mulhausen, University of Puget Sound

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