Survey finds more Oswego alums head to grad school

grad-school fairGraduate and professional school is an increasingly popular option for students as they complete their bachelor’s degrees at SUNY Oswego, a new survey shows.

Each year the college’s Career Services Office surveys a recent class of graduates. In the latest survey, the percentage of graduates reporting that they continued their studies immediately after leaving Oswego rose from 19 percent for the class of 2004 to 26.3 percent for the class of 2005.

Behind that change, SUNY Oswego Director of Career Services Bob Casper said, may be Oswego’s increasing efforts to encourage students to consider graduate school and, as the academic profile of incoming Oswego students rises, simply more interest in and aptitude for advanced study among students completing their undergraduate degrees.

Casper said that his office has recognized that Oswego students often come in with little knowledge of the possibilities for study beyond the bachelor’s degree and has begun to address it.

“We’re working to increase awareness of our students about graduate school as an opportunity,” he said. Last year, “we had a week of graduate school activities that we put together with the graduate office.”

Graduate school jumped as an option for graduates across the college—in arts and sciences, business, and education—but was largest for those in the School of Education, where the percentage leapt from 23 percent to 36.8 percent.

Ninety-seven percent of survey respondents going on to graduate school enrolled in New York universities including Columbia, Fordham, St. John’s, Syracuse and the University of Rochester. Among out-of-state choices were Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, San Francisco State University, and Washington and Lee School of Law.

In other survey findings, the percentage of responding graduates overall either working full time or pursuing graduate study rose more than 4 percentage points over the previous year to 87.6 percent. And the percentage of respondents pursuing their destinies out of state dropped about 15 percentage points.

Career Services staff reported an average salary of $34,603 for respondents in the class of 2005, up from $32,400 for the previous class.

Highs for various majors included $80,000 in information science, $78,000 in business administration, $65,000 in wellness management, $61,800 in marketing, $60,000 in graphic design, $53,000 in vocational teacher preparation, $51,500 in computer science, $51,000 in accounting and $50,000 in communication studies, political science and psychology.

The job market for new graduates has continued to improve since the students in this survey graduated in 2005, Casper said. “They’ve done pretty well,” he said, and as national studies indicate that hiring is well up again this year, the class of 2007 should do even better.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Grad options—Gilian Smith, a senior psychology major at SUNY Oswego, talks with William Harden of the University of Buffalo at a recent graduate-school fair in the Hewitt Union main lounge. The latest “Beyond Oswego” survey found more Oswego students pursuing graduate studies, in part due to increased awareness of options through graduate-school fairs and other activities.

(Posted: Feb 07, 2007)