Data: Holy Cross Education Prepares Students for Post-Graduate Success

Average starting salary for grads higher than the national average

July 1st, 2014 by 


Members of the Class of 2012 at Commencement Exercises last year. Image by Dan Vaillancourt

Members of the Class of 2013 fared well in their post-graduate endeavors, according to research conducted recently by the Career Planning Center of Holy Cross. The report is based on a response rate of 83 percent of the class, or 581 respondents out of 701 students.

“The story that is being told in the media about liberal arts graduates being under- or unemployed is not the reality for the vast majority of Holy Cross graduates,” says Amy Murphy, director of the Career Planning Center at Holy Cross.

Nine months following graduation, 66 percent said they were employed full-time, 18 percent said they were in graduate school, 7 percent said they were volunteering full-time, and 3 percent said they were taking part in a post-graduate fellowship. One percent of respondents each said they were seeking admission to graduate school, traveling, completing internships, or doing something else. Only 1 percent said they were seeking but unable to secure employment.

One data point that Murphy loves is that 10 percent of the class went on to do either a year or two of full-time service or a post-graduate fellowship or award. “A significant percentage of the class is going out and doing something that is time-limited,” she says. “The students will take that experience and transfer it to their next opportunity. It speaks to the nimbleness and adaptability of our graduates and how they are ideally and uniquely well-suited for the 21st century economy.”

According to respondents, the average starting salary was $46,453. That’s higher than the average starting salary for liberal arts graduates nationally, according to the National Association of Colleges & Employers Annual Salary Survey. Holy Cross’ average starting pay is also above NACE’s findings for Math & Sciences ($42,956) and Humanities & Social Sciences ($38,045) graduates nationally.

“The salary data tell us that a Holy Cross degree holds significant value in the marketplace as compared to Math & Sciences and Humanities & Social Sciences bachelor’s degree recipients nationally,” says Murphy. “Even when we compare Holy Cross average starting salaries to the national average for all undergraduates — which includes engineering majors who have an average starting salary of just over $62,000 — the average Holy Cross starting salary is higher.”

The industries in which recent Holy Cross graduates are employed are wide and varied. Financial services, health care, education, government, technology, accounting, and insurance are the top Holy Cross employers, followed by marketing and advertising, not-for-profits and communications. But 19 other industries also employ significant numbers of Holy Cross grads, from arts to sports and entertainment to scientific fields. The top employers are Teach for America, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the United States Navy.

“This report illustrates the vast array of industries, employers, graduate programs and post-graduate opportunities available to a Holy Cross graduate,” Murphy says. “The opportunities have never been broader or more diverse for our graduating seniors and they, in turn, are taking advantage of the many opportunities that await them and are going on to do some very exciting and interesting things upon graduation.”

Read the entire report (PDF).

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