CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The sixth annual Illini Success report released today shows that University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduates in summer 2019, fall 2019 and spring 2020 still found jobs, enrolled in graduate school or began volunteer programs on par with previous years – despite the global pandemic.
The report found that 91% of graduates secured a “first destination” – defined as a job, enrollment in graduate school or a volunteer position – within six months of graduation. The report also shows that the average salary for a full-time-employed recent graduate is $65,178, up from last year’s $63,515.
About 75% of graduating Illinois residents stayed in the state for a job or graduate school, and 68% of all graduates found their first destination in Illinois. The remaining 32% secured first destinations in 46 other U.S. states and 27 countries.
Ninety-two percent of students reported participating in an experiential learning opportunity (internship, research project, study abroad, service learning, clinical programs) and 35% of those experiences resulted directly in a full-time job offer.
“In this year when so many lives and jobs have been disrupted by the pandemic, it is gratifying to see that an Illinois degree provided so many of our recent graduates with a solid foundation for these critical first steps in their future careers,” Chancellor Robert J. Jones said. “Ninety-one percent of our graduates found a first destination in one of the most challenging periods in living memory. And their skills and knowledge are going to play an important role in the recovery and rebuilding that will be necessary in the years to come.”
The report includes students who completed undergraduate degrees in August 2019, December 2019 and May 2020. Data was obtained from a survey of graduates and other sources such as the National Student Clearinghouse, college reports and LinkedIn data. The project is supported by the Office of the Provost, Career Services Council, Division of Management Information, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Office of the Registrar, Institutional Review Board Office, Council of Undergraduate Deans and other partners.
With the cancellation of the May 2020 graduation ceremonies and other changes due to the pandemic, the Illini Success response rate was lower than in previous years – though it still encompasses more than half of all graduates and is consistent with peer institutions’ response rates for the same period. Julia Panke Makela, the associate director for assessment and research at The Career Center, said it’s not known how or if the lower response rate affected the outcomes.
Illini Success by the numbers for 2019-20:
- 91, the percentage of 2020 graduates who secured a first destination (job, graduate school, volunteer program).
- 93, the percentage of students who participated in an experiential learning opportunity (internship, research, study abroad, etc.).
- 75, the percentage of Illinois residents who stayed in the state.
- 46, the number of states where students found first destinations.
- 27, the number of countries where students found first destinations.
- $65,178, the average salary for a full-time-employed recent graduate