CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The seventh annual Illini Success report released today shows that University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduates in summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021 found jobs, enrolled in graduate school or began volunteer programs on par with previous years – despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The report found that 94% of graduates secured a “first destination” – defined as a job, enrollment in graduate or professional school, or a volunteer position – within six months of graduation. Approximately 52% started a job, 42% enrolled in additional education and less than 1% began a volunteer position. The report also shows that the average salary for a full-time-employed recent graduate is about $68,701, up from last year’s $65,178.
About 75% of graduating Illinois residents stayed in the state for a job or graduate school, and about 66% of all graduates found their first destination in Illinois. The remaining 34% secured first destinations across 46 other U.S. states and 23 countries.
Ninety percent of students reported participating in an experiential learning opportunity (internship, research project, study abroad, service learning, clinical programs) and 41% of those experiences resulted directly in a full-time job offer.
Top employers include Amazon, Apple Inc., Caterpillar, Deloitte, Google Inc., John Deere, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Meta (formerly known as Facebook), Microsoft Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., PwC and others.
Top graduate and professional schools include Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin.
“Our most recent Illini Success report once again shows what we at Illinois have known for a very long time,” Chancellor Robert J. Jones said. “A degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the best decisions and best investments a student can make for their education, their career and their life. We are thrilled to see that they are succeeding at such high rates.”
The report includes students who completed undergraduate degrees in August 2020, December 2020 and May 2021. 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.
Illini Success by the numbers (2020-21):
- 94, the percentage of graduates who secured a first destination (job, graduate school, volunteer program).
- 90, 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.
- 47, the number of states where students found first destinations.
- 23, the number of other countries where students found first destinations.
- $68,701, the average salary for a full-time-employed recent graduate.