Survey Shows that UMass Amherst Class of 2021 Finding Success After Graduation
AMHERST, Mass. – Eighty-seven percent of the members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst undergraduate Class of 2021 are employed, in military service, continuing their education or gaining additional life experience through volunteer opportunities, a university survey conducted six months post-graduation has found.
The survey also found the number of graduates classified as working, which included those in military service or volunteering, rose 2% over 2020 numbers. Those furthering their education increased 4% and those still looking declined by 6%.
“Our graduates have great success in securing positions in a wide range of industries,” says Cheryl Brooks, associate provost of career development and professional connections. “More than 1,400 companies have employed members of the class of 2021.”
The Class of 2021 results are based on pre- and post-graduation data responses from class members as well as other reliable and verifiable sources, which represents a “knowledge rate” of 68% for the outcomes of the 2021 undergraduate class.
19% of the class reported employment offers in healthcare, nursing, biotechnology and life science from providers such as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital; 10% are employed by leading companies in information technology or internet services, such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Oracle; and 11% are employed in financial services fields such as accounting, investments and portfolio management and banking.
The survey found that 98% of engineering degree recipients, 95% of Isenberg School of Management graduates, 94% of graduates in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and 93% in the Marieb College of Nursing found employment or were continuing their studies by pursuing advanced degrees.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the nationwide overall average salary for a 2021 college graduate is $55,911.
Top Employers of the Class of 2021
The top six employers for the Class of 2021 were Oracle, Fidelity, Amazon, TJX Companies, Raytheon and Mass General Hospital. Class of 2021 members also found employment in a wide range of creative and technical industries.
Continuing their Education
A total of 27% of the members of the Class of 2021 reported they were continuing their education, either through pursuing advanced degrees or certificates. That represents a 4% increase over 2020. Among the institutions UMass Amherst graduates are pursuing advanced degrees and certificates at Boston College, Boston University, Bridgewater State, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, New York University, Northeastern, Simmons, Suffolk, Tufts, University of Connecticut, University of Michigan and Yale.
Keeping Talent in the Commonwealth
A total of 86% of Class of 2021 graduates reported that their employers were based in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont or New York. The survey found that 72% said their employers were based in Massachusetts, and 67% of those work locations were within the I-495 corridor, keeping these highly educated and talented workers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
One of the Fastest-rising Public Research Universities in the U.S.
UMass Amherst alone enrolls more first-year students from Massachusetts than do the commonwealth’s top eight private universities combined. In addition, UMass Amherst awards more undergraduate STEM degrees than any other college or university in Massachusetts, public or private.
In the latest U.S. News & World Report Colleges Guide, UMass Amherst is ranked No. 26 among the 209 public universities included in the national survey. Its rise from No. 52 in 2010 marks an extraordinary 26-step ascent.
The university’s research enterprise is driving innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges and boosting the state’s economy and provides both undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities surrounding cutting-edge research with real-world impact. In FY 2021, UMass Amherst totaled $213 million in research expenditures, and it ranked first among public universities in New England in National Science Foundation grant awards.
UMass Amherst researchers regularly collaborate with private companies large and small, such as Amazon, Bose Corporation, BMW, GOJO Industries, Eversource, BASF, Motif FoodWorks Inc., and Saucony.
As the reputation of the flagship campus continues to grow, first-year undergraduate applications have increased by 30% over the past 10 years. The six-year graduation rate has increased steadily to 84%, and student diversity continues to grow, with 37 percent of this past year’s entering class being students of color, up from 21% a decade ago.
Strong Job Search Support Leads to Success
“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, in 2021 employers posted more than 75,000 jobs and 26,000 internships, fellowships or co-op positions via our job board, Handshake,” Brooks says. “We also added more than 5,600 new employers across over 70 industries, bringing the total to nearly 30,000 employers overall.”
The success of UMass Amherst graduates is supported not only by the central Office of Career Development and Professional Connections at the flagship campus, but by the coordinated services of seven campus career centers within the university’s schools and colleges, and a dedicated career professional at the Mount Ida campus. The offices work together to promote student development and to educate students in all phases of their career development and to empower them to make gratifying career decisions to develop and transition successfully in a diverse and global society.
UMass Career services campuswide sets students on a path to success from their first year on campus, offering services such as a milestone checklist to help them explore their skills, interests, personality, and strengths to better identify or confirm their major; FOCUS 2 CAREER, a career, major and education planning system; appointments with a career advisor; and many other career exploration and network-building tools.
One highly successful student employment support is provided through co-op and internship placement assistance. Over 1,000 positions in Massachusetts and beyond are made available each year by Career Development and Professional Connections for students in all major disciplines. Hundreds of positions are salaried; others offer stipends or other advantages such as housing, and many are volunteer positions with outstanding organizations.
UMass Amherst students have completed co-op and internships at organizations including Amazon, Boston Celtics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CNN, Environmental Business Council of New England, Ernst & Young, Estee Lauder, Hubspot, Microsoft, NASA Glen Research Center, Massachusetts House of Representatives, Poetry Foundation Walt Disney Park & Resort and the World Bank Group.
A Professional Network 278,000 Alumni Strong
Another distinct and powerful asset available to all students and graduates is the UMass Amherst Alumni Association, which is committed to the professional success of all 278,000 of its living alumni, whether they are recent graduates or well-established in their careers. The wealth of resources available to help leverage their UMass connections and stay competitive in their fields includes Connect UMass, a global community where one can give or seek career advice, join interest groups, find or post job listings and find helpful resources; as well as a digital platform that provides micro-internship opportunities, job postings, and career advice from experienced professionals.
In 2021, UMass Career and Professional Connections and the UMass Alumni Association launched Career Communities, groups that connect alumni and students not through specific majors but through broader industries such as energy, healthcare, financial consulting, human services, arts and entertainment, transportation, legal services, public services and others. Through Career Communities, students can explore how to apply knowledge, skills and interests to a range of careers and connect with alumni who are working in those fields.
The UMass Amherst Alumni Association also engages thousands of alumni through events each year across the commonwealth and around the country. Opportunities to connect include alumni networking nights, career workshops, and speaker programs.