Members of the Class of 2020 photographed in Alumni Stadium at the start of their first year.
It didn’t take long for the Class of 2020 to find their footing in the real world, despite the added challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within six months of collecting their diplomas, ninety-three percent of graduates were employed, attending graduate school, or engaged in a fellowship or volunteer opportunity, according to survey results released by the Boston College Office of Institutional Research & Planning and the BC Career Center.
The findings make a strong case for the value of Boston College’s liberal arts education, and reflect the hard work and resilience of its most recent graduates, whose in-person college experience was cut short unexpectedly last March.
“After their historic senior year, I’m pleased to see, but not surprised, that the Class of 2020 is finding success in both the job market and at institutions of higher education,” said Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley. “ Boston College’s enduring commitment to student formation helped prepare our youngest alumni to overcome unprecedented challenges and to lead lives of purpose and meaning.”
According to the survey, 68 percent of graduates entered the workforce, representing a broad range of industries from healthcare to education. The majority (23%) chose jobs in financial services while 19 percent work in healthcare and the sciences at prestigious institutions like Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston. Eleven percent pursued careers in business and management, and another 11 percent are employed in the technology sector, with jobs at Oracle, Facebook, and Dell.
A majority of students (70%) said they utilized career resources offered by Boston College to secure their employment. Many took advantage of the Center’s expanded virtual offerings, including online Career Fairs and job coaching and the self-guided Praxis Summer Program.
“Students are thinking critically about how they will use their Boston College education in service of their future,” said Joseph Du Pont, associate vice president for Career Services. “While the pandemic was challenging in many ways, students were still able to take advantage of our programs and determine the path that’s right for them.”
Of the 23 percent attending graduate school, more than half (69%) are pursuing master’s degrees and 12 percent are pursuing a J.D. The top areas of study are education (20%); science, technology, engineering, and math (19%); business, (12%); and law (12%). The most popular graduate schools include Boston College, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, and Duke.
A smaller portion of graduates (3%) have chosen to pursue fellowships or volunteer opportunities. The most popular volunteer commitments include the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, AmeriCorps, and Peace Corps, while Fulbright study was the top fellowship choice.
In determining their post-graduation plans, many students drew from interests and passions discerned during their time at BC. About three-fourths of respondents cited “interested in the field” as a factor influencing their decision to pursue a specific career or course of study.
“Deciding what to do with your life isn’t something you can do overnight,” said Du Pont. “Our students are constantly learning about themselves and what gives them purpose from the moment they join the BC community—whether it’s through coursework, internships, volunteering, or working on campus.”
The findings reported by the Office of Institutional Research & Planning represent 73 percent of the Class of 2020. Most data was collected through an online survey sent to graduates between May and December of last year. The rest was obtained from National Student Clearinghouse, Boston College data, and public data.
Alix Hackett | University Communications | May 2021