During one of the most ravaged job markets in U.S. history, nearly all Ohio Northern University’s most recent graduates have found work or are enrolled in continuing education curricula, according to a University survey conducted this fall.
Alumni who completed their coursework in summer 2019, fall 2019 and spring 2020 were canvassed, and the results were overwhelmingly positive: With 498 out of a total 519 graduates responding, 471 – or 95% – have landed full-time jobs or have enrolled in graduate school or professional programs as of six months after graduation. Eighty-two percent are strictly working full time.
The percentage that accounts for employment and schooling mirrors numbers for the Class of 2019, which conversely benefited from a booming economy with more available jobs. The past two years also exceed placement rates reaching back to 2015; the highest placement percentage for those four years totaled 95% in 2017.
Dicke College of Business Administration graduates fared the best, with 99% reporting they were working full-time or enrolled in continuing education last month. Those who earned engineering degrees followed with 97%. Getty College of Arts & Sciences alumni saw a 95% placement rate, while pharmacy graduates tallied 91%.
“The fact that almost all of our new alumni are working full time or are advancing their education during a very tough year speaks to their exceptional career readiness and persistence,” said Lynda Nyce, interim associate vice president for academic affairs. “These first destination survey results also reflect the effectiveness of high-impact, experiential learning that is emphasized at ONU.”
“Our graduates are exemplary and should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished in such a short time during a volatile year,” said ONU President Dan DiBiasio. “The entire ONU community is thrilled for them. We’re also always appreciative of our faculty and staff, who do such an excellent job of preparing our students to thrive.”
That so many ONU Class of ’20 graduates—especially those of Generation Z who are between the ages of 18 to 23—have overcome the odds of landing a full-time job during this pandemic-related downturn is notable when compared with national statistics. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March, half of respondents reported they or someone in their household had lost a job or taken a pay cut because of the pandemic. On the jobs site ZipRecruiter, entry-level job postings had decreased by 73% by May.
The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that conducts research and awards grants to champion a high-performing health care system for society’s most vulnerable, estimated that by June, COVID-19 caused as many as 7.7 million American workers to lose jobs with employer-sponsored insurance, a good indicator of how full-time positions have been affected. Relying on U.S. Department of Labor figures, a Dec. 17 “New York Times” article reported the number of unemployed Americans is nearly 10 million more than it was in February.
Ohio Northern University graduates’ positive career positioning therefore provides them with an excellent starting point to professionally ride out this recession.