Data released from the Student Professional Development Center (SPDC) indicates that the class of 2017 was one of the most successful classes in Elon’ University’s history.

The First Destination survey, conducted by the SPDC, issued nine months after graduation, was completed by 95 percent of Elon’s class of 2017. 

The SPDC keeps track of graduate job offers and graduate school acceptances on a rolling basis, and graduates are also surveyed on graduation day, and several more times throughout their first few months after graduating. The data for this report is compiled from these results. 

About 96 percent of graduates are either employed, completing post-graduate internships and fellowships, attending graduate school or working for a service organization. 84 percent of the class was employed nine months after graduating.

Roughly 24 percent of the class of 2017 were accepted into graduate programs around the country, 93 percent of graduates said their jobs were related to their career objectives and only 2 percent of the class is still on the job market. 

About 66 percent of those surveyed said they acquired jobs from internships completed during their time at Elon, with companies such as CBS Corporation, the Coca-Cola Company, Duke Energy and the U.S. Department of State.

Top organizations hiring Elon graduates include major economic corporations, from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, to top media organizations, such as CNN and ABC News, as well as service organizations such as Teach for America and the Peace Corps. 

The average salary for the class of 2017 is $42,992, about $1,875 more than the class of 2016. 

The majority of the class has stayed in North Carolina post-graduation, with about 277 graduates remaining, with 17 percent in the Triangle and Triad regions. Following North Carolina, New York and Massachusetts host the second and third largest groups of graduates, respectively. 

Tom Brinkley, executive director of the SPDC, believes the class of 2018 will show
similar success. 

“The overall job market across the nation continues to be strong, and unemployment is at a 17 year low,” he said. 

More than the past 6 years, post-graduate success rates have increased, rising from 61 percent for the class of 2012, to 84 percent in 2017, while post-graduates securing jobs in the desired fields have remained steady over the past two years.

The First Destination survey began in 2012, with the development of the SPDC on campus, with the mission of following a student’s four-year plan through to post-graduation.

“Our purpose is to help prepare students for life after Elon, whether they choose to enter the workplace or attend graduate school,” Brinkley said. “The career skills that they can learn while at Elon will carry into the future as their career journey unfolds.”