The economy may be dragging but 2012 Colby graduates still are landing jobs.
That was the message from the Colby Career Center, which surveyed graduating seniors in May and found that 60 percent already had jobs and another 16 percent were enrolled in full-time graduate and professional programs.
That compared with a median of 40 percent employment reported by a group of 31 peer institutions, said Roger Woolsey, Career Center director. The numbers typically climb 10 points in the months after graduation. "Colby," Woolsey said, "is doing very well."
He attributed the success of Colby graduates in the job market to the robustness of the Colby community and more active participation in the Colby network by students.
The solid employment figures come as the Career Center has ratcheted up programs and advising, an effort that has seen a marked increase student participation.
Four years ago the Career Center had about 1,900 student interactions annually. This year, Woolsey said, that number had nearly doubled, to 3,696. Participation in Colby Connect, a four-year curriculum that provides advising, workshops, and a liaison to internships and fellowships, has grown steadily.
This may also reflect students' awareness that they are entering the job market during a recession. This year many of them were pleasantly surprised to see how graduates fared as they competed for jobs and graduate school slots.
"A lot of the seniors realized it's a scary time and didn't expect the employment numbers of past years," said Morgan Lingar '13, who worked in the Career Center to analyze the data from the spring survey.
Despite the economy, the numbers improved. Said Woolsey, "I think the numbers reflect our community."