Where are they now? ‘Nova grads report back



Tara Powers

“What are you going to do with your life?”

Of all the unwelcome questions a college student is asked, this one is usually near the top of the list. For Villanova’s Class of 2008, though, the answer to this question is becoming more urgent.

While the majority of students – 74.4 percent in 2006 and 72 percent in 2005, according to surveys conducted by the Career Services Office – secure full-time employment immediately after graduation, many choose to pursue further studies.

In 2006, the survey had a 90 percent response rate and was conducted six months after graduation.

“We’re pretty persistent,” said Kathleen Bracken, assistant director for Systems and Marketing at the Career Services Office, after detailing the e-mails, letters and phone calls Career Services uses to contact recent graduates. “This data is very helpful when counselors are talking to students about going into a particular major, and they can go online and show them where a marketing major went to school.”

Twenty-two percent of the respondents from the graduating Class of 2006 were enrolled in graduate school full-time. Of that 22 percent, most were graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences – 56 percent were science students, and 28.9 percent were arts students. Graduates from the Villanova School of Business and College of Nursing overwhelmingly sought full-time employment, with only 6 percent of VSB graduates and no Nursing graduates enrolling in graduate programs.

According to the Summary of Action Report from the Law School Admission Council, 101 members of Villanova’s Class of 2006 took the LSAT exam, with an average score of 155.6 out of 180. Ultimately, 63 of those graduates chose to enroll at a law school in the fall.

Although Villanova’s graduates were accepted at nearly 60 law schools in 2006, several schools tended to accept them more frequently. Villanova University School of Law accepted 15 applicants, followed by Widener University School of Law and Seton Hall University School of Law, which each accepted seven applicants.

Villanova University School of Law and Seton Hall University School of Law had the highest matriculation rates with five 2006 graduates each, followed by Temple Law School and Notre Dame Law School, which each had three.

Apart from law school, 61 graduates from the Class of 2006 elected to attend Villanova University for post-graduate studies, making it the most popular choice.

Six graduates also identified Columbia University as their graduate school of choice, making it a distant second.

“I think that online where you see all the people who went to graduate school and the programs and institutions they do attend, it is rather impressive,” Bracken said.

At schools comparable to Villanova, trends are much the same.

The Career Center at Boston College also conducts a survey of alumni six months after graduation.

However, the response rate was only 41 percent in 2006, compared to Villanova’s 90 percent response rate.

BC’s survey found more than 22 percent of its respondents pursuing full-time graduate degrees.

Like Villanova, business and nursing students were most likely to be employed full-time immediately after graduation.

Of those BC graduates who reported their degree programs, 55 percent were pursuing Master’s degrees (mostly in education), 22 percent were in law school seeking JDs, 13 percent were in a Ph.D. program and 10 percent were pursuing medical or dental degrees.

Data for Villanova’s Class of 2007 is still being collected but is expected to be finalized in the near future.