Despite the various challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Samford University graduates continue to transition into the workforce successfully. The university’s census of all May 2020 undergraduate alumni indicates 95% of the graduating class are either employed or continuing their education in graduate school. Samford’s Career Development Center administers the bi-annual survey of all undergraduate alumni which confirms consistently high employment and graduate school placement rates for Samford graduates, averaging 97% in recent years.
“We are thrilled to know our students are still advancing their professional goals despite the added strain the pandemic is putting on the job market,” said Dora Ditchfield, director of Samford’s Career Development Center. “This affirms the work of faculty and staff who have poured time, effort and knowledge into helping them succeed.”
During the early months of the pandemic, the Career Development Center launched virtual workshops to offer additional support for career preparedness, including interview preparation and salary negotiation. These types of training became particularly important as more students sought preparation for remote interviews.
Professional experience prior to graduation is one factor that Samford students agree is key to success in a competitive job market. In recent results reported by the National Survey of Student Engagement, 84% of Samford seniors have either completed or plan to complete at least one internship by the time they graduate, compared to 43% of seniors at private southeastern universities. Career readiness is a central goal of all academic programs across the university. Beginning their freshman year, students are equipped with resources to explore interests and career aspirations through student organizations, global engagement opportunities and individual career counseling services. The result is a highly-tailored educational experience that results in consistently high employment and graduate school acceptance rates among Samford graduates.
Samford graduates also have a significant impact on workforce development in both the state of Alabama and the Birmingham metropolitan area. Samford enrolls students from 47 states and 30 countries, many of whom elect to remain in the state after graduation, making the university a significant net importer of human capital. According to recent analysis, between 2010-2018, 25% of all students whose home state was outside of Alabama decided to remain in Alabama employed or in graduate school after graduation.