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Survey: Class of 2021 Excels in Next Chapter

University Career Center Finds High Employment Rate, Local Business Connections

By Liam Farrell

Student at commencement with cap that says, "The best is yet to come"

Ninety-five percent of graduating Terps from the Class of 2021 reported finding employment either directly related to their field of study or major, or are using related knowledge, skills and abilities, according to a new report from the Career Center.

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle; graphs by Valerie Morgan

Despite earning their degrees during one of the greatest convergences of crises in a century—a global pandemic, a racial-justice reckoning and a faltering economy—the University of Maryland’s undergraduate Class of 2021 firmly found its footing.

According to the 2021 Graduation Survey by the UMD Career Center, 95% of bachelor’s degree graduates from August 2020, December 2020 and May 2021 secured a placement after commencement—meaning they started a full- or part-time job, are continuing their education, starting a business, volunteering in a service program or serving in the military.

That rate is a jump from 91% in 2020, following the pandemic shutdowns nationwide, and is based on data from more than 5,600 students through online surveys, social media, college and department staff, employers and the National Student Clearinghouse. Placement rates have been 91% or higher since this survey began in 2014, although the Class of 2021 equals the high mark set by the Class of 2019.

“It speaks to our students’ understanding of themselves, their willingness to put the time, effort and energy in to be prepared, and also do the work to get connected to the opportunities that matter to them,” said Allynn Powell, who was promoted to director of the University Career Center and The President’s Promise earlier this month.

The report also shows that 95% of Terps have employment either directly related to their field of study or major, or are using related knowledge, skills and abilities. In addition, about 75% reported employment in the UMD region: 50% in Maryland, 15% in Virginia and 9% in Washington, D.C.

“It speaks to the strength of our relationships with the corporate and public sector,” Powell said. “Once you have one Terp, you know you want to come back for more.”

For more information from the report, including on salaries and top employers, see the charts below.

Total placement: 95% placed, 5% unresolved, 1% unplaced. 2021 graduate outcomes: Employed, full time: 3,650, 66%. Employed, part time: 136, 2%. Continuing education: 1,363, 24%. Volunteering or in service program: 29, 1%. Serving in the military: 32, 1%. Unplaced: 42, 1%. Unresolved: 263, 5%. Total: 5,567, 100% Not seeking: 37. *includes graduates who are restarting their job search or had a job offer rescinded by an employer. Nature of position: Based on the 1,739 students who completed the entire employment outcome section of the survey: 94% of employment is either directly aligned with career goals (55%) or is a stepping stone (39%) toward their ultimate career goals. Position simply “pays the bills”: 6%. 95% of employment is either directly relations to their field of study/major (68%) or utilized knowledge, skills, and abilities gained through their study (27%). Position not at all related to field of study/major: 5%. Employment locations: Employment locations were identified for 2,250 graduates. Of the total, 75% (1,115) reported employment in the region: 50% in Maryland (1,115), followed by 15% in Virginia (337) and 9 % in Washington, D.C. (207). Maryland: 50%, Virginia: 15%, other U.S.: 15%, Washington, D.C.: 9%, New York: 7%, California: 3%, Outside U.S.: 1%. Northop Grumman Corporation, 50. Montgomery County Public Schools, 44. Deloitte, 43. Amazon, 42. EY, 38. UMD, 37. Salary: Salary information was reported by 1,602 graduates entering full-time employment. Of these, 542 indicated they were receiving some type of first-year bonus (median bonus $5,749.25). Reported salaries: 1,602. 25th percentile: $50,320.72. 50th percentile: $66,557.07. 75th percentile: $77,707.79. Totals may not add due to rounding.
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