Just over two-thirds of Harvard seniors plan on joining the workforce after graduation, a level consistent with percentages from the past two years but still lower than figures prior to the start of the financial crisis.
Among those members of the Class of 2012 who
plan on working next year, 68.4 percent have a job lined up, according
to The Crimson’s sixth annual senior survey. In 2007 prior to the
financial crisis, 73 percent of work-bound seniors had secured jobs by
Commencement, according to a similar survey of that class.
consulting industry will be the top destination for seniors next year,
drawing 12.4 percent of the graduating class, a one percentage point
increase from seniors last year. Education, which attracted the
greatest share of students last year following a recruitment surge by
Teach for America and similar organizations, is bringing in 11.4 percent
of seniors, a percentage roughly equal to that of last year.
most notably, the financial sector, which has begun to recover since
jobs were slashed during the financial crisis, will nonetheless see
fewer graduates entering the industry. While 10.5 percent of the Class
of 2011 headed to finance, 8.8 percent of this year’s Harvard graduates
will be working in the sector.
The Crimson’s survey of the Class
of 2012 was conducted through a secure website that ensured only one
response per senior. It drew 420 responses between May 8 and May 14,
While the consulting industry is the single most popular sector among
graduates, if salary were not a concern, 11 percent of respondents
would engage in public service, 13.9 percent would work in education,
and 17.7 percent said they would pursue the arts. However, only 4.1
percent of respondents said that they are actually entering the arts
next year, and 5 percent said they were entering public service.
less than half of future consultants said they would stick to
consulting if salary were not a concern, and just one-third of future
bankers would stay in finance if they did not have to worry about pay.
the one-third of seniors who do not plan on working next fall, the
vast majority—24 percent of the class—plan on heading to graduate
school, with medical school taking the lead with 6.4 percent of
The Crimson’s yearly survey asks questions
ranging from employment prospects to personal health, tracking changes
in the student body over time.
Nearly three-quarters of the
senior class considers themselves more liberal than the average
American. With a U.S. presidential election pitting two Harvard alumni
against each other, the Class of 2012, unlike the nation, is hardly
divided. President Barack Obama raked in 69.5 percent of student
support, while a mere 13.3 percent of seniors said they support Mitt
Romney, the presumptive Republican challenger.
typically attracts the greatest share of graduating seniors, is once
more this year’s most popular post-graduate destination, with 21.4
percent of respondents saying they will stay in Beantown next year. New
York will see 19.5 percent of graduates, and 14.3 percent of seniors
will head to California.
Around 17 percent of seniors will be
living outside of the United States next year, with 9.1 percent headed
to Europe, 4.3 percent headed to Asia, 1.9 percent headed to Africa.
despite divergent destinations, futures, and interests, Harvard
seniors overwhelmingly said they enjoyed their time in Cambridge: 91.7
percent of the Class of 2012 said they were satisfied or very satisfied
with their Harvard experience, and when presented with the option of
deciding on college again, 94.5 percent of graduates said they would
again choose Harvard.