On Sunday, May 6, nearly 700 members of the Hope College Class of 2018 will walk across the stage at Commencement and begin the “lives of leadership and service” the mission of their alma mater beckons them to. But what exactly does this look like? Where do all these graduates go? What do they do?
Anecdotally, we know that Hope College alumni live out their callings in ways as unique as they are. From writing about race to eradicating polio. From winemaking in NYC to brewing in Michigan. From performing at the Oscars to Inventing America. From baseball strike zones to Superbowl flags thrown. From Peace Corps placements to global health equity. From cyber spying to wildlife photographing. While these individual stories are powerful examples of Hope graduates making a difference in the world, a quantitative analysis of life after Hope tells a powerful story as well.
Take the Class of 2017 for example. Within six months of graduating from Hope:
- 94% were in the workforce or graduate school.
- 86% of those employed full-time were employed in their field of study.
- 80% said they had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams.
- 96% participated in experiential learning opportunities, including internships, off-campus study and research.
- Of those in graduate school, 85% were in their first choice.
While it is important to get a great start right after college, we know that the true value of a Hope education is how it influences lives over a longer period of time. In this spirit, we also study graduate outcomes for alumni a decade after Commencement. Our ten-year graduate survey, most recently conducted with the Class of 2007, shows that:
- Ten years after graduating, alumni report that the top three factors that have helped them secure employment are academic major, the value of a Hope degree and work experience. Only 1.2% are not employed and looking for a job.
- 94% said their professors cared about them as a person and 64% said they had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams.
- 94% report being satisfied or very satisfied with their social well being, 93% with what they feel their purpose is in life, 89% with their job and 87% with their health.
- The average salary of $69,500 is in the top 20% for annual income of 32 year olds in the United States.
- 45% have completed a graduate degree. 86% of those that went to graduate school attended their first choice school.
We look forward to celebrating at Commencement this weekend and can’t wait to see how each member of the Class of 2018 turns their own Hope College education into a unique and meaningful life after college. Now and in the future, they are agents of hope who live faithfully into their vocations. They make a difference in the world.