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Survey shows continued career success for Mason alumni

June 12, 2020   /   by Preston Williams

Mason students talk to employers at an arts career fair in the Center for the Arts lobby in February 2020. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services.

George Mason University alumni have a strong track record of landing jobs they want, and that professional success continued with the class of 2019.

In the university’s Career Plans Survey, 87% of respondents reported attaining a position that aligned with their career goals, up from 82% in 2018. The survey also showed that 86% of students who earned graduate degrees and 81% of students who earned undergraduate degrees reported a positive career outcome within six months of graduating, both remaining consistent with 2018.

In total, 83% of Mason’s graduate and undergraduate degree earners from 2019 reported positive career outcomes within six months of graduation, achieving the university’s goal for the year. The more than 1,000 graduates responding to the salary portion of the survey reported a median salary of $62,383, up from $61,000 in 2018.

Saskia Campbell, executive director of University Career Services, said the positive survey results reflect the abilities of a prepared and diverse talent pool as well as the professional opportunities available to Mason grads, particularly in the Washington, D.C., region.

Career Services and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning conducted the survey of the Class of 2019, with 65% of 8,947 graduates sharing details about their job search.

Graduates in the Class of 2020 face a stiffer economy but boast the same enviable credentials as their Mason predecessors. There are more than 6,000 active positions posted in the university’s Handshake job database.

“Job prospects look different, but there are still opportunities,” Campbell said. “Although the competition is tough and start dates have been delayed, employers are hiring and finding creative ways for employees to onboard and work remotely.”

Prospective employees and employers will have the opportunity to connect during the university’s first Virtual Job Fair, set for June 18-19. The registration deadline is noon on June 15. Interested parties will engage using the same tools they likely would use as colleagues as they ride out the pandemic together by teleworking.

With more positions going virtual, Mason students and alumni have the ability to work multiple jobs at the same time or to change positions more frequently without having to move.

“The shift to virtual job fairs has increased access to employers and jobs regardless of location,” Campbell said. “The last few months have compelled employers, large and small across all industries, to rethink how they do business and pushed them to change policies and invest in technologies to support their staffs to work virtually, a culture shift to encourage greater work-life integration.”

About 100 employers have registered for Mason’s Virtual Job Fair, one of many ways University Career Services is assisting Mason students and alumni in their job hunting. Career Services specialists provide free resume reviews via email, conduct employer panel discussions on the latest developments in the employment market, and offer career counseling, online workshops and a video interview practice app, among other services.