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Convocation 2013: job prospects strong for iSchool graduates, survey finds

iSchool students, pictured here at Convocation Hall, are faring well after graduation (photo by Adriana Rossini)

Students who pursue a graduate degree at the University of Toronto iSchool to upgrade or acquire skills to enhance their career are seeing results when they enter the job market, a new survey finds.

To get a better understanding of graduates’ employment success, the iSchool Career Office conducted an employment survey last summer to see how recent alumni fare in the workforce after graduation.

Results show that nearly 90 per cent of graduates had secured a job before graduation, or within six months, and in fields they described as closely or somewhat closely related to their studies.

The survey was emailed to those who graduated in 2009, 2010, and June 2011 with a Master of Information (MI), Master of Museum Studies (MMSt), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The time period covered focused on the alumni's employment status 12 months after graduation.

Approximately 40 per cent completed the employment survey; 43 per cent from the MI program and 34 per cent from the MMSt program.

The Career Office is now using the collected statistics and feedback to enhance its services to students and graduates.

Key findings included:

  • 86 per cent of respondents had found jobs before graduation or up to six months after graduation
  • 88 per cent of alumni were employed 12 months after graduation
  • Of those employed, 88 per cent of respondents stated they were in positions that are closely or somewhat closely related to their studies
  • Half of the employed alumni were in permanent positions
  • Networking/personal contacts as a job search method was the most effective way of securing employment, followed by the iSchool Job Site and other online job boards
  • The combined average salary for full-time employment was $52,000 per year
  • A majority (72 per cent) of alumni found jobs in Toronto
  • Alumni found employment in a wide variety of sectors and types of organizations.

The survey is being conducted again this month with the classes of June 2012 and November 2011, establishing it as an annual survey. Participants will be entered into a draw for a chance to win an iPad.

Dean Seamus Ross said he was pleased with the results and encourages graduates to participate in this year’s employment survey, regardless of their current employment situation.

iSchool Career Officer Isidora Petrovic said she is thankful for graduates' past participation and looks forward to a great response again this year.

“The survey gives up critical insights into what happens when they graduate, helps show current students what they can expect from the job market, and helps us support both students and alumni in career planning.”

(Read more about U of T graduates in the workforce.)

Kathleen O'Brien is a writer with the iSchool at the University of Toronto.