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The Impact of Academic Program on Post-Graduation Plans

How much impact does an academic program have on the expectations of a college graduate’s post-graduation plans? The graduate’s academic program makes a notable difference, according to results of a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

NACE categorized graduating seniors from the Class of 2014 who identified their majors into two groups: those pursuing a “career-oriented” program and those involved in an “academic” discipline.


Fifty-eight percent of Class of 2014 graduates who responded identified themselves with a career-oriented major; the remaining 41.2 percent were associated with an academic program.

The post-graduation plans are distinctly different for students in career-oriented programs than they are for those enrolled in academic majors. Figure 1 shows that career-oriented majors are more likely to:

  • Have definitive plans post-graduation.
  • Enter the work force directly after college.
  • Plan on being part of the private, for-profit sector.


About the 2014 Student Survey: NACE collected data for the 2014 Student Survey from February 15 to April 30, 2014. A total of 43,864 students responded from 696 NACE-member institutions throughout the United States. Of these responses, 10,210 came from bachelor’s degree seniors who indicated that they would be getting their degrees by August 2014. This story is based on the responses from this group of seniors. The executive summary of the 2014 Student Survey is available at The 2014 Student Survey was sponsored by Enterprise.

Guest Post by: NACEWEB

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