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Where are our graduates now?

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The 2020 Graduate Employability Survey asked the Class of 2018 what they were up to now. Their responses reaffirm Sciences Po graduates’ attractivity on the job market, with 9 out of 10 graduates currently working. Amongst them, 86% landed a job less than 6 months after graduating, and ¾ of them in a permanent contract. More and more graduates work abroad (37%), and more and more report being satisfied with their jobs! Discover the full results of our survey below.

Survey Results in 5 key figures

  • 9 graduates out of 10 who decided to enter the job market are currently employed (same statistic as the previous year), which is a 5-point increase since 2014.
  • 86% found their first job within 6 months of graduating (87% in 2017), which is a 5-point increase since 2014.
  • 66% work in the private sector (compared to 70% of the Class of 2017)
  • 37% have started their career outside of France (34% in 2017)
  • The average annual gross income abroad (excluding bonuses) remains stable at an average of 40,205 €

A swift and successful entrance onto the job market… 

Among graduates who have decided to enter the workforce, 9 out of 10 are employed, a stable figure compared to last year’s survey on the Class of 2017. Only 7.7% of them are looking for work (compared to 7.6% in 2017). Note that 76% of respondents who declare themselves looking for a job have in fact already had their first job since graduating from Sciences Po, which brings the overall integration rate to 98%!

The time frame for finding a job remains short: 86% of graduates found a job in less than 6 months (87% 2017, 88.4% in 2016, 87% in 2015, 81% in 2014). Among them, 72% are in stable employment, a rate that has increased by more than 5 points since 2014 (67%). Though slightly lower than to the Class of 2017 (76%), this development mainly reflects graduates’ career choices: compared to the previous survey, the rate of fixed-term contracts (CDD) remains identical, while the number of work contracts in international organisations has increased, including international VIE / VIA contracts, and the number of freelancers and entrepreneurs...

... and fewer graduates opting for the private sector

66% of employed graduates of the Class of 2018 work in the private sector, as opposed to 70% in 2017 and 2016, 71% in 2016, and 73% in 2015. A downward trend is emerging, with more and more graduates opting to work in the public sector (22% against 20% in 2017) and 12% in international organisations (10% in 2017). Does this reflect our graduates’ desire to extend their various civic commitments undertaken during their studies by choosing sectors with a direct positive impact? The next survey will tell if this is a long-term development.

Increasingly higher wages in France, stable abroad

The average gross annual salary outside of France remains stable at 40,205 €, excluding bonuses (40,611€ for the Class of 2017). In France, salaries are on the rise (with an average annual gross income of 39 172 € excluding bonuses), which is higher than the average reported by the Conférence des Grandes Écoles' survey (FR) (36,7K €). When taking a closer look at North America, graduates earn more with an average gross income of 54K € in the private sector, and 70K € in auditing/consulting (both excluding bonuses).

A decreasing gender pay gap

Good news for this 2020 edition: the pay gap between women and men has gone from 16% last year to 13%, thanks to an overall increase in women’s revenue (38,355 € on average, excluding bonuses, outside of France). Sciences Po runs a series of initiatives designed to help reduce inequalities between men and women including career workshops specifically for women to help with salary negotiation, self-confidence, and more.

More and more international careers

37% of 2018 graduates report working outside France, compared to 34% for the Class of 2017. Among them, 55% are within the European Union, 15% in Africa and the Middle East, 14% Asia / Pacific, 11% in North America and 5% in South America.

A high variety of professional sectors

Auditing and consulting (19% of graduates), public administration (17%), banking/finance/insurance (8%) and international organisations (8%) remain graduates’ top choices. But a new sector has emerged from the 2020 survey: the Environment / CSR sector, in which 3% of graduates work.

Professional experience and network are essential springboards

Professional experience acquired before graduation - internships or traineeship contracts - helped 34% of 2018 graduates to find their first job, while 26% used their personal, professional or Sciences Po network. Students who did apprenticeships are more frequently employed and have shorter entry times, with 55% of them hired even before graduating.

High job satisfaction among graduates

For the second year in a row, our Graduate Employability Survey measures our graduates’ overall happiness and well-being at work. 82.8% report being satisfied or very satisfied with their job. In more detail, the satisfaction rate ("satisfied" or "very satisfied") is above 56% when measuring working conditions and autonomy, and rises to 63% for the workplace. 51.5% of graduates report being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” when it comes to their salary, and over 62.5% say they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their relationships with their colleagues.


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Photo: Sciences Po Graduates: What are up they to now?
Credits: Gorille Agency
Last modified 2020-08-19
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