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Careers: 2021 Graduates, Where Are They Now?

9 in 10 are now in employment.

As part of our annual Graduate Employability Survey, we reached out to our 2021 graduates to know more about their careers. The answers given by more than 2,400 alumni confirm that Sciences Po graduates remain as excellent and employable as ever.

Read the key findings of this year’s survey.

The survey results in 5 key figures

  • 9 in 10 graduates who decided to enter the workforce are now in employment (just like last year).
  • 87% of these found their first job within six months of graduating.
  • 35% are working outside of France.
  • The average gross annual salary (excluding bonuses) has risen to €42K (compared to €40K for the Class of 2020). Outside of France the gross annual salary (excluding bonuses) is €45K.
  • 84% of young graduates that were surveyed and who are working said they are satisfied or very satisfied with their job.

A consistently high employment rate

87% of our graduates found their first job within six months of graduating.

84% of graduates decided to enter the workforce, 13,6% have gone on to further study and 3% decided not to enter the workforce immediately.

Of the graduates who did decide to enter the workforce, 9 in 10 are now working (in either a stable job, an internship, as entrepreneurs or as trainee civil servants). This figure remains stable in relation to last year's survey, confirming the consistent appeal of the Sciences Po degree and the strengths of the university’s curriculum.

Waiting times for jobs remain short: 87% of Sciences Po graduates found work within six months (compared to 80% in 2022  survey, class of 2020 ), while 47% were hired prior to graduating.

1 in 3 graduates are working overseas

35% of our graduates are working outside of France (1 out of 3).

35% of respondents said they were working outside of France, in 75 countries around the world.

Of these, 60% chose to work in the European Union, 11% in Africa and the Middle East,  12% in North America and the Middle East, 11% in the Asia-Pacific region and 5% in South America.

Nearly 3 in 4 graduates are now in stable employment… and 2 in 3 work in the private sector

Of the graduates now working, 81% are in stable employment: 

  • 54% are in a permanent contract
  • 21% have joined the civil service in France or overseas
  • 6% are in a contracted position at an international organisation
  • 5% of graduates became entrepreneurs at the end of their studies.

65% of graduates now in employment work in the private sector.

Sectors as varied as ever

Civil service and the public sector (20% of graduates); auditing and consultancy (16%); NGOs and civil society organisations (9%); banking, finance and insurance (8%) and international organisations (7%) remain the top choices for graduates of the Class of 2021. Others are employed in various posts in the legal sector (within law firms), urban planning, industry, the press, media, publishing, the environment and tech.

More than 1 in 3 graduates progressed in their career within 18 months of graduating

38% of the respondents said they had changed jobs or employers since graduating. Among these respondents, 41% changed jobs because they benefited from an internal promotion or because another employer made them a better job or salary offer. A figure that demonstrates the dynamism of the job market.

Professional experience and networking: key springboards for employment

Outside of France the gross annual salary is €45K.

More than 1 in 3 graduates found their first job thanks to previous professional experience (whether an internship or an apprenticeship) gained over the course of their studies. Meanwhile, 32% made use of their own personal and professional networks or contacts made while at Sciences Po.

Mathias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po, is set on strengthening the place of apprenticeship at the master's level.

At the start of the academic year, a total of 15 master's degrees are already offered as apprenticeships. It will soon be deployed within the 7 Sciences Po schools.

About the survey

The 2023 survey was conducted by Sciences Po Careers under the academic supervision of Nicolas Sauger, associate professor at Sciences Po, director of the Centre for Socio-Political Data (CDSP) and a researcher affiliated to the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE) and the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP), with the expertise of Blazej Palat, a survey engineer at the CDSP.

(credits: F. Beraud / Scape Chaikana / Sciences Po)

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