Where are our graduates now?

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 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.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

About the Graduate Employability Survey

The 2020 edition of the Graduate Employability Survey was conducted by Sciences Po Careers under the scientific supervision of Nicolas Sauger (Associate Professor at Sciences Po, researcher affiliated with the Centre for European Studies [CEE] and The Interdisciplinary Research Centre for the Evaluation of Public Policies [LIEPP], Director of the CDSP) and with the expertise of Blazej Palat (Engineer at the Socio-Political Data Centre [CDSP]). 1,702 graduates of the Class of 2018 responded to the survey, representing a significant response rate of 73%.

More information

Subscribe to News from Sciences Po

The founder of the Olympic Games studied at Sciences Po

The founder of the Olympic Games studied at Sciences Po

This article was originally published in February 2018.

Pierre de Coubertin, initiator of the modern Olympic movement and the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, founder of the International Olympic Committee, attended Sciences Po assiduously from 1884 to 1886. Coubertin played an important role in the emergence and development of athletics in France in the early twentieth century.

More
School of Research opens Courses to Early Stage Researchers from CIVICA Universities

School of Research opens Courses to Early Stage Researchers from CIVICA Universities

Interviews by Alina Thiemann. Read all of the testimonies on the page of the School of Research.

True to its goal of fostering more collaboration in academics across European universities, CIVICA enables doctoral fellows and researchers to exchange on ongoing research, team up for collaborative projects, and network with colleagues through various existing and upcoming joint initiatives and opportunities. Among these is the Early Stage Researcher (ESR) course catalogue, an online resource that brings together classes, workshops and seminars open to (post)doctoral researchers from across the alliance.

More
Olympic Games: 6 Sciences Po athletes compete in Tokyo!

Olympic Games: 6 Sciences Po athletes compete in Tokyo!

From 23 July, they will represent their teams in Tokyo ... but also a little Sciences Po! Six athletes selected for the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games are students in Sciences Po’s Preparatory Certificate for high-level athletes (fr). And for the third time, the French flag will be carried by an alumnus of this programme: Stéphane Houdet will be one of the flag bearers of the French delegation, after Teddy Riner at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and Michaël Jérémiasz at the Paralympic Games that same year.

More
Angèle Paty: Bikepacking from Montpellier to the Shetland Islands

Angèle Paty: Bikepacking from Montpellier to the Shetland Islands

45 days, 4 countries, 2,500 kilometres – and all of it by bike... Angèle Paty, a former student of the Europe–North America programme on the Sciences Po Reims Campus has set herself a major challenge. After her third year abroad at the University of St Andrews came to an abrupt and unfortunate end due to the pandemic, Paty launched the project SAORSA, meaning “freedom” in Scottish Gaelic. She has made it her mission to return to Scotland by cycling all the way to the Shetland Islands from her hometown of Montpellier – on her own, on muscle power alone. We asked her a few questions before she set off.

More
Where are our 2019 graduates now?

Where are our 2019 graduates now?

The results of the 2021 Graduate Employability Survey on the class of 2019 show that Sciences Po students remain very attractive to employers, with 9 out of 10 graduates in professional activity. Despite a job market facing difficulties, 82% of our 2019 graduates found their first job in less than 6 months, and nearly ¾ of them have a stable profession. There are still just as many (37%) working abroad, in 84 countries. Discover all the results of our survey!

More
Watch Season 2 of our video series FOCUS!

Watch Season 2 of our video series FOCUS!

News passes, ideas stay. FOCUS is Sciences Po’s video series that sheds light on current affairs. In each episode, a researcher or professor explores a topical issue related to his or her field of expertise from an unexpected angle. In three minutes, FOCUS offers an out-of-the-box reflection on the issues that drive public debate and proposes perspectives for understanding and acting.

More
Bachelor students from all over Europe team up for first ever CIVICA European Week

Bachelor students from all over Europe team up for first ever CIVICA European Week

From 8 to 11 June 2021, some 40 undergraduate students from Sciences Po, Bocconi University, the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and The London School of Economics (LSE) took part in the first edition of the CIVICA European Week. This event, a central element of the CIVICA Engage Track, aimed to foster social engagement in bachelor students from all over Europe through four days of fast-paced learning and team working with peers from varied backgrounds.

More
 Sciences Po, a three-star university for French as a Foreign Language

Sciences Po, a three-star university for French as a Foreign Language

Sciences Po has obtained for the second time the Label Qualité Français langue étrangère (Quality Label for French as a Foreign Language), attaining the maximum score of three stars. Sciences Po has been attributed this label for the quality of its teaching of French as a foreign language, the professionalism and commitment of the teachers and staff, and the conditions in which the students are taught.

More
Keeping books alive: Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, a key patron of Sciences Po

Keeping books alive: Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, a key patron of Sciences Po

Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, the CEO of French holding company FIMALAC and a major patron of the arts, has shown his support for Sciences Po’s activities by making a donation to the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (FNSP). His generous contribution to the purchase and promotion of books in the humanities and social sciences will enable Sciences Po to take ambitious new steps in its policy for disseminating knowledge. In particular, the donation will go towards the new Sciences Po bookshop opening in the heart of the historic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood in September 2021.

More
Natacha Valla: “Transformation and transition have become the bread and butter of professional life”

Natacha Valla: “Transformation and transition have become the bread and butter of professional life”

The Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation (SMI) embraces its mission of fostering “inclusive prosperity”. From finance to the creative industries, from large multinationals to budding start-ups, its diverse student cohorts form the economic actors of tomorrow.

Dean Natacha Valla explains the school’s strategies, profiles, future prospects and pedagogical innovations in a world in constant transformation.

More