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Where are our 2019 graduates now?

Graduation ceremony 2019 (credits: Christophe Da Silva / Sciences Po)

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!

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Survey Results in 5 key figures​

  • 9 out of 10 graduates who decided to enter the job market are currently working (this figure remains stable compared to last year). This represents an increase of 5 points since 2014.
  • 82% found their first job less than 6 months after graduating (compared to 86% for the class of 2018)
  • 64% work in the private sector (compared to 70% in the class of 2017)
  • 37% are working outside of France (34% in 2017)
  • The average gross annual salary (excluding bonuses) is €37.5K (€39K for the class of 2018)

Still an excellent integration rate on the job market despite the crisis

83% of graduates decided to enter the workforce, 13% are continuing their studies, and 3% decided not to immediately enter the job market. 

Among the 2019 graduates who decided to enter the workforce, 9 out of 10 are currently working (either in a stable job, internship, business creation or student civil servant). This figure is stable compared to last year and shows the continuing attractiveness of the Sciences Po degree despite a tight job market, as well as the quality of the support systems deployed by the institution.

Time to employment remains fast: 82% of graduates who are working found their job in less than 6 months post-graduation (86% in 2020, 87 % in 2019, 84% in 2018), and 42% of them had found their job even before graduation, similarly to the previous class (43%). This number rises to 53% for students who followed an apprenticeship during their Master’s.

Almost 3 out of 4 graduates in a stable job ...

Of the graduates in employment, 72% have a stable job, a rate that is unchanged from last year and has increased by more than 10 points since 2014 (67%): 

  • 48% are in permanent employment
  • 24% have joined the French and international civil service
  • 9% have signed a contract with an international organisation, a figure that has been rising steadily for the past 6 years (5% in 2015).
  • 4% of graduates became entrepreneurs at the end of their studies 

...and 2 out of 3 in the private sector 

64% of employed graduates work in the private sector; they were 66% in 2018, 70% in 2017 and 2016, 71% in 2016, and 73% in 2015. A downward trend that continues, with 23% of graduates in the public sector (20% in 2017) and 13% in international organisations (10% in 2017). Future surveys will show whether this is a long-term trend. 

Sectors as varied as ever 

Administration and the public sector (18%), auditing and consulting (16% of graduates), NGOs and associations (9% of graduates), banking/finance/insurance (7%) and international organisations (7%) remain the top choices for graduates. The fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the environment represent 3% of the class of 2019, and new technologies occupy 4% of graduates.

Less pay gap between men and women

Average gross annual pay excluding bonuses falls slightly from €39,172 in 2020 to €37,346 in 2021. This evolution could be partly compensated by bonuses and can be explained by an increase in the share of the public sector and an appetite for impact jobs that often pay less. The average salary of graduates employed internationally is €38,937.

Good news for this 2021 edition: the pay gap between women and men continues to narrow, with a gap reduced by €4,566 in two years.

The appeal of international work is still strong

37% of respondents said they were working outside France in 84 countries, compared to 34% for the class of 2017. Of these, 55% chose the European Union, 17% Africa and the Middle East, 13% Asia/Pacific, 12% North America and 3% South America. 

Professional experience and networking as key stepping stones

Professional experience acquired before graduation - internship or apprenticeship contract - enabled 35% of 2019 graduates to find their first job, while 32% used their personal, professional or Sciences Po-related network.

Students who did an apprenticeship are more frequently employed and have shorter integration times, with 53% of them hired before graduation. 

About the survey

The Graduate Employability Survey of the class of 2019 was conducted from the beginning of December 2020 to the end of April 2021, approximately 18 months after graduation. Graduate participation in the survey was high: 1,679 graduates responded, i.e. 66% of the class.

The 2021 edition was conducted by Sciences Po Carrières under the scientific supervision of Nicolas Sauger (Associate Professor at Sciences Po, researcher affiliated with the Center for European Studies and Comparative Politics and the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies, director of the CDSP) and with the expertise of Blazej Palat (Research Engineer at the Center for Socio-Political Data [CDSP]).

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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