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%.

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