The Charger Blog

University’s Class of 2021 Enjoys ‘Exceptionally Strong’ Employment Outcomes

The University’s Class of 2021 is enjoying great success, with more than 97 percent of the undergraduate class and 95 percent of the graduate class employed full- or part-time, continuing their education, in active military service, or engaged in a post-graduate service opportunity.

February 8, 2022

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Students at commencement, posing for a photo and waving their hands in the air.
Members of the University’s Class of 2021 at Commencement.

Since earning bachelor’s degrees in international development & diplomacy and political science, Keyri Ambrocio ’21 has launched her career working for the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce as a public policy and strategic communications specialist.

A member of the University’s Model United Nations program and chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission during her time as a Charger, she says the experiences taught her how to be engaged within a community while enabling her to develop her leadership and time management skills.

“Throughout the array of opportunities I was able to take advantage of at the University, I learned not just in the classroom, but also through engaging, collaborative experiences,” she said. “These experiences outside of the classroom were the most important in helping me get out of my comfort zone and grow as a professional. The connections I made through being a student helped prepare me for my job application process and for my current position.”

Ambrocio and her classmates have enjoyed great success since graduating, as evidenced by the career outcome rate – the total percentage of graduates who are employed full- or part-time, continuing their education, in active military service, or engaged in a post graduate service opportunity – for the undergraduates in the Class of 2021 exceeding 97 percent. Nearly half are employed full-time, one-third are continuing their education, and another 13 percent are working part-time.

‘It shows the high caliber of our students’

The data were compiled as part of the University’s Employment Outcomes Survey Report for the Class of 2021, which the University’s Career Development Center compiled in November and December. The Center found the employment outcomes for graduates to be “exceptionally strong across all colleges” for graduate and undergraduates, overall.

Image of Keyri Ambrocio ’21.
Keyri Ambrocio ’21.

“One of our most defining characteristics at the University of New Haven is our collaborative and integrated ‘Career Everywhere’ approach,” said Matt Caporale, executive director for the Career Development Center. “Preparing, supporting, and connecting students to opportunities is not the domain of a single office. Faculty, staff, student leaders, alumni, employers, and other key stakeholders all contribute to the professional preparation of our students. The success of that approach has been demonstrated with years of strong outcomes, and our May 2021 numbers continue that trend.”

The report suggests that a key factor in these positive results is the significant increase in the number of undergraduate students seeking to continue their education. Also, nearly all academic programs saw considerable increases in the career outcomes rate.

“This year’s class had a strong job market to take advantage of, and they certainly did,” said Caporale. “We are also quite proud that a high number – 30 percent – of our students are advancing their education in graduate or professional school. It shows the high caliber of our students and their strong academic records and potential.”

‘I’m excited for my future’

The group of students completing a bachelor’s degree choosing to continue their education includes Alexandria Ross ’21, who majored in forensic science and is now pursuing her master’s degree in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics at the University at Buffalo. Ross, who studied abroad in Ireland as a Charger, says she is grateful for the continued support of her professors.

Image of Alexandria Ross ’21.
Alexandria Ross ’21.

“My time at the University helped prepare me for graduate school because I was able to learn how to adapt to a faster pace in upper level classes,” she said. “In addition, completing my honors thesis helped me figure out the best ways to balance working in a lab and completing my coursework, which is important in my program.”

Ross’s former forensic science classmate Samantha Tice ’21 is also continuing her education. Now a candidate in the University’s graduate program in cellular and molecular biology, she says it was the freedom she had when choosing her electives that led her to discover other aspects of biology that she enjoyed, sparking her interest in continuing her education.

Tice, who studied abroad in Australia where she gained experience in field-based research, says she’s grateful for her professors who challenged her and supported her goals. She is now enjoying the opportunities she has to build her technical skills as a graduate student.

“With all the different laboratory courses we get to take and the experiments we perform, I feel I will be prepared to take on a variety of roles in the biological sciences field,” she said. “I’m excited for my future and truly grateful for the opportunities this University has provided for me throughout my time, as both an undergraduate and graduate student.”

Image of Samantha Tice ’21 who studied abroad in Australia as a Charger.
Samantha Tice ’21 studied abroad in Australia as a Charger.
‘I have what it takes to be a scholar’

As part of the study, the Career Development Center uses a three-phase methodology to ascertain the outcomes of the graduating classes six months out from graduation. They collect data at graduation through the University’s Marching Order system, emailed a survey to graduates, and conducted online research to locate employment and advanced education outcomes of graduates using sites such as LinkedIn.

Image of Miriam Cohen ’21.
Miriam Cohen ’21.

Miriam Cohen ’21, who graduated with a degree in psychology, says it was her own research that she conducted as a student as part of her Honors thesis that was particularly impactful. Interested in continuing her education in a field related to student affairs, she says her research gave her a flavor of what graduate school would be like, confirming that student affairs was indeed a good fit for her. She is now pursuing her M.Ed. in student development in higher education at the University of Maine.

“During my time at University of New Haven, I had access to endless opportunities that supported my growth, personally and academically,” said Cohen, who served as a tutor at the University’s Writing Center. “The research, writing, and presentation components of my thesis have aided me tremendously in my current coursework.

“If I had not completed an Honors Thesis, I believe I would not have been nearly as prepared for graduate school as I am now,” she continued. “The knowledge I gained, not only from my own experiences with data, but from the guidance of my thesis adviser Dr. Tiffany Hesser, helped me really see that I have what it takes to be a scholar and to succeed in graduate school and beyond.”

‘We covered topics… that may not be covered in-depth at other institutions’

The Career Development Center also found that members of the Class of 2021 are overwhelmingly employed within their field of study. More than 93 percent of the graduate class and nearly three out of four members of the undergraduate class are now working in their major field.

Image of Paul Yount ’21 M.S.
Paul Yount ’21 M.S.

Among them is Paul Yount ’21 M.S. who completed a master’s degree in forensic science. As a student, he conducted in-depth research, including a multidisciplinary project that he presented at conferences. He has also discussed his work and laboratory experience at the University during job interviews.

Now a forensic scientist for the Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory, Yount is undergoing training to become a qualified DNA analyst. He says his experience at the University gave him extensive hands-on training, enabling him to become proficient in areas such as DNA analysis, microscopy, and evidence handling, all of which are critical to success in the field.

“The University’s program is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), and, therefore, the professors understand what content needs to be covered in class to ensure each student is prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation,” he said. “In class, we covered topics including bias, ethics, quality control/assurance, and accreditations – topics that may not be covered in-depth at other institutions.”

‘I cannot express how much the University has prepared me’

Yount is among the nearly 87 percent of the University’s 2021 graduate class who are now employed full-time. Another four percent are employed part-time, three percent are continuing their education, and one percent are engaged in active military service or a post-graduate service opportunity.

His time at the University, Yount says, enabled him to have experiences, such as his analytical instrumentation training, that uniquely prepared him for his position. He cites his work with Brooke Kammrath, Ph.D., D-ABC; his research with Angie Ambers, Ph.D., and Virginia Maxwell, D.Phil.; and his “Advanced DNA Analysis” course with David San Pietro, Ph.D., as having been particularly impactful.

“During my training to become a DNA analyst, I still refer to my notes that I took during Dr. San Pietro’s class and reference his exceptional PowerPoints,” he said. “I cannot express how much the University has prepared me to be a confident, hard-working, professional, and skilled forensic scientist. I am proud to be a Charger and represent the #1 University for forensic science education.”

‘It was a seamless transition from the school world to the work world’

James Pisano ’21 M.A. acknowledges that searching for a job during the pandemic was challenging, but he was accepted into the Leadership Development Program’s human resources track at Stanley Black & Decker within two months of graduating. Pisano, who earned a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology, is now part of the two-year rotational program for individuals the company has identified as having high career potential.

Image of James Pisano '21 M.A.
James Pisano '21 M.A.

He says his experiences as a Charger – including his coursework, opportunities such as the Alvine New Venture Pitch Competition, and his provost assistantship – helped prepare him for his current role. Pisano, whose responsibilities include large-scale organizational development projects and creating a system for general human resources requests for his business unit, says he became adept at taking and creating opportunities that help him achieve his goals, and that he fit right in when beginning his role at Stanley.

“The University prepared me by helping me understand and fit in with the culture at Stanley Black & Decker,” he said. “From my perspective, the cultures at the University and at Stanley are similar. The common goal is to get results through collaboration and hands-on, continual practice. The two cultures are so similar that simply being a member of the University community and engaging with opportunities of all varieties prepared me to thrive. It was a seamless transition from the school world to the work world. A natural fit.”