Outcomes: Careers After Cornell

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Graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences go on to prestigious graduate programs, advanced professional degrees or directly into challenging and rewarding careers. Take our class of 2014 graduates, for example — more than 63 percent entered the workforce, 26 percent were accepted to graduate school and others volunteered or took time off to write, pursue artistic ventures or explore the world.

Career Choices

Cornell University conducts an annual survey of the postgraduate activities of our graduates. The latest survey included 982 bachelor’s degree recipients from the Arts & Sciences Class of 2014. The data presented here is typical for the College of Arts & Sciences: for the past five years, a majority of our graduates have been entering or seeking to enter the workforce upon graduation, while about a third enter or prepare to apply for graduate school. Most Cornellians applying to law school apply a few years after college, usually within 1-3 years of graduation; in 2013-14 only 26 percent of Cornellians applying to law school were college seniors. This is increasingly common with other graduate and professional programs as well.

Liberal Arts Education

A liberal arts education is the best long-term training for innovation, entrepreneurship and civic leadership. It leads to a higher earning potential, better jobs and life enrichment. Your education at the College of Arts and Sciences helps you understand the foundations of knowledge, inquiry and creativity and prepares you for this era of rapid social, technological, economic and environmental change. These changes are complex and require a multidisciplinary approach and understanding.  

A survey of CEOs found that 74 percent advocated a liberal arts education as the way to create a more dynamic 21st century worker. At Arts & Sciences Career Development, we specialize in helping you market the valuable skills you've gained from your liberal arts study and experience to employers.

What our alumni have to say ...

“If you don’t know what you want to do right out of the gate, don’t panic. Get some experience, and it will all come together.” - Cliff Manko ’80, vice president of business management for Cengage Learning

“Even in my banking interviews, my biggest edge was that I was a history major.” - Eric Blair-Joannou ’10, master’s student at Columbia

"My liberal arts education allowed me to focus on learning geology and economics at length in a unique and comprehensive way. Instead of studying geology in strictly a technical way, I also examined the economic consequences of energy and mineral use, and understood how geological and economic factors interplay in markets." - Caitlin McDonnell '15

"I had the opportunity to take classes in disciplines that I normally would not have. These included economics, psychology, writing and history. Since medicine is a multidisciplinary field (encompassing ideas from areas such as biology, economics, information science and sociology), my liberal arts education will allow me to take a holistic approach to medicine, solving problems in their context."  -Chandramouli Rathnam '15