Outcomes: Careers After Cornell

Where A&S Grads Are Headed

For the past five years, a majority of graduates have entered or been seeking to enter the workforce upon graduation, while about 1/3 enter or prepare to apply for graduate school. Most Cornellians applying to law school apply a few years after college, usually within one to three years of graduation. This is increasingly common with other graduate and professional programs as well.

Graduates of A&S find success at organizations across the world in a diverse array of career fields: from technology, law, and finance to communications, government, and nonprofits. Similarly, A&S graduates pursue a bright diversity of graduate degrees after finishing their undergrad degrees here. A&S graduates find success in fields like computer science, medicine, mathematics, social sciences, fine arts, business management, law, engineering, and more at schools like Columbia, Georgetown, Brown, MIT, NYU, Northwestern, Oxford, Penn, UCLA, Tufts, and Cornell.

About the Data

Cornell University conducts an annual survey of the postgraduate activities of our graduates. The reports provided represent first-destinations as reported by students. Graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences go on to prestigious graduate programs, advanced professional degrees or directly into challenging and rewarding careers.

Overall college reports and reports for each major are available for survey years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Major reports may include data from multiple graduating classes depending on the number of graduates.

  • For majors with 50+ respondents in the most recent year, we provide percentages for the most recent year.
  • For majors with 50+ respondents in the last 5 years, we provide percentages for the last 5 years.
  • For majors with <50 respondents in the last 5 years, we provide descriptive information, but no percentages.

View and download college and major reports

If you need accessible versions of any of these documents, please contact as_communication@cornell.edu. You will receive a response within 2 business days.

Class of 2020 Outcomes

74% of the Class of 2020 responded to the survey. (n=841)

Primary Status

Percentage

Employed

57%

Attending Graduate School

33%

Seeking Employment

5%

Other Endeavors*

4%

* Other Endeavors includes preparing for graduate school, traveling, volunteering, time off.

EMPLOYMENT DETAILS

Class of 2020 graduates reported entering 10 unique sectors following graduation.

Employment Sector

Percentage

Financial Services

20%

Technology

16%

Consulting/Professional Practice

11%

Education

11%

Human Healthcare Services

10%

Law 6%

Other Nonprofit Organization

5%

Government

5%

Biotech/Pharmaceuticals/Life Sciences

Other 

Communications/Media

4%

4%

3%

 

 

Salary

  • Average: $69k
  • High: $160k
  • Median: $65k

Top employers

There were multiple ties within the top 15 companies that employed Cornellians. 321 unique employers hired Class of 2020 graduates.

  1. Google | Microsoft
  2. Morgan Stanley
  3. Deloitte Consulting 
  4. Amazon 
  5. JPMorgan Chase | Americorps | Cornell University
  6. Accenture | Goldman Sachs
  7. Apple | Facebook | Citigroup | AlphaSights | Weill Cornell Medicine

Other sample employers

•    Boston University School of Medicine

•    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

•    Comcast/NBCUniversal

•    Hearst Media Services

•    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

•    London Stock Exchange Group

•    Manhattan District Attorney

•    New York Times

•    One Composer

•    POLITICO

•    Smithsonian Institution

•    Sustainable Markets Foundation

•    U.S. National Park Service

•    U.S. Department of Justice

GRADUATE SCHOOL DETAILS

Class of 2020 graduates reported entering 85 unique graduate fields following graduation.

Graduate Field

Percentage

Computer Science 21%

Law

12%

Medicine

6%

Physics

6%

Information Science

4%

Chemistry

3%

Public Health

3%

Statistics

3%

Psychology

2%

Mathematics

2%

Public Administration

2%

 

DEGREE TYPES PURSUED

Degree Type

Percentage

PhD

28%

MEng

15%

MS 12%

JD

12%

MPS 7%

MD

6%

MA

5%

MPH

3%

Other

12%

 

Sample Graduate Schools Attended:

Class of 2020 graduates reported attending 84 unique graduate institutions.

•    California Institute of Technology
•    Carnegie Mellon University
•    Cornell University
•    Columbia University in the City of New York
•    Duke University
•    Emory University
•    Georgetown University
•    Harvard University
•    King’s College London
•    London School of Economics
•    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
•    New York University
•    Princeton University
•    Stanford University
•    University of California-Los Angeles
•    University of Cambridge
•    University of Chicago
•    University of California-Berkeley
•    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
•    University of Pennsylvania
•    Vanderbilt University
•    Yale University

PRE-PROFESSIONAL 2019 DATA

Pre-Law Students:

75% of A&S applicants (for the 2019 cycle) took 1 or more gap year(s).

Top Law Schools for Class of 2020

1.    Columbia University
2.    New York University
3.    Cornell University (tied)
3.    Harvard University (tied)
5.    Emory University (tied)
5.    Yale University (tied)

Pre-Med Students:

81% of A&S applicants (for the 2019 cycle) took 1 or more gap years(s).

Top Medical Schools for Class of 2019

  1. New York University | Rutgers University | Stony Brook (tied)
  2. Columbia University | Harvard University (tied)
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