As students who recognize the exorbitant cost and privilege of the education we receive at Bates College, it is important to know where our hard work and success takes us after we graduate. Bates offers a well-rounded and holistic liberal arts education that encourages students to pursue academic interests across a vast landscape of academic disciplines. The multi-faceted education we receive in our four years is meant to prepare us for life after college, whether students chose to pursue immediate careers or graduate programs.

Statistics published by the Bates Career Development Center reveal that in the Class of 2014, 74 percent of graduating students were employed upon their departure from Bates, and thirteen percent were enrolled in graduate or professional schools. Even though 87 percent of graduates in the Class of 2014 were either employed or pursuing further education, only one percent of the graduating class was still seeking employment. The remaining 12 percent of graduates had either received fellowships or were completing an internship.

There has long been the notion that the majority of Bates graduates either become teachers or preachers. In the last five years, however, statistics from the Bates Career Development Center show that of the top nine employers of Bates graduates, only one is a University. Starting with the most Bates graduates employed, Fidelity Investment tops the list, followed by IBM, State Street, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Harvard University, Accenture, Deloitte, L.L. Bean and Google.

A recent alumni survey conducted from April 18 to June 5, 2015, by the Office of College Advancement, asked 19,926 alumni about their current professional situation, and how Bates helped prepare them for their professional and postgraduate life. Of the 3,102 surveys returned, roughly 58 percent of alumni felt that Bates prepared them very well for graduate school, and 72 percent felt that Bates prepared them more than adequately for their career.

While these numbers are impressive and reassuring, it is the ambition of the Bates Career Development Center and the Office of College Advancement to strive for further increases in these statistics.

This year marks the second year of the BCDC’s installation of the Purposeful Work Initiative, which provides current Bates students with a trajectory for their four years at Bates that works to prepare them academically and professionally for the postgraduate world. As first-years, the BCDC urges students to understand the academic and social climate of Bates, and explore interests across varied academic and extracurricular landscapes. As sophomores, the Purposeful Work Initiative provides opportunities for students to start thinking about interests professionally through job shadows offered by the Purposeful Work Initiative and the BCDC during the academic year, and summer internships offered and funded through the Purposeful Work Internship Initiative. During junior year, the BCDC encourages students to apply their gained knowledge from job shadows and internships during their sophomore year to narrow their professional interests. This allows students to explore internship options between their junior and senior year that reflect what they may aspire to do professionally in the rapidly approaching postgraduate arena. Senior year is meant to be the culmination of the multifaceted academic and professional experiences students have fostered in their four years at Bates; a time when students should be actively engaged in pursuing careers or employment opportunities in fields or industries they have found interest in during their experiences at Bates. By following this four step recipe, Bates students are provided with an academic and pre-professional education that prepares them for life after Bates.

Bates College, in being a liberal arts institution, inherently provides a complete and diverse educational experience. Through academic requirements, Bates students are challenged to find success in multiple academic environments and disciplines. The rigorous education that Bates students receive transfers well into the professional world as seen by statistics provided by the BCDC and Office of College Advancement. While many Universities produce graduates that have specialized skills to pursue a particular career, Bates students enter the job market with an incredibly diverse and adaptable set of skills, allowing them to find professional success in a wide array of careers and industries.