Light & Verity

Alumni by the numbers

Mark Zurolo ’01MFA

Mark Zurolo ’01MFA

Source: Office of Institutional Research View full image

At first glance, this graph showing the percentage of Yale College seniors who enter graduate or professional school upon graduation may suggest that graduate education has become less popular in the last 30 years. Since the 1970s, Yale College graduates have become more and more likely to enter the workforce immediately after college, and immediate grad school enrollment has dropped accordingly. Over the course of their lives, though, Yalies are as likely as ever to get advanced degrees. Surveys of graduates 11 to 25 years out of school show that a steady three-quarters of graduates from Yale College classes from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s have some kind of advanced degree. Classes from this decade are on pace to match that rate. What has happened in recent years is the rise of a new “gap year,” as college graduates opt for real-world experience—whether in banking, consulting, or programs like Teach for America—before continuing their schooling. The other variable? The economy: the number who stay in school goes up in a recession.  

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