Photo from behind of decorated grad caps during 2019 commencement, including one that says "be the change you wish to see"

First Destination Survey shows impressive outcomes for the Class of 2019

Year after year, Case Western Reserve graduates go on to impress employers and graduate schools alike as they take their next step after graduation. And one year post-commencement, the Class of 2019 has proven it is no exception to this trend, as evidenced by the results of the First Destination Survey.

Collected by Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education, information in the report reflects the outcomes for 85% of the more than 1,100 graduates. Data was collected through surveys sent to members of the Class of 2019, social media and conversations with faculty and staff.

Of those graduates, 54% are employed full time and 36% went to graduate or professional school. This is the fourth time in five years and the third year in a row that 50% or more of the class entered the workforce directly upon graduation.

“Every year it is exciting—and impressive—to see where our students launch their futures,” said Robin Hedges, senior associate director of career education.


Graduates chose diverse destinations to begin their careers, including Cleveland (105), the San Francisco Bay Area (34), Chicago (21), Los Angeles (19), Boston (16) and New York City (15). Noteworthy numbers were also drawn to other urban settings, including Madison, Wisconsin; Baltimore-Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh; and Seattle. Eleven graduates accepted offers outside the United States, including India (three) and Brazil, Canada, Korea, Mozambique, Namibia, Poland, Russia, and Switzerland, with one graduate each.

For those beginning their careers, the highest percentage entered the fields of engineering (38%), nursing (10%), research (8%), consulting (6%) and information technology (6%).

Graduates landed positions at 320 different employers, and some companies employed five or more members of the Class of 2019:

  • Accenture
  • Amazon
  • AmeriCorp
  • Boeing
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cerner
  • City Year
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Epic
  • Goodyear
  • Google
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Microsoft
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Parker Hannifin
  • Rockwell Automation
  • ScribeAmerica
  • University Hospitals

“Diversity in organization, geographic location and field reflect the diverse interests and talents of our students,” Hedges said.

Graduates reported a median starting salary range of $65,999-$69,999, an increase from last year’s $55,000 – $59,999. By college, median salaries were:

  • Case School of Engineering: $70,000-$74,999, a $5,000 increase from last year
  • College of Arts and Sciences: $45,000-$49,999, a $5,000 increase from last year and the third increase in three years
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing: $50,000-54,999, no change from last year
  • Weatherhead School of Management: $55,000-59,999, no change from last year

Advanced education

Case Western Reserve graduates were accepted into 107 different universities, with multiple students choosing from these institutions:

  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • New York University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Southern California

Some graduates also chose to stay Case Western Reserve to work toward another degree.

For those graduates pursuing an advanced degree, master’s degree programs were the most popular (58%), followed by PhD (18%), MD/DO (14%), law school (4%), DDS/DMD (1%) and other programs (4%).

Experiential education

While at Case Western Reserve, members of the Class of 2019 were involved in countless activities that helped prepare them for their future endeavors. Of the graduates who responded to the questions about experiential education, 99% said they participated in at least one activity, with:

  • 81% in research or creative endeavors;
  • 66% working at an internship;
  • 47% participating in community service; and
  • 29% completing a study abroad program.

Check out the report

Explore the full results of the First Destination Survey on the Post-Graduate Planning and Experiential Education website.