SIA achieves 97 percent career placement rate as students find international success

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State School of International Affairs’ class of 2016 graduates have found success in government, business, and nonprofit organizations all over the world, earning SIA a 97 percent career placement rate and marking the fourth consecutive year that SIA has achieved a placement rate above 95 percent.

“We are proud, not only of our proven track record of helping students find fulfilling employment, but also of the high quality of our graduates,” said Director of Career Services Grant Littke. “As a professional degree program, and as a student-centric school, it’s very rewarding to see our students find such success in their careers, and to see employers realizing that our graduates are competitive, capable innovators.”

The majority of 2016 graduates have begun their careers in the private sector, with more than 44 percent graduates now working at companies around the world. This includes positions at employers like the China Merchants Bank, J.P. Morgan Securities, IBM, Fresh Digital Group, SolarCity, and Millward Brown, among others.

“We equip our students with the tools, knowledge, and real-world experience they’ll need to further their careers and make a positive difference in the world,” SIA Director Scott Gartner said. “We place an emphasis on internships and practical experience while our students are here, because we know employers see that experience as a valuable asset that sets our students apart from the crowd.”

Nongovernmental organizations were also a popular career choice, with 23 percent of graduates landing positions with organizations including Catholic Charities’ Refugee and Immigration Services, the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, D.C., the AidData international development research lab, and more.

Governments and intergovernmental organizations also continue to be a major career option for SIA graduates, with thirteen percent of students finding opportunities such as positions with the Foreign Ministry of Chile, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Regional Center in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Nearly eight percent of SIA students also went on to continue their education in Ph.D. and professional programs at Northeastern University and the University of California-Davis, demonstrating that the knowledge gained at SIA can be an invaluable foundation for students with additional academic goals.

“Everything about SIA is about the students and their interests, goals, and aspirations,” Littke said. “Whether they want to work for the U.N., for a multinational business, or go into academia, we are committed to helping them get there—and we have the numbers to show that we do.”

The class of 2015 saw a career placement rate of 95 percent, with more than half of graduates finding careers in private business or the nonprofit sector. The classes of 2013 and 2014 respectively enjoyed a 96 and 97 percent placement rate, with the majority of graduates pursuing work in government or nongovernmental organizations.