Most chemistry graduates land preferred job or graduate school

Date

05/03/21
Philip Kocheril playing trumpet. Image credit: Andy Lopez

Before Philip Kocheril graduated in the UIUC Class of 2021, the chemistry major had already been offered a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The annual Illini Success survey again shows that most students graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Chemistry land their first destination after graduation despite workforce challenges created by the pandemic.

According to an annual survey of UIUC graduates in the 2019-2020 academic year (including August 2019, December 2019, and May 2020), 93 percent of students graduating from the Department of Chemistry or Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, secured their first destination after graduation – 47 percent were employed and 46 percent were continuing their education while 7 percent were still seeking their next destination.

This most recent Illini Success survey also showed that of the 61 graduates who provided starting salary information, the average annual salary was $70,011. And 14 graduates reported receiving a signing bonus. The median bonus, according to the survey, was $7,700.

University of Illinois students who graduated during the 2019-20 academic year navigated many challenges related to the pandemic, and it was reasonable to expect those challenges would impact the degree recipients’ post-graduate pursuits and transitions. Every invitation to graduates about the Illini Success survey was accompanied by invitations for graduates to receive career services throughout their first-year post-graduation. Those services are offered to every UIUC graduating class and will be again for this year’s class.   

A Barry Goldwater Scholarship winner at UIUC, Kocheril accepted the national laboratory position, and within a few years, he hopes to apply to PhD programs, he said.

Kocheril, who is also an accomplished musician, did undergraduate research for adjunct chemistry professor Benjamin McCall (2015-2018) and chemistry professor Steve Zimmerman (2018-2021). Kocheril said being a chemistry major at UIUC changed his life in the best possible way.

“I’m so deeply grateful for the experiences I’ve had here, and although I’m sad to leave Champaign-Urbana, I can’t wait to start the next chapter of my life,” he said.

Since August 2014, the Illini Success initiative has gathered data about the post-graduation pursuits of bachelor’s degree recipients at UIUC. The project tells the Illinois story of graduate successes, demonstrating a wide variety of paths and destinations, with high quality information, updated annually.

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