Augustana University Releases Class of 2020 Outcomes Report

97 Percent of Recent Graduates Employed in Major or Chosen Field

A newly published report by Augustana University shows that 97 percent of 2020 graduates — who completed degrees in August, December and May of the 2019-2020 Academic Year — found employment in their major or chosen field. Many of these graduates chose to continue their education; 26.5 percent enrolled in graduate school or professional programs, up from 21 percent reported by the Class of 2019.

Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success and Engagement Billie Streufert said, “These outcomes demonstrate graduates' ability to compete in one of the toughest labor markets in our nation's history. From canceled co-curricular activities to modified graduation, Augustana is proud of the resiliency they exhibited.”

In April of 2020, the South Dakota Department of Labor reported a record-setting 10.2 percent unemployment rate, which dropped only slightly in May to 9.4 percent. Many Augustana students had secured post-graduate internships with employers intending to transition them into full-time hires, but many of these positions were lost as the pandemic unfolded. Augustana’s Student Success Center helped these students and others by providing personal support — offering drop-in Zoom hours and hosting unique events alongside community organizations and business partners.

“Augustana graduates leave prepared for diverse pathways and can leverage their knowledge in multiple areas. The variety of positions and industries featured in the Outcomes Report showcases the depth and breadth of their preparation,” said Streufert. “Whether it is alumni mentors, dedicated professors, holistic academic advisors, or personal career specialists, the report magnifies the ongoing support available to students from the point of entry to Augustana and beyond. Our goal is to help graduates achieve theirs.”

Using guidelines set by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), Augustana obtained information on 90 percent of recent graduates — exceeding the minimum NACE knowledge rate by 25 percent. Employment data, as well as other post-graduation activities and destinations for members of the Augustana Class of 2020 is detailed in the Career Outcomes Report, published by the Augustana Student Success Center.

Key Statistics About the Augustana Class of 2020

  • 97 percent of 2020 Augustana graduates seeking employment are employed in a position related to their major or chosen field.
  • 26.5 percent are pursuing graduate school and/or continuing education.
  • Among those who secured employment and reported their location, 51 percent are working in South Dakota, of which 69.8 percent are employed in the Sioux Falls region. In addition to the local impact, graduates self-reported working in 16 states and six other countries.
  • Top occupational classifications include:
    • Healthcare and technical
    • Education
    • Management and sales
    • Business and financial
    • Arts, sports, sciences
  • The median salary reported by 2020 Augustana graduates was $42,300.
  • While at Augustana, 98 percent of graduates participated in key engaged learning opportunities, such as experiential learning, internships, co-curricular activities, volunteerism, undergraduate research, clinicals, student teaching, study abroad and more.

The Augustana Experience

In addition to employment and graduate school placement details, the Outcomes Report also captures key data points that illustrate how satisfied members of the Class of 2020 were with their Augustana experience.

  • 94 percent of respondents were satisfied with their overall experience at Augustana.
  • 91 percent agreed that Augustana is passionate about the long-term success of its students.
  • 92 percent agreed that professors at Augustana cared about them.

Media Inquiries: Contact Jill Wilson, public relations and communications strategist.