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Careers & Occupations

Over the last 50 years, Earlham alumni, broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences, have entered an extensive range of career areas.

Earlham’s mission to impart to graduates a “concern for the world in which we live” and an interest in “improving the world” is evident in the career and current job choices of our alumni. About 30% of the graduates from each decade (1960-2000) have jobs in which they believe most or all of their work is oriented to social change. The percent of alumni reporting work related to social change grows from 27.2% among 1960s graduates to 34.2% among 2000s graduates.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, the top three career areas most frequently chosen were education (K-12), education (post-secondary) and medicine/public health. Among those graduating in the 1960s and 1970s, business owners comprised the third highest career area. Among 2000s graduates (those matriculating in the last 10 years), more alumni reported occupations with non-profit organizations/volunteer and social services/counseling.

The list below compares careers reported by 1970s (40 years out of college) with those reported by 1990s (20 years out of college) graduates.

Top 10 Career Fields for Earlham Graduates - 1970s

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Top 10 Career Fields for Earlham Graduates - 1990s

Graph 3_0

Over the 40-year period related to the career data for 1970s and 1990s graduates, Earlham alumni pursued careers in teaching and in medicine/public health at about the same rate. The same is true of those pursuing careers as business employees and lawyers, or those indicating careers in government or social service, or arts and culture. Among the 1990s graduates, a slight increase in those entering careers in science/basic research and technology/ applied science occurred.

Lou -Strolger

The strength of the Earlham Physics Program was that it offered direct contact with an exceptional and knowledgeable faculty — an environment that was truly unique. The professors were always available, open, kind and refreshingly casual. The Program fostered independent learning, constructive criticism and instilled a great deal of competence and confidence, both of which are lifelong lessons. Now, as a professor of physics, I strive to emulate that style as I mentor my own students.

Lou Strolger '95
Physics and Astronomy Major at Earlham
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