Students enter various fields of work after graduation

According to data collected by the USC Career Center, the University is striving to be the third-largest employer of alumni directly following graduation. Photo from USC Undergraduate Admission Blog

Though many students are preoccupied with where they will work after college, some Trojans’ journeys will take them right back to USC.

Data collected by the USC Career Center on companies 2017 graduates planned to work for show that USC aims to be the third-largest employer of University alumni straight out of college. But students are also using the resources they receive at USC to work in a variety of different fields.

Jennifer Kim and Erika Rodriguez, who both work in employer relations and research for the USC Career Center, analyzed the data.

“For the class of 2017, Amazon was our top employer,” Kim said. “Right after that was Ernst & Young, and [the] third [employer] was USC. We’re hiring a lot of our own students.”

Other companies emphasize the tech and health fields: Google fell to sixth place, Microsoft was ninth, Intel was 10th and Kaiser was 14th, according to Kim.

“This is a work in progress for now,” Kim said, explaining that the data collection likely won’t be complete until this winter. “Those are the top employers that our students are getting offers from.”

In a separate study using data collected from LinkedIn, one USC student was able to estimate where the most alumni end up working after they graduate from the University.

Ayman Siraj, a senior majoring in chemical engineering who writes for USC’s student-run blog Trojans360, created an infographic of the top seven employers of USC alumni. The post, which was published on Oct. 20, quickly gained traction on social media and was retweeted by both the USC Career Center and the official USC account on Twitter within two days of its original publication.

According to Siraj’s personal research, the top employers were Kaiser Permanente, with over 1,290 alumni, The Boeing Company, with over 1,260, and then Intel, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

However, Siraj admits the data is not fully complete or accurate.

“There’s some caveat to it,” Siraj said. “Of course not all alumni are on LinkedIn, like the older [Trojans].”

Recent graduates of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Rayed Khan and Stephanie Brill, both work at Boeing. They say that USC’s academic preparation and networking was an enormous support in helping them land the positions that they are at today in Boeing.

“We do USC events … So immediately I felt like I knew USC people at Boeing,” Brill said. “I felt like there was this community that I could reach out to if I needed to.”

In addition to working as an airline support engineer and in customer support for Boeing Commercial Airlines, Khan is a deputy focal for USC. He explained Boeing has a number of “focus schools” in which it hires from and puts on specialized outreach events for.

USC is one of these schools, and Khan cites the massive alumni support from the company that nurtures new employees and provides resources for them to be successful.

“You say ‘Fight On’ to your fellow Trojans when you’re at work,” Khan said.

While the strength of the USC alumni network is very apparent at these large, multi-national companies, Kim expressed concern that the infographic and other statistics of top USC employers will lead students to think they will have an easy way in at these companies because of their alma mater.

“One of the things that I’m sort of afraid of is, because of that list, everyone’s going to just apply to those companies or the top 10 I’ve shared with you,” Kim said. “My number one [piece of] advice is apply to as many different employers as possible and do not just go for the name brand companies. Students should diversify their job search.”