Director’s Message

A portrait of Eric W. Corty, director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend.

Eric W. Corty has been appointed director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend. He has taught in the school since 1993.

Credit: Penn State Behrend

One of the reasons I enjoy being director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences is that I like numbers, the social sciences side of H&SS, as much as I like words, the humanities side. Recently, I received a lot of numbers, and I want to share a few of them with you.

More than 350 alumni of the school responded to our survey about life after graduation. Here are highlights:

Minors are useful. While only a third of alumni reported having had a minor, three quarters of those who did reported that they were helpful. Have a child in college? Tell him or her to get a minor.

Graduate school could be in the cards. More than half of our alumni went on to graduate school, and of these alumni, almost half reported that they were better prepared than their fellow graduate students—thanks to their undergraduate education at Behrend.

Our grads have satisfying careers. Among the respondents, 80 percent were employed full-time, 10 percent were employed part-time, and just 1 percent were unemployed not by their choice. Among those working full-time, 95% described their work as satisfying while reporting that it took on average three years after graduation before they felt their careers were underway. Patience, it would seem, has its rewards.

We make money! The average salary of an H&SS graduate employed full-time ranges from $50,000 to $70,000. The longer we’re out, the more we make. On average, recent grads (2010-2017) make $46,000 annually and those from 2000-2009 earn $65,000, while the grads from the 1990s reported earning $82,000, and 1980s grads are clearing $108,000. All in all, this is a very good report card. We will keep up the good work.

— Eric Corty, Ph.D.