Chart of the month: More new grads entering full-time employment

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AVMA chart of the month

The AVMA’s newly released State of the Profession Report contains some encouraging news for anyone seeking to hire veterinarians. If recent data trends are any indication, we can expect record numbers of new veterinary school graduates looking to enter full-time employment this year. 

Are you ready to take advantage?

What the data show

As today’s chart shows, in the last two years (2022 and 2023), nearly two-thirds of all new veterinary graduates moved into full-time employment after leaving veterinary school. The data, based on responses to the annual AVMA Graduating Senior Survey, are reported in the new 2024 AVMA Report on the Economic State of the Veterinary Profession

Accepted offers among new veterinary school graduates, 2001-2023

If this trend continues, employers looking to hire new veterinarians have a lot to look forward to when the Class of 2024 enters the workforce.

Other insights from the data:

  • Overall, nine in 10 final-year students have made definitive plans prior to graduation. 
  • More than a quarter of all graduates in 2022 and 2023 accepted opportunities in advanced education—largely moving into internships. 
  • The current situation is quite different from 2012, seen in the middle of the chart. Then, new graduates who had received no offers (37.1%) and those pursuing advanced education (29.1%) outnumbered those who’d landed a full-time job (23.6%). This reflected excess capacity in the workforce in the years following the Great Recession. 
  • Not captured in the chart are survey participants who had received offers but not yet accepted, had accepted part-time positions, or didn’t report their postgraduate plans. In 2023, this amounted to 5.9% of all participants.

What does this mean?

Here are two key takeaways:

  • The best time for employers to take advantage is now, given that most final-year students secure positions before they graduate. However, graduations continue until August, when final-year students from the University of Arizona join the profession.
  • As the profession contemplates future veterinary workforce needs, the period following the Great Recession is an interesting case study of the impact of excess capacity on graduates' choices. 

What can we do with this information?

For employers, now is the time to act if you want to hire from the Class of 2024. Consider both compensation and other factors that influence new graduates’ decisions to accept job offers. Research shows that mentorship, location, people, work hours, wellbeing, and benefits are at the top of the list. 

It’s strategic to keep these things in mind when advertising a position, and to demonstrate you have what candidates are looking for. Here are just a few ways to boost both your pool of applicants and the health of your workplace:

  • Provide a purposeful onboarding program
  • Offer mentorship based on the new veterinarian’s desires and needs. This could include supporting their access to external mentorship programs, such as AVMA’s free MentorVet Connect program.
  • Offer flexible work schedules and paid time off, and limit the number of hours team members work. 
  • Foster diversity, equity, and inclusion among staff and clientele. 
  • Offer competitive, meaningful employment benefits. To see what others are providing, check out this previous Chart of the Month
  • Provide career growth opportunities, such as future promotion possibilities and continuing education.
  • Continue to develop your own leadership skills.

Also be sure to leverage AVMA’s suite of tools to help employers attract the best possible candidates.


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