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Ingénieur Polytechnicien: The 2020 First Employment Survey highlights attractiveness of research, innovation and cutting-edge sectors

The 2020 First Employment Survey, carried out among the X2013, illustrates the performance of X, ranking 1st in France and 18th worldwide, in terms of employability, according to the QS ranking.

The 2020 edition of the First Employment Survey of graduates of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program of the École Polytechnique illustrates that their contribution to the development of research and innovation continues very strongly. The survey also reveals that the remuneration of graduates of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program is almost twice as high as the average that of graduates of French grandes écoles.

Recruited before the end of their studies in most cases, nearly half of the graduates of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program of the École Polytechnique join the corporate world and increasingly opt for small and medium-sized enterprises. The main sectors of activity in which they are involved remain industry, consulting, finance and insurance.

The graduates, French and international alike, generally start their careers in France, with the United Kingdom and the United States remaining the main destinations for graduates who move abroad. Their gross annual average package amount to 70,000 euros, including bonuses and all countries combined).

"The 2020 First Employment Survey of the graduates of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program demonstrates the high level of employability of our students who benefit from being taught by excellent faculty, one of the best supervision rates in the world, and from exceptional human and military training,'' says Eric Labaye, president of l'X. "A unique school of leadership, l'X ranks in the Top 20 worldwide in terms of employability of its students who can rely on the powerful network alumni, a true asset for the professional careers of new graduates," he adds. 

The survey thus confirms the school's performance in terms of employability of its pupils and students recognised by international rankings. École Polytechnique tops French universities and ranks 18th in the world for the employability of its pupils and students in the latest QS Quacquarelli Symonds rankings.

“The specialty and strength of the Polytechnique Network is the close proximity between its members and their direct relationship. The Alumni Association (AX), helps to maintain and develop these relationships and helps to expand its network. AX Careers carries out numerous actions to support students and alumni in their professional careers,” explains Marwan Lahoud (X1983), president of AX.

One third of graduates opt for research and innovation

Almost a third of graduates go on to pursue a doctoral course while 3% of them embark on business creation, mainly in high-tech sectors.

While pursuing their doctorate, many graduates carry out additional assignments, particularly in teaching (42%) and business consulting (5%). Illustrating this openness, Victoire Cachoux, decided both to pursue a doctorate in France but also to take a year to acquire experience in business, overseas and oriented towards the social sector.

“Before starting a doctoral thesis, I took the opportunity to go and work in Dakar as a Quality Engineer in a Senegalese medical structure dedicated to the health of women and children, called Nest For All. This decision was motivated by the desire to do something concrete and also, let's be honest, to take a sunny break,” she explains.

“Today, I am starting the 3rd year of my doctorate at the Institut Curie, a leading international establishment for cancer research and treatment based in Paris. Even if today I am not certain about making a career in research, I would like to stay in the field of scientific and technological innovation,” she adds.

Among the doctoral students, the preferred fields of study remain applied mathematics (24%), computer science (20%) and physics (19%).

The multidisciplinary approach that the École Polytechnique has promoted from its inception helps to encourage the vocation of researchers, as witnessed by Victoire Cachoux, “When I entered the X, I wanted to continue my career in the field of hard sciences but I did not know which sector to go to. The obligation to vary the scientific courses at the School was the unexpected opportunity to come to terms with biology, and especially to discover that it was not an isolated science. The examples in the 3rd year were numerous, since I was able to take courses in biomechanics, biophysics, bioinformatics or biophotonics. So, I decided to do a thesis in biophysics after my graduation.’’

All the graduates of the X2013 class who have chosen entrepreneurship are business creators and 82% have received support within an incubator. Almost three quarters of them created their startup one year before completing their studies and 91% of the companies created are located in France. The main business sectors of these startups are IT Services, Software and Digital Services (28%) as well as Aeronautical, Rail and Naval Construction and Armaments (18%).

Key Figures from the Survey:

• 100% of graduates are employed within 6 months after the end of their studies

• 77% of graduates are recruited before the end of their studies

• 50% are employees of a company

• 31% are pursuing a doctorate

• 12% work in the public sector

• 3% engage in entrepreneurship

• The gross annual remuneration of business graduates (including bonuses) amounts to € 70,000

• Almost 70% of French and international graduates start their careers in Europe

• 82% of entrepreneurs use an incubator


* The 2020 First Employment Survey on the promotion of graduates of the Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program in 2018 (X2013) was carried out among 495 students, including 395 French and 99 international students.

You can download the 2020 First Job Survey brochure here.