312 College Alcohol & Employment

Based on research by Bamberger, Peter A., Koopmann, J, Wang, M., Larimer, M., Nahum-Shani, I., Geisner, I., & Bacharach, Samuel B. (2018). written by Bethany Wellman, M.S.

College students anxiously pursue their first job post-graduation. Since the 2008 recession, college graduates experience challenges in securing employment, with only 46% of 2016 graduates receiving a job offer pre-graduation.

Psychologists’ sought to examine how specifically alcohol use, impacts college students’ employment after graduation. Researchers surveyed 830 graduates from four diverse U.S. universities before and one month after graduation about employment as well as the frequency and quantity of their alcohol use

Results showed the frequency of heavy drinking episodes adversely impacts the probability of employment after graduation. Average use (< 5 drinks/week) had no adverse effect on the likelihood of employment. However, there was a significant negative effect for those who engaged in one to two periods of heavy drinking (four or more drinks over a 2-hr period per week), lowering the odds of employment upon graduation by 10% compared to other non-heavy drinkers. Even when engaging in once per week heavy drinking there was 6% lower odds of gaining employment compared to those with little to no heavy drinking.

College students and everyone: If you drink, drink only in moderation to achieve success. Focus on your primary goals.


Bamberger, P. A., Koopmann, J., Wang, M., Larimer, M., Nahum-Shani, I., Geisner, I., & Bacharach, S. B. (2018). Does College Alcohol Consumption Impact Employment Upon Graduation? Findings From a Prospective Study. Journal of Applied Psychology103(1), 111-121.

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