Office of Institutional Research
SURVEY OF 2003 GRADUATES
Near the end of April 2004, the Survey of 2003 Graduates was sent to all 1,303 UVM graduates with a bachelor's or associates degree awarded in the spring of 2003. About six weeks later, a follow-up survey was sent to all those who did not respond to the initial mailing. As of August 3rd, 481graduates had replied, bringing the combined return rate from both mailings up to approximately 37%.
Although all of UVM graduates in the spring of 2003 were surveyed, it is difficult to know the exact number of people who actually received a questionnaire. This is an obstacle often encountered when polling a population with high mobility such as graduates in search of employment. There was a concerted effort to resend any survey returned with an expired forwarding address, however this did not significantly increase the return rate.
The surveys were then coded and entered into a data file. SAS was used to perform the analysis. A statistical test performed on the three key demographic information: residence, school/college, and gender showed that proportionally there was no difference in the return rates between Vermonters and out-of-staters, nor was there a difference in the return rates among the colleges/schools, however there was a statistically significant difference between the return rates of men versus women. The data are then weighted by a combination of gender and college/school. To put it simply, the weighting factor is calculated by dividing the number of people who were sent a survey by the number of people who replied, for each combination of gender and college/school. For example, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, if 60 men were surveyed, only 20 replied, therefore the weighting factor is 60/20 or each man in this group is counted as 3 men. One byproduct of this weighting technique is that the frequencies are, more often than not, decimal numbers instead of integers, which are then rounded.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Status and Plans for Education:
* About 17% of UVM graduates are currently enrolled both full-time and part-time in graduate school or other training. Twelve percent of the graduates are in the process of applying. An additional 57% of UVM grads plan to continue their education at some future time; 14% have no plans to do so.
* Of the graduates who are continuing their education, approximately, 74% are full-time and 26% are part-time students.
* When asked, "How well did UVM prepare you for continuing your education?" 91% of graduates currently attending school, full-time and part-time combined, and 72% in the process of applying answered "Excellent" or "Good." No graduates currently in school and 7% of graduates in the process of applying felt that UVM had inadequately prepared them.
Status and Plans for Employment:
* About 88% of UVM graduates indicated that they are currently employed, however, it should be noted that our definition of employment is broad, including not only full-time permanent but also full-time temporary, and part-time permanent and part-time temporary. Relatively few individuals (about 1.6%) indicated they were unable to find employment of any kind since graduation.
* Among those who found employment, 60% have full-time/permanent jobs; 26% have full-time/temporary jobs; 5% have part-time/permanent jobs; and 9% part-time/temporary employment.
* Fourteen percent of all employed graduates earn $40,000 or above. About 53% of all employed graduates earn between $20,000 and $39,999. Thirty three percent of all working alumni earned less than $20,000. When only those graduates who have full-time/permanent employment are examined, about 22% of this group earn $40,000 or more, 67% of this group earn between $20,000 and $39,999, while 11% earn $20,000 or less.
* When asked, "How long did it take you to find this position?" about 56% of the employed graduates indicated that they found their current job either prior to leaving UVM or within 3 months of graduation; 22% within 4 to 6 months. About 22% reported spending 7 months or more to find employment.
* When asked how they learned about their current job position, the graduates most often identified the following three sources:
-- "referral through friends and relatives"(27.8%)
-- "newspaper ads"(15.4%)
-- the catch-all category of “Other” got 20.3%
Another 2.1% identified the UVM Center for Career Development as the source of information leading to their current position.
* About 70% of the employed graduates found jobs that are either "closely related" (46%) or "somewhat related" (24%) to their undergraduate studies. It does not come as a surprise that people who have permanent jobs, both full-time and part-time, are much more likely to work in a field that is closely related to their studies than people who work on a temporary basis.
* About 76% of the employed graduates found jobs that are either "closely related" (44%) or "somewhat related" (32%) to their career goals.
* Alumni gave UVM high marks in preparing them well for their current position. 59% of the employed graduates rated UVM as either "Excellent"; or "Good". Another 17% rated UVM as "Adequate" while only 4% rated UVM as "Inadequate". However, it should be noted 20% graduates did indicate that they hold jobs that are not relevant to their UVM education.
* Our employed graduates also reported high level of satisfaction with their work: 83% stated that they are "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their current position.
Long Range Plans:
* 99% of the graduates responded to the question, "What is the highest academic degree you plan to achieve?" Of this group, 52.7% expressed a desire to obtain a master's degree or an advanced certificate (including master's, MBA, 5th/6th year certificate). 16.8% indicated that they plan to obtain a doctorate or Ph.D. 7.6% planned to study law, and 6.3% planned on becoming a doctor, dentist or veterinarian.
Evaluation of UVM:
* To the question: "Overall, how satisfied were you with your UVM experience?" where the rating scale goes from 1 to 10, with 1 being "very dissatisfied" and 10 "very satisfied," nearly all of our graduates responded to this question and the mean rating is 8.0, which indicates a relatively high level of satisfaction. This is consistent with the previous 4 years.
* Almost 37% of UVM graduates indicated that they would choose UVM, and 40% would "probably" choose UVM if they could start college over again. "Quality of education" (33.5%), "Burlington environment" (21.9%), and "friends and relationships" (20.5%) were the three most often cited reasons. These reasons have remained constant through the years.
Furthermore, of those who would attend UVM or probably would attend UVM again, 64.0% would choose the same major as before, 15.1% would choose a related major, 8.0% would choose a different major, and 12.9% were not sure.
* About 13% of UVM graduates indicated that they would choose a different institution if they could start college over. The top three reasons are: "quality of education" (31.4%), "quality of guidance" (20.7%), and "geographic location" (12.4%),
While at another institution, 40.5% would choose the same major, 20.8% would choose a related major, 22.6% would choose a different major, and 16.1% were not sure.
* The remaining 10% of UVM graduates were not sure whether to choose UVM or another institution if they could start college over again. Of this group, 32% were uncertain because of the "quality of education," 17% because of "geographic location," and 14% because of "financial considerations."
* Graduates' opinion on other UVM characteristics are best summarized by the following graph:
Tables and Frequencies:Status and Plans for Education
Last modified August 18 2004 02:38 PM