National University

Alumni Survey Reveals Career Satisfaction

Data also indicates detachments and desires

The annual National University alumni survey provides a fascinating snapshot of sentiments and satisfaction among graduates and credential completers. It measures the University’s relationship with its core constituency, while gauging awareness of services and benefits.

Survey results provide actionable data, allowing administrators to focus on what is most important to sustaining and improving the long term value of a National University education. Following are a few highlights of the 2011 survey, which was administered last spring to a random sampling of over 10,000 alumni.

First, the good news: Close to three out of four respondents (73 percent) indicated advancement toward their career goals following the completion of a degree program, while 67 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their earning potential had increased after graduating.

Survey Respondents were asked what they considered to be their most valuable connection to the University. Close to half (45 percent) said that they do not feel connected to National University. Whether or not this is attributable to the physical detachment of taking online classes, or the lack of traditional undergraduate bonding experiences such as dormitory living, fraternities and sororities and collegiate sporting events remains unclear. The survey did, however, illuminate the following five factors that draw alumni to University community:

o Discounts on classes (33 percent)
o Recognition as alumnus (28 percent)
o Seminars related to the fields in which alumni are employed (25 percent)
o Newsletter communication about National University Alumni (22 percent)
o Alumni networking events (21 percent)

Though awareness of key alumni services has trended upward in recent years, overall it remains very low, with between 80 and 90 percent of respondents reporting that they don’t know about or do not use the career center, alumni discounts or alumni communications.

Specific information on alumni social networking habits indicates substantial membership on Facebook (58 percent) and LinkedIn (30 percent), although nearly a quarter of all alumni respondents claimed they weren’t a member of any of the slate of listed social networking sites. While awareness of the University’s Facebook fan page was relatively high (63 percent), few alumni (16 percent) know about National’s Twitter profile.

Summing up the most recent alumni survey on a high note, 76 percent of respondents thought highly enough of National University to refer potential students; and close to 63 percent are satisfied or very satisfied with the alumni library service package. Alumni Relations has clear sense of the areas it needs to improve or better promote, and the survey provides direction to new initiatives that would be welcome by a significant number of graduates and credential completors. For example, nearly four in 10 respondents expressed interest Group discounts on tickets for concerts, exhibits, and cultural or sporting events.