Education Pays Off In Job Satisfaction, Salary And Knowledge, Alumni
20, 1999 -- University of Virginia graduates are
generally satisfied with their jobs, are well paid and value education.
are central findings of a survey of alumni of the class of 1992.
The survey of 1,188 graduates approximately five years after graduation
showed that 82 percent of respondents were satisfied with their
current or most recent job.
median individual income for those employed full-time was $38,350,
with 23 percent earning $50,000 or more.The
median household income was approximately $54,100. In comparison,
the median household income for all Americans in 1997 was $37,005.
75 percent of the class had advanced degrees, were pursuing such
degrees or were enrolled in graduate or professional school. Of
the 79 percent of the respondents who were working full-time, 14
percent were also enrolled full-time in graduate or professional
have nearly three-quarters of a class pursuing advanced education
is remarkable," said Edmund "Ned" Moomaw, executive director of
U.Va.'s Office of Institutional Assessment and Studies, which conducted
the study during the summer of 1997 to assess the impact undergraduate
education had on alumni.
survey was also designed to learn what careers U.Va. graduates choose,
how they obtained those jobs and how well the undergraduate experience
prepared them for their careers. It showed that 85 percent of graduates
were working in a full-time position within six months of graduation.
Of those, 41 percent of the respondents had obtained their first
job before graduation and three-fourths gained their first employment
within three months of graduation.
were nearly unanimous in indicating that their personal qualities
were among the most important factors in landing their first jobs.
A large majority of the respondents thought that U.Va.'s reputation
and their academic major were important factors in obtaining their
first job. Nearly 50 percent of the respondents indicated that internships,
summer jobs and advanced degrees were also important in securing
their first employment.
half of the class found their first full-time job in a professional
occupation. Of those, 22 percent were employed in science and technology,
which included engineering, health care and computer science. Twelve
percent were in education and seven percent were in legal fields.
two-thirds of the graduates said that their undergraduate experience
prepared them well for their first job. The survey showed a strong
relationship between graduates' job satisfaction and belief that
the undergraduate experience had prepared them well for the position.
Among those who felt well prepared, 60 percent were satisfied with
their first job. Among those who did not feel prepared, only 20
percent were satisfied with their first job.
two-thirds of the graduates had changed jobs at last once. Half
of those had held three or more full-time positions. Of those who
changed jobs at least once, 68 percent said that their undergraduate
experience had prepared them well for their current job.
and architecture graduates felt that their undergraduate experiences
prepared them better for their current jobs than for their first
jobs. By contrast, education, nursing and engineering grads felt
better prepared for their first jobs than their current ones. Commerce
graduates were the most positive about their undergraduate experience,
saying that it prepared them well for both first and current positions.
results about College of Arts and Sciences graduates are particularly
interesting. Although a minority of College graduates saw a relationship
between their undergraduate major and their current job, two-thirds
said that their overall U.Va. experience prepared them well for
their jobs, and over three-fourths said they were satisfied with
their jobs. This shows that the intellectual tools of a liberal
arts education, such as analytical and critical thinking and general
problem-solving skills, can be applied to any subject matter," said
Girish "Jeff" Gulati, a survey methodologist in the Institutional
Assessment and Studies Office.
Ida Lee Wooten, (804) 924-6857.