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Undergraduate alumni survey results released

The Office of the Provost recently released the results of the 2013 Undergraduate Alumni survey on its website. The office administers the survey periodically to gather information about undergraduate alumni who have been out of college for at least five years. Previous surveys occurred in 2005 and 2009.

In an email to alumni, Chancellor Eric Grimson PhD ’80 said the survey results “help us improve our academic and student programs.” The survey also plays a role in the School of Engineering’s accreditation process, according to an email from Dean of Engineering Ian A. Waitz to engineering alumni.

About six thousand alumni from six different graduating classes from 1984 to 2008 were asked to participate in the 2013 survey. Thirty-six percent of those contacted responded to the survey. It measured students in three categories: those who have been out of college for five to nine years, ten to nineteen years, and twenty years or more.

According to the results report, the survey revealed that about 75 percent of alumni have enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program, including about 70 percent of the youngest category and about 80 percent of the oldest category. Of those that enrolled in such a program, about 53 percent enrolled immediately after college and 88 percent enrolled within three years of graduating MIT. About 71 percent of alumni said that MIT prepared them “very well” for graduate or professional school, and 98 percent said MIT prepared them “adequately” or better.

Most alumni work, with 87 percent reporting that they are employed in some capacity. This includes 81 percent of the youngest cohort, 88 percent of the middle cohort, and 91 percent of the oldest cohort. Those looking for work account for about 4 percent of alumni; this number is fairly constant across all the three groups. Of those working, about 73 percent work in a for-profit business, 13 percent work for a government or public institution, and 14 percent work for a nonprofit. About 9 percent are self-employed. The most popular field is “computer science/technology,” with 17 percent of alumni in that field. Other popular fields include engineering, financial services, and education. About 6 percent of the youngest cohort and 30 percent of the oldest cohort report being an executive in their company. Of those responding, 49 percent report that MIT prepared them “very well” for their career, and 97 percent say that MIT prepared them “adequately” or better.

Given the option to rate MIT’s success at preparing them for certain tasks, alumni said the Institute did the best job at preparing students to think analytically and logically, think critically, and learn new skills independently. The alumni rated MIT worst on preparing students to read or speak foreign languages, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and place current problems in historical and cultural context.

Of the alumni who responded, 92 percent reported being “Very Satisfied” or “Generally Satisfied” with their education as an MIT undergraduate.

—William Navarre