2012 Five-Year-Out Alumni Survey

Executive Summary

During the Spring 2012 semester, Institutional Research worked with Alumni Relations and other offices on campus to develop a survey to be administered to alumni who graduated five years ago. The survey was created to help fill some existing informational gaps, to assist in our reaccreditation efforts, and to help inform alumni relations planning.
142 alumni (20%) responded to the survey.

Overall Satisfaction

86% of respondents agreed with the statement “I am proud to say that I went to Emerson College”. 80% reported that they would recommend Emerson to others, while only 6% would not and 14% were unsure.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: I am proud to say that I went to Emerson College. 86% I agree, 14% I disagree

Current Employment Information

Among the alumni who are employed, 65% are working in a job related to their major. The top five sectors where alumni are working are as follows: 36% of respondents work in the art/entertainment industry, 14% work in communications, 9% in education, 10% in non-profits, and 6% in business/industry. 88% of the respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with their current job and 12% are dissatisfied.

Labor Market Experiences

Almost a third of the alumni (32%) reported they secured their first professional job while still enrolled as a student. 40% said they obtained their first professional position within six months of graduation and 8% said during the second six months after graduation. 22% reported that it took more than a year to obtain their first professional job.

78% of respondents reported that Emerson prepared them for their current job to a great extent or somewhat. For those alumni who are working in a position related to their major, 90% reported that Emerson prepared them for their current job to a great extent or somewhat.

83% of the respondents believe that the skills they learned at Emerson are transferable to other careers. On average, alumni report they have had three professional jobs since graduation.
Alumni were asked in what way their career has evolved over the past five years. For those working in a position related to their major, 80% were pleased with their progress and career growth.

Resources that Helped Alumni Obtain their Current Job

The chart that follows shows the resources students used to obtain their current job. Included in the “other’ category were alumni contacts, employment agencies, craigslist, and “having Emerson on my resume”.

Please indicate the resources that helped you get your current position (check all that apply): 32% internet resources, 29% family or friend, 23% other, 20% internship, 15% previous employer, 8% emerson faculty contact, 8% Social Media, 7% alumni networking, 6% career services, 0% job fair not at emerson

Educational Activities of Alumni

26% of respondents reported that they were either enrolled in or have completed a graduate degree or post bachelor’s certificate. 7% are taking classes, but not toward a degree. Alumni were asked what the most important reason for continuing their education was. Half of respondents said “to further develop in my career”, 29% reported “to prepare for a career change”, 16% said “for general self-improvement, and 5% said they need to do so to get a job. 

Among those who have been awarded a second degree, 39% reported that the degree was instrumental in getting a new job and 9% reported it helped get them get a raise.

Perceptions of the Value of an Emerson College Education

Alumni were asked “to what extent did your Emerson undergraduate education contribute to your knowledge, skills, and personal development” in a variety of area. The responses to this question follow.

To what extent did your emerson undergraduate education contribute to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in each of the following: Greatest extent - Creative thinking: 59%, Not at all - scientific and quantitative reasoning 31%

Alumni gave top “to a great extent” ratings to creative thinking (59%), effective speaking (43%), effective writing (42%), critical thinking (38%), teamwork (36%), and problem solving (33%). The areas getting lower “to a great extent” ratings were scientific and quantitative reasoning (10%), ethics (21%), and using computing and information technology (26%).

Alumni were asked “to what extent has the general education/liberal arts portion of your Emerson College education positively impact your” post-Emerson experience. 67% said “to a great extent” or “to some extent” and 34% said “to a little extent” or “not at all”.

Connection to Emerson as Alumni

15% of alumni feel “very connected”, 51% feel “somewhat connected”, and 34% feel “not connected”.

How connected do you feel to Emerson College as an alumna/alumnus? 15% very connected, 51% Somewhat connected, 34% not connected

Some of the frequently mentioned suggestions to improve alumni connectivity in Emerson were:

  • Use more recent/younger alumni in alumni events
  • Keep connected with recent alumni but don’t ask for money- they have too much debt at this point
  • More alumni events associated with specific academic departments, athletics, and student clubs/organizations
  • More events in Los Angeles and in different parts of Los Angeles
  • Sponsor events to gather alumni and allow them to connect in a variety of cities
  • Improved communication and better follow-up with alumni
  • More help with job search activities right out of graduation
  • Improved social media and more interactive alumni webpages
  • Build ways that alumni can come back to work with students as well as foster other methods for students and alumni to connect

The Single Most Important Area of Emerson College Needing Improvement

Alumni were asked to “please tell us what you think is the single most important area of Emerson College that needs improvement”. Some of the more frequently mentioned areas were:

  • More preparation on dealing with realities of post-collegiate life
  • Improved career services for seniors and alumni
  • More emphasis on actual technical skills and practical skill applications
  • Better integration of transfer and commuter students into Emerson community
  • More financial aid
  • Stronger liberal arts classes