Career & Professional Development @ Virginia Tech
Career & Professional Development (0128)
Smith Career Center
Corner of Washington Street & West Campus Drive, Blacksburg, VA  24061
phone 540-231-6241         www.career.vt.edu
Post-Graduation Report: First destination after undergraduate degree
Methodology and history
What and why:
  The Post-Graduation Report is produced from our Post-Graduation Survey of Virginia Tech graduates who were awarded undergraduate degrees (bachelor's or associate's degree) during the academic year.
(Virginia Tech has one associate's degree program.)
The survey is conducted annually with the graduates for that academic year.
  2015-2016 graduates are those awarded degrees in Dec. 2015, and May and Summer I/II 2016.
  2014-2015...... Dec. 2014, May-sum 2015
  2013-2014...... Dec. 2013, May-sum 2014
  2012-2013...... Dec. '12, May-sum '13
  2011-2012...... Dec. '11, May-sum '12
  2010-2011...... Dec. '10, May-sum '11
  2009-2010...... Dec. '09, May-sum '10
  2008-2009...... Dec. '08, May-sum '09
  2007-2008...... Dec. '07, May-sum '08
  2006-2007...... Dec. '06, May-sum '07
  2005-2006...... Dec. '05, May-sum '06
  2004-2005...... Dec. '04, May-sum '05
  2003-2004...... Dec. '03, May-sum '04
  The primary purpose of the survey is to learn the post-graduation status of graduates regarding their first destination after the undergraduate degree — whether they have accepted employment, are continuing education (graduate or professional school, or other), or are in process of pursuing one of these goals. We also ask graduates how they prepared for life after college, and much more. We publish findings viewable by major, college and total university.
  The Post-Graduation Report is used by the Virginia Tech Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness: Student Consumer Information to meet federal requirements for disclosure and reporting of data on "student outcomes," specifically employment and graduate/professional school "placement" following the undergraduate degree.
 
Methodology:
  An online survey is used that is opened curing the month prior to commencement and stays continuously open until it is closed approximately six months after commencement.
  Each student must use his/her Virginia Tech PID and password to log in to the survey to ensure that only students completing degrees in the pertinent terms have access to the survey.
  The December graduates' survey opens mid-November prior to commencement and closes mid-June.
  The May and summer graduates' survey opens mid-April prior to commencement and closes mid-November.
  All graduates with available email addresses are emailed inviting them to complete the survey.
Periodic reminders are sent to non-respondents. Associate deans, department heads, and other faculty and staff make efforts to ask their graduates to complete the survey. The survey is also continuously available via the Career and Professional Development website.
  Based on response to post-graduation status, the survey branches to ask relevant information:
Those who respond they are employed (including service work, employed by self or family) are asked to name their job title, employer, and location. Those who respond they are continuing education are asked to name the degree being pursued, the program of study (if not implicit from the degree), the institution, and location.
  Effective for the 2014-2015 graduates, a distinct employment category of "U.S. military service" was added. Prior to this, those entering or in U.S. military service were included in the general employment category. We separated this into a distinct category to enable easier tabulation, and to follow the guidelines of the National Association of Colleges and Employers regarding collection and reporting of first-destination data.
  It is important to know that after the respondent indicates her/his post-graduation status, there are no error messages in the survey for skipped responses. When we publish results (in the reports), we indicate both the number (N) of responses, and the percentage of respondents who provided a response to each item on the survey. Also, in the list of "job titles, employers, and locations," and the list of "graduate and professional schools, degrees, programs, and locations," you will see an entry for each respondent, by undergraduate major, who indicated the applicable status, even if that respondent provided no, or limited, information for those lists. You will see a blank text field or "(not provided)" when the respondent did not provide the applicable information (e.g. job title, or institution for continuing education, etc.).
  Students who report that their post-graduation status is not firm (e.g. still seeking employment, or applying to graduate school but details not firm) have opportunity to update their responses throughout the period of time the survey remains open. Periodic email reminders invite them to do so. Students who update their responses do not have to re-enter their previous responses to survey items; they simply may update responses as needed.
  The survey takes students an average of about five minutes to complete.
   
History of the survey and report, and comparisons year-to-year:
  This survey and report have origins in the 1970s. In those early years, the survey was conducted via in-person exit interviews with graduating seniors. Methods have changed since then.
  Reports for 1995-1996 through 2002-2003 are archived and no longer published online.
  For the 2003-2004 graduates, Career and Professional Development (called Career Services before July 1, 2016) redesigned the online survey instrument and data collection information systems in-house. This has been used for each academic year's graduates since 2003-2004. Data in all reports beginning with 2003-2004 report can be easily compared. With publication of the 2015-2016 report in January 2017, we will reach 13 years of comparable data online. Each of these ACADEMIC-YEAR reports is publicly accessible at Post-Graduation Reports.
  Also available are multi-year summaries that enable a view of trends for certain data for multiple years. The multi-year summaries do not contain all of the data available in the academic-year reports.
   
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