Behind the Scenes: Creating the Graduate Follow-up Report

By: Hayley

“Hi! My name is Hayley and I am with Career Services at the University of Minnesota Duluth. We are conducting our annual follow-up of UMD graduates. All of the information we collect is confidential and non-identifiable. Do you have time to answer a few questions for me?”

I repeat this statement numerous times a night as I work as a Student Caller.

The first thing you need to know about the Graduate Follow-up Report is it is compiled by Career Services staff annually and contains information used by many departments on campus. It shows future and current students, and their parents, that recent grads are finding good jobs shortly after they leave UMD. After all, that is one of the main reasons you go to college, right? Another question students and parents ask is: “Will I be able to use my major when I leave UMD?” In the most recent report (2011-2012 grads), we found that 96% of the alumni who completed the survey were either employed or continuing their education. “The good news is, 78% of those employed indicated their jobs are ‘related’ or ‘somewhat related’ to their majors,” explains Janet Pribyl, Assistant Director of Career Services. “This means the majority of UMD graduates recognize they are using their education in their current positions.”


Now let’s talk about how the report is created. The majority of the data is collected by Student Callers, like me. The callers are current UMD students hired by Career Services to collect the data by calling each and every alum who has not filled out the Graduate Follow-up Survey. We begin collecting the data in mid to late November and continue through the beginning of May. Recent grads are given the chance to complete the survey online and we send out multiple emails with the link to the survey. If we don’t hear from the grads, we give them a call.

The survey includes a variety of questions that ask about current job or continuing education experience, and also about other aspects of an alum’s college career. As we chat with each alum, we enter the information into an online database. These additional questions include: is your job related to your major, did you complete an internship, did you receive academic credit for the internship, did you get a job offer from your internship, did you study abroad, and did you use any of the services that Career Services offers. If a job hasn’t been found yet, we make suggestions about services to assist with the job search.

These additional questions add more detail to the final report. Sure, we could just give a percentage of the grads from 2011-2012 who found employment and continuing their education (96%), but we like to go into a little more detail than that. We calculate what percent of the grads from that year did an internship (45%), what percent of those grads were offered employment from their internship (34%) and what percent took that offer (59%). The report also includes the percentage of alum who believe their job is related or somewhat related to their major (78%), and who found employment in Minnesota (83%). We also calculate the high, low, mean and median salary for each collegiate unit and major. We also compare the data from this year’s grads to the data from previous years. For education majors the data is broken down by specialty and the percentage of those employed in teaching (77%). Additional data in the report provides is a complete list of positions and places of employment for each major. This part of the report is a great starting point for anyone looking for potential job ideas and for undergrads in search of career options.


We have just recently completed all of the calculations for the 2011-2012 graduating class and the full report is posted on our website. “The results of the survey indicate 96%, nearly all, 2011-2012 UMD graduates found employment or were continuing their education within one year of graduating. This is a 3% increase from the previous year,” says Julie Westlund, Director of Career Services. “In addition, 83% of those employed are working in Minnesota.” The report is based on responses from 1,729 graduates (91% of the reported 1,901 undergraduate students granted degrees during the time frame).

As you can see, the Graduate Follow-up Report is very detailed and has a ton of helpful information. One thing you need to remember about the report is that once an alum responds and we submit the information to the system, it is non-identifiable. No one will be able to tell who had the highest or lowest salary or who is working where. The survey is simple and easy to fill out so when you graduate and start receiving emails about completing the follow up report survey, do it! Even if you are still seeking employment or applying to grad schools, fill it out. Once you have more concrete information to share, go back into the survey and update your information. Otherwise you can look forward to a couple minute phone call from one of us.

And, please don’t hang up on us…Thanks!

Full report

2012-2013 Grads: Take the Survey!

2 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Creating the Graduate Follow-up Report

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