Post Classifieds

Delta pushes to give students information on graduates’ career success and employment

By Victoria Malloy
On April 19, 2014

Student loan debt has reached over $1.1 trillion. And there is a constant flow of young adults starting college for the first time and students graduating, going out into the workforce to find a job.

With student loan debt at an all-time high and unemployment rates at 7.8 percent in Michigan, finding the right college and getting the right degree are essential for today’s students.

There are many ways to let future and current students know the degree they’re going for is the right one and they choose the right college to get an education. One way colleges do this is by putting up graduate career success rates.

Delta has resources for finding the annual salary and job description for most of the programs they offer on their website, but is lacking in graduates’ career success information.

“We have very little,” Michael Wood, Institutional Research Director at Delta for 10 years, said. “We have a 35 percent response rate.”

A National Association of Colleges and Employers report found the average response rate for mailings is 48 percent.

Wood explained that six months after students graduate, a mailer is sent to them asking multiple questions including, if they’re employed, if they’re employed in their field of study and what their salary is.

“Students may answer the employment part but not put their salary,” Wood said.

If a student doesn’t answer the first mailer, they send a second mailer out, Wood explained, and then a third if the second isn’t answered.

“It can get expensive,” Wood said, estimating the budget for materials and supplies to be around $10,000.

“Students stop looking at their Delta email after they graduate,” Wood said, so even though getting ahold of students electronically could be cheaper, it is less efficient without updated emails.

Martin Finney, a career advisor at Delta, said since the response rate is so little for graduate job placement, Delta has tried to find other ways to give students information about job outlooks.

Finney suggests to students if they’re staying local to use Delta’s Career Coach. Career Coach is an online resource designed to help students find current employment, wages, job postings and more.

“The information is current,” Finney said, pointing out that this way students can get an actual look at what jobs are out there instead of relying on information from graduates’ career success if only one person answered the survey.12

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