National Alumni Career Mobility Annual Report

2023 Findings, Benchmarks, and Best Practices


Tap into the voice of over 9,000 alumni from 38 peer institutions, collected 5 and 10 years after graduation.

From the report

Did you know only half of alumni decide on a career before graduation?

Yet alumni whose institution helped prepare them for their career are over twice as likely to say that their education was worth the cost. To give students a good return on their investment, institutions need to better equip learners for careers before they've left campus–an undertaking which requires defining student success, addressing equity gaps, and understanding how alumni themselves perceive ROI. 

By the time they graduate, half of the students surveyed said they hadn't yet decided on a career.

Address equity gaps

The data reveals noticeable gaps in equity for historically marginalized groups. But by identifying where these gaps exist, institutions can better target their efforts for becoming equitable, such as aiding student engagement in these three areas:

Understanding career opportunities, career planning, and networking with employers are the top 3 ingredients for career success.

Define student success

Traditional measures of student success often focus on salary–a view of success that lacks nuance, especially for careers that don't lead to high salary positions. In fact, when we see how alumni talk about their motivation for obtaining a degree, financial gain is fourth on the list.

Career success is the main motivator for students pursuing a degree

Understand ROI 

To give students a good return on investment, we have to understand how alumni perceive the ROI of their degree. However, that perception changes significantly when put in terms of the financial cost. While 82% reported being satisfied with their educational experience, only 44% agreed their degree was worth the student loan debt.

Only 44% of students believe their degree was worth the student loan debt.

NACM annual survey results provide insights into these challenges and reveal concrete strategies for improving student career success.

2023 NACM Annual Report Cover

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