More than 80% of Career Centers Conduct First-Destination Surveys

June 30, 2022 | By Kevin Gray

A career services professional takes the First-Destination Survey.

TAGS: diversity and inclusion, first destination, graduate outcomes, nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

More than 80% of schools conducted first-destination surveys in 2021-22, according to NACE’s 2021-22 Career Services Benchmarks Survey Report.

Likely affected by the pandemic, the 81.1% of respondents that conducted first-destination surveys in 2021-22 is also somewhat skewed by associate’s schools; just 34.1% of them reported that they conducted first-destination surveys.

Still, this overall percentage is close to the range—the mid- to upper-80s—that has been established in recent years. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1

Although the large majority of career centers conduct first-destination surveys, what they do—or don’t do—with the results has implications for the progress of DEI efforts.

Of particular note, more than three-quarters of career centers do not report the demographics of students who are using career services to their supervisors. This data gap is a barrier to assessing the equity of career services across student populations.

Not all career centers conducted their own first-destinations surveys or used an on-campus department, such as institutional research, to do so. In fact, nearly 30% of survey respondents used a third-party provider to collect student outcomes information. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2

The 2021-22 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report is a comprehensive report that provides quantitative data and analysis on the range of college and university career center operations. It is important to consider the timing of the survey. Data were collected from October 28, 2021, to January 14, 2022. The responses were submitted as the coronavirus pandemic continued and the Omicron variant was prevalent. NACE is reporting the data during the pandemic to assess how the pandemic impacted the field. For its 2021-22 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report, NACE surveyed its member institutions, resulting in 587 respondents, which translates to a 31.5% response rate. The 2021-22 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report and its interactive dashboard are available to participants on NACEWeb. Those who did not participate can access an executive summary or purchase the report through NACE.

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