MIT surveys graduates on goals, plans

Over half to work this fall

MIT students are on average well-off and tolerant, but not so service-oriented, suggests a survey administered to this year’s graduating class. Seven in ten graduating seniors participated in the survey, which is administered by MIT once every two years.

The survey revealed that the estimated median income of parents who helped pay for MIT students’ undergraduate education was $125,000. The U.S. Census Bureau found that the 2012 U.S. median household income was $51,371.

The highest-rated category in a section on campus life was the climate for LGBTQ students on campus, with 94 percent of respondents indicating that they were either “very satisfied” or “generally satisfied” with the climate.

The most popular long-term goal of graduating seniors was raising a family, which 70 percent of students rated as “essential” or “very important.” Ever practical, MIT graduates rated being well-off financially as the second most popular goal, with 69 percent of respondents reporting that it was “essential” or “very important” to them.

In contrast, volunteering was rated as essential by only 8.4 percent, and participating in politics or community affairs by an even lower 5.0 percent.

According to the survey, 89 percent of respondents were generally or very satisfied with their overall education at MIT, which is slightly higher than the percentage in 2012.

A little over half of the respondents indicated that they were planning to work for full-time pay this fall; 37 percent indicated that they were headed for a graduate or professional school (respondents could choose more than one option), slightly lower than the 39 percent in 2012.

Of the respondents who planned to work full-time, 61 percent had already accepted a position by late May, while 6.9 percent were still considering offers. And of those who had accepted a position, the most popular industries were computers/IT (20 percent), engineering/architecture/design (16 percent), and finance (10 percent). Seventeen of respondents who have accepted a position will be working for a startup.

On the other hand, of those who are going back to school, about a third are pursuing a PhD, a third a Master’s degree in engineering, and a fifth a Master of Science.

A sizeable fraction of the senior class is not moving too far: of the 85 percent of respondents who will be residing in the United States next fall, almost half are staying in Massachusetts, with California and New York the next most popular states.

Since the survey closed in May, post-graduation plans will be better captured by the ongoing Graduating Students Survey sponsored by the MIT Global Education & Career Development office.

Overall, feelings about the MIT undergraduate experience were generally positive; most respondents indicated they would “definitely” or “probably” recommend MIT to a high school senior in their position. Furthermore, MIT seniors were overwhelmingly satisfied with the quality of instruction across all subjects. Student government received the lowest satisfaction rate (56 percent) of any aspect of campus life, though the number is up from 2012.

Finally, students seem to have gotten slightly better at maintaining a balance between academic work and extracurriculars, with 81 percent of respondents “strongly agreeing” that they found a balance between the two, compared to 75 percent in 2012.

1 Comment
Anonymous over 9 years ago

"The survey revealed that the estimated median income of parents who helped pay for MIT students undergraduate education was $125,000."

Well, yeah. If your parents don't make enough then financial aid kicks in. So it's not surprising that this figure is high.