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Great Jobs, Great Lives: The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report

Employed graduates are more likely engaged at work if these graduates feel that their

college prepared them well for it. Having experiences in college like internships or jobs where

students are able to apply what they are learning in the classroom, active involvement in

extracurricular activities and organizations all contribute to these graduates in such a way that they

feel prepared for life after college. (Gallup Inc., 2014)

There is a universal agreement about the value on which people seek and expect about the

ultimate outcome of their college degree: to increase the probability of getting a good job and

having a better life. However, there is not much study done in universities and colleges on whether

their graduates have “great jobs” and “great lives”. (Gallup Inc., 2014)

Recent findings gathered from the inaugural administration of the Gallup-Purdue Index

done with 30,000 US graduates yield important insights for college graduates. Important points

that were tackled in this study were about where the graduates went to college how it hardly matters

to their current well-being and their work lives in contrast to their experiences in college. Pointing

out the factors which decides the relation off one element to another and how it strongly related to

the graduates’ lives were hard to fathom. Findings concluded that the relation of these elements

were not applicable to all students and that one has a differing experience from the other. (Gallup

Inc., 2014)

In conclusion, the initial findings from the 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index showed how certain

college experiences affects each student and can make a great effect on education and its

innovation years even after graduation. College students and almost everyone as a matter of fact,
all seek and expect that college would be a transformative and meaningful experience that would

lead to them to great jobs and a better life. (Gallup Inc., 2014)

However, that is not the case. Nonetheless, higher education could make a change and start

listening to what is important. There should be a discourse on improving the college experience

and how it should focus on points like ways to provide students with more emotional support, more

opportunities for deep learning experiences and real-life applications of lessons learned in the

classroom. In doing this, colleges, educators and students and their families would be able to

actually make a bang for their buck and a worthwhile experience so they could have a great job

and a great life. (Gallup Inc., 2014)

2. Predictors of Graduate Student Satisfaction in Public Administration Programs

 Curriculum Characteristics

Curriculum characteristics, a third set of the factors, may be related to student satisfaction.

Considering this, when students receive courses that they see are relative to their career success

they likely get satisfied. There have been a lot of talk in relation to the relevance of various

curriculum topics to the career success of students. Gaps are believed to exist between the topics

that practitioners believe are important and the courses that are typically offered in MPA programs.

(Bright & Graham Jr., 2013)

 Professional and Alumni interactions

The fourth set of the factors that may be related to program satisfaction is the interactions that

students have with the practitioners. Having professional interaction can benefit the students in

such a way that it provides networking opportunities and is also a way to connect classroom
experiences to the realities of a life in public service work. Furthermore, NASPAA also says that

degree programs should give students opportunities such as engaging in community and

professional service related public affairs, administration, and policy as it helps them promote their

personal accountability and commitment to the values they are expected to model. It also provides

opportunities for them to apply what they learned in connection to theory and practice to recruit

students and place graduates. (Bright & Graham Jr., 2013)

Existing research has also recognized that these activities produce measurable outcomes. One

example would be that student interactions with practitioners and having memberships in

professional organizations are strongly associated with alumni perceptions of the return-

investment benefits and usefulness of their MPA. (Bright & Graham Jr., 2013)

In addition, another important predictor of student attitudes is their interaction with alumni.

Yeager et al. (2007) found that students’ willingness to recommend their degrees was influenced

by their perceptions of program quality, and, as the scholars put it, “individuals who are not alumni

can evaluate the quality of a particular program by judging the work and character of graduates

whom they encounter either at work or in social settings”. (Bright & Graham Jr., 2013)

3. The Relationship Between Alumni Satisfactions and Work Experiences

Pace’s review of 10 landmark studies, he concluded that alumni surveys represent a

powerful tool in assessing the various effects of college and universities on students. The extensive

use of alumni surveys for institutional research is only quite recently recognized despite Pace’s

enthusiastic endorsement. Nowadays, these alumni surveys are used to create information

networks needed to raise funds for scholarships and endowments and in evaluating educational
programs. Despite the current interest in outcomes assessment, the role of alumni surveys in

evaluating education programs is still particularly significant. (Pike, 1994)

In contrast to other surveys, alumni surveys are made to understand each individuals’

reflections about the quality of their education experiences that are strengthened by the experiences

they garnered since graduation. Job success and satisfaction are one of the experiences that can

have a significant effect on alumni ratings of their college experiences. Despite frequently

including questions about work experiences in alumni surveys, not much information is done about

the relationship between job satisfaction and alumni satisfaction with college. Gender and

individuals’ senior ratings of their college experiences were included as they have been thought to

be related to alumni satisfaction with college. (Pike, 1994) lauren happen