College Educations: If Graduates Had It to Do Over Again, Nearly All Would

November 10, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

Student Attitudes
A group of college graduates.

TAGS: competencies, nace insights, student attitudes, surveys, trends and predictions,

New college graduates embrace the value of higher education, with 91% reporting that, if they had a chance to do it again, they would opt to pursue a college education, according to results of NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Report.

NACE Dashboard: Take a Deep Dive Into the NACE 2023 Student Survey Data
All NACE members have access to the 2023 Student Survey Report in MyNACE. In addition, members can access and analyze the full set of data from the 2023 Student Survey through the report’s dashboard in MyNACE (free for survey participants). This is an invaluable way for your team to gain insight into trends and issues, and enhance your ability to develop solutions and advocate for and market your department. For directions and tips on how to use a NACE research report dashboard, please see this YouTube video.

Driving that conviction—the college degree enables them to derive personal satisfaction from their careers: More than two-thirds said their degree will help them find meaningful work and a job that aligns with their career goals. (See Figure 1.)

Feeding into new graduates’ endorsement of higher education is their sense of preparedness: More than half believe their college/university prepared them well or very well for the next step in their career. This is positive news, but also points to an opportunity for institutions to help the other half gain that sense of preparedness by integrating career readiness campus-wide.

NACE members report finding success doing so by, for instance, linking campus jobs to the NACE Career Readiness Competencies, developing a career readiness passport program, engaging faculty, embedding career readiness into curriculum, and more.

Data for NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Report were collected from March 15, 2023 to May 19, 2022.

In all, 18,966 bachelor degree students responded from 204 four-year colleges and universities. Of those, 2,307 were Class of 2023 graduating seniors. NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Report is available to members through MyNACE.

Figure 1

blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at kgray@naceweb.org.

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