March 18, 2015 | 10:30 a.m.
By Tricia Theurer, Communications Specialist
Each year, Bethel surveys Bethel traditional undergrad alumni who graduated one year prior, five years prior, and ten years prior. Questions cover graduates’ experiences at Bethel as well as their personal, spiritual, and working lives since graduation. This year’s results show that recent Bethel alumni are experiencing low unemployment and high job satisfaction. They also report being satisfied with how Bethel prepared them for their jobs as well as with their overall educational experience at Bethel.
Graduates from the Class of 2013 report a 1.8% unemployment rate, 2009 grads report a 2.2% rate, and 2004 grads report a 2% rate. The job satisfaction rate is an average of 86% for the three groups, in line with the national average of 89%. When it comes to how their education at Bethel prepared them for their current position, 90% of the one-year grads, 85% of five-year grads, and 90% of the 10-year grads are at least somewhat satisfied, and the majority of respondents say they were satisfied or very satisfied. The one-year and 10-year groups are significantly more satisfied than last year’s one-year and 10-year alumni.
These Bethel grads also report a committed spiritual life, with 69% of the one-year grads, 66% of the five-year grads, and 77% of the 10-year group reporting that they frequently attend church. These rates are significantly higher than the overall national average of 43%. While 46% of Americans report a high rate of volunteerism, 69% of Bethel’s one-year and five-year grads report volunteering their time to a religious group or organization and 75% of the ten-year grads report doing so.
The majority of answers to the open-ended questions, “What did you like best about your major?” and “What other comments do you have about your Bethel experience?” mentioned helpful, caring, and close relationships with faculty.
A few samples of those responses: “I loved the professors and the relationships built. The community at Bethel is fantastic. I built lifelong friendships there.”
“Hands-on experience and the trust and personal relationships we had with the professors.”
“I loved the integration of faith into my classes.”
“I studied abroad and it changed my life to this day. The professor, my fellow students, and the life experiences made me more confident and a more compassionate person.”