Fall 2011 Articles

Students Have Mixed Feelings About Job Opportunities

NC State Students have Mixed Feelings About Job Opportunities Compared to Duke & UNC Graduates

According to the U.S. News’ Best Colleges of 2012 database, two of North Carolina’s Universities are ranked in the top 100. Duke is ranked as 10th, UNC- Chapel Hill is 29th, and NC State barely misses the top 100 mark, as the 101st in the nation. Do State students think they will do worse when it comes to finding jobs?

According to our polling, a plurality of NC State students thought they would fare just the same as their peers from Duke and UNC in terms of job opportunities after graduating. However, more respondents said they thought they would do worse than Duke graduates then said they would do better. Conversely, a substantially larger percentage thought they would do better rather than worse compared to UNC graduates.

To put these results in perspective, we can compare tuition across the three schools. UNC students can expect to pay $7,000 in tuition, while Duke students will pay a whopping $40,000 in tuition and fees. State students, in contrast, will pay the least, about $6,500. Tuition rates for non-residents are similar across the three schools.

 

All Is Not Rosy

Just over 70% of students say they receive financial assistance (loans or aid).  Of these students, a majority of them (56%) expressed feeling “somewhat” or “very” concerned about being able to pay off their debts accumulated to attend college. About one-fifth (21%), however, said they were not at all worried about their debt obligations. Surprisingly, the degree of respondents’’ worrying about debt did not vary too much by their year in school, although seniors were more likely to express having no concern at all.

 

Level of Concern of Paying Off Student Loans

 

Very Concerned

Somewhat Concerned

Slightly Concerned

Not At All Concerned

Total Responses

Freshman

24.6%

34.5%

25.7%

15.2%

171

Sophomore

22.4%

26.7%

26.7%

24.2%

165

Junior

31.1%

30.5%

19.8%

18.6%

167

Senior

25.9%

30.2%

22.4%

21.4%

192

695

Note on Methodology: The Pack Poll at NC State University was fielded between Nov. 1 –  Nov. 8, 2011. Responses came from 1108 partial and 970 completed interviews with NCSU undergraduates.  A random sample of 5,000 students’ email was used to contact potential respondents, who were invited to take the on-line survey using a software program called Qualtrics. The survey has a margin of sampling error of approximately plus or minus 3 percentage points.  For smaller subsamples within the survey, the margin of sampling error is larger. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

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