The latest Pack Poll survey has been released, making it the sixth “major” poll to be conducted since Fall 2010. Those that took the survey consisted of 963 randomly sampled undergraduate students. Results provide a glimpse of overall student attitudes regarding post-graduation plans as well as how they perceived N.C. State University as an institution.
Loans and employment after graduation
Post graduation prospects are looming over the heads of many N.C. State students. When asked how worried students were about finding a job after graduating, results were as might be expected of college students today. A large majority — 70% altogether — indicated some degree of concern about post-graduation employment. Specifically, 12% said they were very worried about finding a job after graduating, 31% were somewhat worried and 27% were a little worried. However, 17% of students placed themselves in the “not worried at all” category, five percentage points higher than those that said they were “very worried.” As for the rest of the students, 13% said the question did not apply to them for purposes of graduating to go on to law school, graduate school or another professional school.
The Pack Poll probed this topic by also asking other students how worried they were about getting a good paying job after graduating. The results differed from the first question, but only marginally. The percentage of worried students rose just two percentage points, from 70% to 72%. “Very worried” students increased by four percentage points (to 16%) whereas students that were not worried at all declined to 13%. While the figures changed slightly, the extra wording of finding a good paying job did not agitate the already concerned student population. One reason why this might have made little difference is that college students are already thinking about jobs that pay well when asked about their future job prospects. In other words, few students are hoping to find minimum wage jobs.
The survey also asked students whether they agreed or disagreed with this statement: “I am worried about how hard it might be to pay back my student loans.” Despite the national trend towards increasing dependence on student loans to attend college, 43% of N.C. State students said they did not have student loans. Yet, of the remaining 57% of students that did have loans, by a 4–1 margin they were worried about paying back the loans.
Most undergraduate Wolfpackers do not perceive N.C. State as a “party school.” When asked, “Do you consider NCSU to be a party school?” only 12% said “yes” and a glaring 88% said “no.” The University’s reputation might lie in its academia or perhaps some other aspect of college life. But to N.C. State students, it seems, being a “party school” is out of the question.