Document Type


Publication Date



Employer, Satisfaction, Western, Washington, University, Graduates


Executive Summary: This report compiled information gathered in interviews with a sample of personnel managers and direct supervisors of organizations employing Western Washington University graduates from one to three years after their graduation. Personnel managers were questioned first. When asked to rate their emphasis of nine qualities of general employment, work or internship experience received the highest ratings of "great" emphasis. Having a broad liberal arts background received the highest ratings of "little" or "no" emphasis. A majority of personnel managers preferred that employees be flexible (47.4%), or valued skill training and flexibility equally (41.8%). It was also discovered that while 58.8% of Western graduates were hired into jobs requiring a Bachelor's degree, another 27% were hired into jobs that required only an Associate of Arts, technical, or high school degree. When asked how satisfied overall they were with Western graduates, personnel managers overwhelmingly said they were ''very'' satisfied (80.6%). Next, interviews were done with the direct supervisors of the same Western graduates. Direct supervisors were asked to list the two most important specific skills required to do the job western graduates had been hired into, then to rate from excellent to poor the graduate's performance in these two areas. Direct supervisors rated graduates excellent to good in both skills (89.8% for the first, 88.3% for the second). Direct supervisors were also asked to characterize the skill demands of the job held by Western graduates. They rated reliability as the most important ability in any new employee, and rated reliability in Western graduates highest of sixteen listed characteristics. When compared, other characteristics most important to the skill demands of the job also generated the highest ratings of western graduates. When asked how well Western graduates were prepared for the job they were hired to do in relation to what was expected of atypical new employee, direct supervisors rated Western graduates as"much better" or "a little better" in the following areas: mathematical skills (68.6%) ; broad educational background (66.7%) ; and specific skills required or the job (66.4%)




Digital object produced by Office of Survey Research, Western Washington University, and made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

College graduates--Rating of--Washington (State)--Bellingham

Title of Series

Technical and research reports (Western Washington University. Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing) ; 1991-04






This resource is provided for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries.