February 09, 2006, vol. 35, no. 3
By Stuart Colcleugh

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SFU alumni are pleased with their university education and would take the same programs again, according to a recently released survey of 1998 baccalaureate graduates of B.C. universities five years after leaving school.

The survey by the University Presidents' Council of British Columbia (TUPC) found that 96.7 per cent of all SFU respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their university education and slightly more than 77 per cent said they would take the same program again.

Graduates in computing science were the most satisfied (88.7 per cent) while those in life sciences were the least (64.2 per cent).

Of those who wouldn't take the same program again, the most common reasons given were a lack of career opportunities or an inability to find a job (25.5 per cent), changed interests (22.7 per cent) and the belief that the courses taken weren't relevant to the real world (21.7 per cent).

About 97 per cent of SFU's class of 1998 was employed at the time of the survey, with 87.2 per cent working as paid employees and 11 per cent self-employed. Most graduates said they were successful or somewhat successful in achieving job satisfaction (82.5 per cent), career advancement opportunities (76.8 per cent) and employment income (72.5 per cent). The median annual salary for those working full time was $53,721.

Of those who were not employed, 25.3 per cent of SFU grads said they were going to school full time. Since obtaining their undergraduate degrees 60.2 per cent of all SFU alumni said they had taken some form of post-secondary education, of which the majority had obtained or were working on a master's degree (26.9 per cent), a professional association certification (22.6 per cent), another undergraduate degree (20.4 per cent), an applied program certification (17.5 per cent) or a doctoral degree (4 per cent).

Participants said the skills that were most enhanced by their university experience were analytical and critical thinking skills (92.9 per cent rated high or very high), followed by independent learning (87.2 per cent) and reading comprehension (85.8 per cent).
Since 1995, TUPC has surveyed B.C. university grads both two and five years following completion of their baccalaureate degrees. Their surveys can be accessed at

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