The career connection for better alumni relations

30 November 2023

Andrew Crisp examines data from this year’s Alumni Matters study that highlights the role of careers in driving better alumni relations.


Studying at a business school is more often than not motivated by a desire for a better career, so it’s perhaps not surprising that engaging with alumni relations is also often about getting a better career.  The 2023 Alumni Matters study found that two of the activities most likely to improve alumni relations are career-related – better career services for alumni and more opportunities for further learning.

Alumni recognise that even if they have had a good experience at their business school, the rapid pace of change in business means that lifelong learning is key to enhancing their future career.  Among those who want alumni to have access to further learning, it’s a mixture of formal and informal study that are valued, especially when that learning offers good value for money.  Alumni want formal programmes to enable lifelong learning, online access to lectures and other content from faculty and preferential rates to study on future programmes at their business school.

Those preferential rates can be key to alumni returning to their former school for further study; only 31% expect to do so.  One in five (21%) look to undertake further study with a business school online, and 15% at both another business school closer to where they now live/work and at a business school in another part of the world from where they live/work.

For business schools, it may simply be about better communication of the career support for alumni if they want greater engagement from their alumni.  Just over 6 in 10 alumni already indicate that their school provides alumni career services and support.  Making sure the remaining 38% of alumni know about career services could quickly enhance alumni relations – only 63% of alumni currently agree they are engaged with their business school.

Support can work both ways with alumni offering career advantages for current and prospective students.  One-third of alumni have provided internships/ projects/ paid work experience for current students, while a further 46% would consider doing so in the future.

Enhancing alumni careers can have other advantages for a business school as well, specifically financial.  Almost one in five (19%) alumni indicate that their main reason for not supporting their school financially is that they don't earn enough to make a financial donation.  Help alumni get better jobs and the chances are they are more likely to support their school financially.


The Alumni Matters 2023 report will be available to purchase on the CarringtonCrisp website in early December.

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