Our Latest Report | You may have proud alumni but are they engaged?
27 November 2020
Our co-Founder Andrew Crisp shares the highlights of our latest market report
There’s no doubt alumni are proud of where they studied. In the latest Alumni Matters study, published by CarringtonCrisp and EFMD, 88% of the alumni respondents are proud to be associated with their school and 85% are positive towards their business school, but only 40% definitely or mostly agree that they are engaged with their business school.
Leveraging positive sentiment and turning it into valuable engagement is perhaps the hardest task for alumni professionals. Just over eight out of ten (84%) of alumni already indicate that their school keeps them informed about alumni and school activities and news, so how to drive better engagement? Communication is great, but if it’s only one way, then it’s not much of a relationship.
The answer may lie in improvements in two or three key areas identified by alumni in the study as ways to improve the experience. More than anything else, alumni in the survey said they wanted to network more and to do that they wanted it to be easier to connect with other alumni. While the communication tools might exist, alumni may be uncertain how to make the most of what is already available or the systems available may be difficult to use compared with their experiences on social media.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has produced many problems, for alumni wanting to network there may have been a silver lining. In a separate study recently, a business school Dean told CarringtonCrisp that before the pandemic physical networking events might have attracted 250 alumni at their school, but moving events online has seen attendances of nearly 1,000.
Alongside networking the other key priority is alumni careers. While there is strong interest in career services and mentoring support from the alumni network, the most important aspect of career support is having the right skills. Just over half (54%) of those surveyed want more opportunities for further learning, reflecting growing interest in lifelong learning with people upskilling and/or reskilling throughout their careers. In the See the Future study published earlier this year, 83% of current students agreed that they will have to learn new skills to advance their career in the future.
Fewer than a third of alumni respondents agree that their school informs them about relevant job opportunities and 41% disagree. With many facing redundancy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, if schools can help their alumni find new jobs and careers this will strengthen the relationship, benefitting both sides.
Overall, alumni have been impressed with the actions their school has already taken to deal with issues arising from the pandemic, with 43% agreeing that their school has enhanced its reputation through the actions it has taken in recent weeks.