A survey of graduate alumni who received their degrees from 1996 to 2005 gives the University high marks.

Large majorities of Ph.D. and ­master’s-degree recipients said the ­University had prepared them well for their chosen field, and they would choose the same field at Princeton if they had it to do over again.

About 27 percent of the 2,642 alumni who received their doctoral degrees during the 10-year period ­completed the online survey, and the demographic composition of the respondents was similar to the full group, according to Jed Marsh, vice provost for institutional research. 

The survey also gives the University its first detailed career data for graduate alumni, Marsh said. 

Half of the Ph.D. respondents said they hold a full-time position at a four-year U.S. college, including 66 percent of those in the humanities and 58 percent of those in the social sciences. Another 13 percent work at a college in another country. Overall, 17 percent work in the private noneducation sector, including 37 percent of those with an engineering degree and 26 percent of those in the natural sciences.

The largest group of master’s-degree recipients attended the Woodrow ­Wilson School. Their satisfaction with how Princeton prepared them for their career matched the Ph.D. group, Marsh said, but their current jobs are quite different: 34 percent in government, 26 percent in nonprofit organizations, and 17 percent in the private sector.

The survey asked alumni to rate the importance of specific skills and abilities to their work, and to assess their training during their years at Princeton. Respondents gave the highest ratings to their training in critical thinking, data analysis, oral presentations, writing, and research skills. But alumni noted that the University did not provide training that would have been helpful in managing budgets, writing funding proposals, managing people, and mentoring students. 

William Russel, dean of the graduate school, said the findings would be discussed with the school’s working group on professional development. “There are always areas where we can do more and better,” he said.

How well did your Princeton degree prepare you for your ­chosen career?

  • 83% Very well or quite well 
  • 12% Adequately