This month, the class of 2022-2023 joined the ever-expanding network of ITC alumni, which comprises more than 25,000 individuals from around the world. To gather insights and feedback, the faculty regularly conducts surveys among its alumni. The most recent survey included the participation of over 1,700 ITC alumni from 2012 onwards. With a significant response rate of over 400 individuals (28%), the Faculty of ITC received a wealth of valuable input. In this article, we will present the key findings from this survey. The survey was carried out by Lisanne Verheij, the quality assurance coordinator, with assistance from Jorien Terlouw, the alumni coordinator.
One interesting finding highlights the evolving student composition at ITC. Nearly half of the respondents had accumulated over three years of work experience prior to joining ITC. However, this proportion is notably lower among graduates of the new two-year M-GEO and M-SE programs, indicating a shift in our target demographic. In contrast to 15 years ago when our program predominantly attracted mid-career professionals, approximately 60% of our current students are young professionals and BSc graduates with less than three years of work experience. The data also reveals a decline in the number of graduates returning to their previous employers. Furthermore, a larger percentage of recent graduates now pursue employment within the Netherlands, suggesting an increasing preference among alumni to either remain in the country or seek opportunities elsewhere, rather than returning to their home countries.
The survey participants represented a diverse range of programs, courses, and research domains. Approximately 90% of the respondents expressed that they found the content, knowledge, and skills of their respective programs to be relevant and up-to-date. Similarly, a comparable percentage of respondents highly valued the international educational environment and indicated their intention to recommend the program to their network. Furthermore, the respondents observed that the professional field demonstrates a willingness to hire graduates from ITC.
Among all the respondents, 75% are currently employed in a job related to their field of study at ITC, while an additional 12% hold jobs that are not directly related. Impressively, over 90% of the respondents secured employment within a span of 12 months, with approximately 30% returning to their previous employers. The respondents are currently working in 63 different countries, with the highest mentions going to The Netherlands, Indonesia, India, and Kenya. Notably, a significant proportion of respondents working in The Netherlands are recent graduates. The diversity of organizations where respondents are employed is notable, with national governments and universities/schools emerging as the largest sectors. Nearly half of the respondents work in organizations with over 1000 employees, most of which have a national or international focus.
As the composition of the student body evolves, so do the demands for career preparation, as an increasing number of graduates express a preference for remaining in the Netherlands or Europe. The efforts made by the Faculty of ITC to equip students for their career paths have received positive feedback, with 52% considering the preparation to be good and an additional 29% rating it as excellent—an achievement to be proud of. Valuable suggestions have been provided to enhance employability, including the need for better preparation for the Dutch labor market. Additionally, there is a recognition that (improved) expectation management can assist students in understanding what to anticipate upon entering the job market. Alumni express the hope for more job opportunities for ITC students within the Netherlands. This issue is relatively new, as ITC historically focused on capacity development and preparing students to utilize their acquired knowledge and skills in their home countries.
Out of the entire respondent pool, 75 completed an internship, primarily among those enrolled in the new M-SE or M-GEO programs. Nearly all of these individuals acknowledged the significant value of their internship experience, with many expressing the belief that it enhanced their readiness for their initial employment. Interestingly, 22% of respondents who participated in an internship secured their first job at the same organization where they completed their internship. For further insights into the internship journey, be sure to watch the video below.
The survey conducted among ITC alumni from 2012 to 2022 has yielded a wealth of valuable information for the Faculty of ITC. In many respects, the results have not only confirmed and reinforced several known issues based on previous surveys and experiences but have also unveiled emerging trends and developments. The faculty expresses its sincere appreciation to all the alumni who took part in the survey and assures them that their input will be instrumental in advancing the development of educational programs and fostering broader discussions on capacity and career development.