Student Advisory Report

Insights to Land Top Careers

Alumni at Kaplan University School of Business and Information Technology Assess Today’s Workforce

Kaplan University School Business and IT Alumni Weigh In on Career Outlook and Development in Today’s Workforce

From top careers to resume advice, Kaplan University School of Business and Information Technology (IT) alumni have shared their thoughts on the job outlook for students and graduates.

Findings from a new survey of alumni nationwide are featured in the updated "If I Were You" Student Advisory Report.

This follow-up to a similar faculty survey conducted in 2013 explored a comparison of the current state of job prospects at that time, along with the importance for competency-based education and ways to track career progress.

Some key findings from this latest alumni survey include:

  • Best career prospects for IT graduates: According to respondents, the most promising tech-based career prospects for IT graduates are in cybersecurity (63%), information security/forensics (33%), and mobile computing (30%).*
  • Best job prospects for business graduates: Alumni identified finance (48%), management (24%), and accounting (22%) as the top three sectors for business careers.  
  • Careers where a master's degree is a “must”: The majority of alumni respondents indicated that a master’s degree can optimize career potential in accounting, financial planning and investment, and wealth management.
  • Assessing career growth: Alumni responded overwhelmingly that the top two ways to track career advancement are through leadership achievements (42%) and “rainmaker" success–i.e., the ability to bring in more business (40%).

However, while business alumni noted “leadership achievements” as the leading indicator for career success, IT alumni respondents identified “professional certifications” as the main criteria to measure professional progress.

Click here to access the report.

About the Respondents

The total number of respondents comprised 76% business alumni and 24% IT alumni. 

Gender and age demographic markers for the respondent group include 57% female to 43% male; 48% of respondents were under the age of 45.

The average years of work experience for respondents in these job categories was as follows:

Business Sector

  • Accounting: 1-2 years
  • Finance: 3-5 years
  • Wealth Management: 1-2 years
  • Management: 11+ years
  • Real Estate: 3-5 years
  • Risk Management/Insurance:  1-2 years
  • Human Resources: 1-2 years

IT Sector

  • Application Development: 11+ years
  • Cybersecurity: 6-10 years
  • Information Security/Assurance: 3-5 years
  • Network Administration: 6-10 years

*Based on the 2016 survey of 115 Kaplan University School of Business and IT alumni.

Words of Wisdom From Past Reports

The section below shares some valuable words of advice from faculty to help students stand out from the crowd.

  • Always strive to learn more about your chosen career. Stay connected and educated.
  • Stay current on key areas in your field and seek opportunities to network.
  • Engage in lifelong learning so you remain competitive and on top of new advances.
  • Get as much experience as you can, no matter how small the task.
  • Build in flexibility in your career. You never know when the business will change.
  • Get a degree that offers flexibility in your career. Your degree should allow you to work at different organizations and institutions in various capacities.
  • Be flexible and change with the needs of the market.
  • Learn another language and become comfortable communicating with a very diverse group of people.
  • Have the ability to work well with individuals from all over the world and from a variety of socioeconomic circumstances.
  • Be prepared to work on projects outside the scope of your education.
  • Thoroughly develop your communication and writing skills; without them, you will not be able to progress and develop.
  • Build relationships, be genuine, and communicate.
  • Become adept at relationship management and listen first. Then use your critical thinking skills to share ideas.
  • Learn to think, speak, and write logically and effectively.
  • Develop a special skill that makes you a "go-to" person and sets you apart from the competition.
  • Network and work hard. No excuses.
  • Develop your "brand" through professional use of social media.

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