Occupational Status and Educational Needs of Graduates from the College of Agricultural Sciences, Texas Tech University, 1971-1986

Lewis Eggenberger, Marvin Cepica

Abstract


The purposes of this study were to determine the occupational status of Texas Tech University (TTU) College of Agricultural Science graduates from 1971 to 1986 and to evaluate the graduates' perceptions of their academic undergraduate program.
A random sample of one-half the graduates who earned their degrees between 1971 and 1986 were mailed questionnaires. This yielded a sample of 1720 graduates. After one follow up mailing to nonrespondents, a total of 35.6% (612) of the graduates returned a questionnaire. A third mailing to nonrespondents consisted of a postcard to determine first job, current occupational status and the agricultural cluster that best described their occupation. This resulted in responses from 248 additional graduates. Consequently, the occupational status of 50.0% (860) of the graduates was determined.
Graduates (860) employed in agricultural occupations were categorized into six occupational clusters as described in the V.S.D.A. publication "Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in the Food and Agricultural Sciences." The percentages employed in each cluster at the time of this study were scientist, engineer or related specialist, 18.5%; manager or financial specialist, 20.3%; marketing, merchandising or sales representative, 12.8%; education, communication or information specialist, 13.6%; social service professional, 2.1%; and agricultural production specialist, 32.7%.
Graduates in agricultural occupations (612) indicated a need for increased emphasis in the following subject areas: computer instruction, 89.4%; leadership, 54.3%; internships, 51.1%; and International agriculture, 31.7%.
Two-thirds of the graduates in agricultural occupations in-dicated the following business subject areas as needing an increased emphasis: business management, accounting and bookkeeping, business finance, and marketing. Fifty-seven percent of the graduates recommended increased emphasis in oral communications and 48% believed instruction in written communications should be increased. One-fourth of the graduates thought instruction in mathematics and statistics should be increased.


Keywords


agricultural science; Texas Tech; graduates

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