Occupations entered by agriculture education graduates of Virginia Polytechnic Institute 1948-1958

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute

The Problem.- To determine occupations entered by Agricultural Education graduates of Virginia Polytechnic Institute from 1948 through 1958, their financial advancement, and relationship of undergraduate success to success, after graduation.

Purposes.- To determine fields of employment, beginning salaries, number who have changed jobs, reasons for job changes, educational advancements, relationship of quality credit average and co-curricular activities to occupational choices and advancement, and curriculum changes graduates thought desirable.

Method.- Study was based on student records and on objective questionnaire which was mailed to each of the 333 living individuals to secure additional data. Returns were received from 272 (81.7 percent) of the graduates.

Findings.- The 236 Bachelor's degree graduates entered 24 different occupations immediately after graduation, but in 1958 they were employed in 50 different occupations. Beginning salaries for all occupations averaged $3,211, while the 1958 salaries averaged $5,235. Salaries averaged $3,076 for 144 beginning teachers of vocational agriculture. In 1958, 82 teachers of vocational agriculture received salaries averaging $4,643.

One hundred and ninety (69.9 percent) graduates changed jobs one or more times since graduation. Better opportunity to advance and to obtain a higher salary were the major reasons for not teaching vocational agriculture and for leaving the profession. Less than 15.0 percent of the graduates earned advanced degrees.

There was no definite relationship between quality credit averages or participation in co-curricular activities and fields of employment, but an apparent relationship existed between these factors and success and advancement.

Six areas of increased course offerings were suggested.