Career Moves Benchmarking for the Big 10 – Fall 2021

Career Moves BIG 10

EverTrue analyzed recent Career Moves from alumni of colleges in the Big 10. Here’s what we learned. 

In September 2021, we tracked career movement among alumni at these institutions, identifying graduates who changed jobs or were promoted in the previous three months. Then we went a step further and analyzed high-ranking job-changers (any graduate who took on a new role as a vice president, president, C-level executive, or partner).

Here’s what we learned by looking at alumni career movement within the Big 10.

First off, why is updated career data important?

Career information is a foundational data set for advancement teams. Having up-to-date companies, job titles, and industry data helps teams segment audiences, build strong alumni networks, fuel matching gift programs, update prospect ratings, and more.

Here’s a guide for using career data in alumni relations and development, plus 9 things West Point is doing with continually updated career data.

Yet it’s often difficult to obtain new job information and keep it updated. Or it used to be before EverTrue introduced Career Moves. Now teams can put information like this into action to engage more graduates and build stronger alumni networks.

Analysis of recent Career Moves among Big 10 alumni

Big 10 Advancement

Penn State University is the largest Big 10 member with more than 450,000 alumni on LinkedIn —  more than twice the number of graduates from Northwestern, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Iowa. So it’s no surprise they had the most alumni change jobs in the last 90 days, followed by the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan.

But all Big 10 colleges had more than 5,000 alumni get promoted, change companies, or retire in the last three months. That means each institution sees anywhere from 21,000-84,000 alumni changing jobs each year.

Big 10 Advancement

Now it gets fun! 

Even though Northwestern is the smallest Big 10 member, they saw the highest percentage of alumni change jobs, coming in at almost 7 percent (6.88% to be exact) of all their graduates taking on a new role.

The University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois had 5.93% and 5.81% of their graduates change jobs, respectively. All Big 10 institutions had more than 3.8% of their alumni take on new roles.

Big 10 Advancement

Prospect researchers love career information. Combined with past giving, it’s a great indicator of capacity and useful for assigning prospects. Career changes are also an opportunity for gift officers to reach out and congratulate their assigned prospects.

Here we analyzed the percentage of alumni who had changed jobs in the last 90 days and took on a title that was Vice President, Partner, or in the C-suite. These high-level job changers are ones your team should watch.

Every Big 10 institution had 6.7% or more of their recent job changers take a VP+ position — demonstrating a solid financial return on investment for their alumni.

Northwestern University had the highest percentage with 13.64% of its 11,000 alumni job-changers take a high-ranking position. The University of Michigan saw 11.76% and the University of Illinois had 11.11% of their respective alumni gain a VP+ job title.

While each institution had a different top-3 new employers for its alumni job-changers, three companies appeared most often on the list: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

All three happen to have strong matching gift programs. With many Big 10 alumni at employers with matching gift programs, there are thousands of current donors who can double their gifts via an employer match. Do you know who they are?

Big 10 Companies

How can I put this career data into action?

We’re glad you asked! We’ve put together a guide for using up-to-date career data and ideas from West Point to help you get started.

Career Moves (new from EverTrue) supplies alumni job updates every 90 days, keeping you on top of important career updates. It’s now easy to access this information. Now it’s up to your team to put it into action.

Ready to see more? Request a demo and sample of Career Moves data.


For this analysis, we used our Career Moves tools to analyze LinkedIn data on job changes within Big 10 member institutions, looking at every alum who updated their LinkedIn profile between the end of May to the end of August.

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