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Original Articles

Undergraduate Music Program Alumni's Career Path, Retrospective Institutional Satisfaction, and Financial Status

Pages 1-13 | Published online: 29 Oct 2015


The purpose of this study was to examine undergraduate music education and performance alumni's career path, retrospective institutional satisfaction, and financial status. Data for this study were drawn from respondents from the 2010 administration of the nationwide, multi-institutional survey conducted by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP). Regarding career path, nearly half of the music performance degree graduates reported performing as their current job, and slightly more than half of the music education degree graduates reported working in K–12 schools. Participants were generally satisfied with their institutional experiences, although relatively low levels of satisfaction were reported for networking and career advising services. The respondents reported being most satisfied with aspects of their current jobs that reflected the intrinsic benefits of contributing to a greater good, satisfying personal interests and values, and opportunities to be creative. The majority of the sample reported accruing student loan debt ranging between $10,000 and $30,000; however, no significant differences were found between groups, and 40 percent of the participants reported having accrued no debt at all. The reported annual income of the participants varied significantly, with music educators reporting higher earnings than performers.

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