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REFERENCE DEFT,

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COLLEGE
A Study of Alumnae
of the Class of

1945




U.S. D E P A R T M E N T OF L A B O R
Arthur J. Goldberg, Secretary
WOMEN'S BUREAU
Mrs. Esther Peterson, Director

FIFTEEN YEARS
AFTER COLLEGE
A Study of Alumnae of the
Class of 1945

Women's Bureau Bulletin 283

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Arthur J. Goldberg, Secretary




WOMEN'S BUREAU
Mrs. Esther Peterson, Director
1962

U.S. Government Printing Office : 19G2
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Washington 25, D.C. - Price 15 cents




Foreword
Our country needs to utilize to the fullest extent possible the talents
of educated women. Most college women agree that their major
contribution to society is in the role of wife and mother. They also
want to make fuller use of their minds and talents, and when their
children are old enough, many think about continuing their education
or getting a paid job.
Inquiries received by the Women's Bureau from mature women
college graduates indicate that further information is needed about
this group as a basis for more intelligent understanding of their
needs and problems. Although the main purpose of this exploratory study was to test the feasibility of a broader survey in the future,
the information gained does provide some insight into the activities
and interests of educated women who have reached an age when
home and family responsibilities make fewer demands upon their
time. Analyses of the findings also point up the necessity of making
available to women more and better opportunities for counseling,
training, and employment if we hope to help them achieve personal
fulfillment and make their maximum contribution to society.




ESTHER PETERSON,

Director, Womerts Bureau.

m

Acknowledgments
This exploratory study was initiated and developed
on the basis of suggestions of Mrs. Alice K. Leopold,
former Director of the Women's Bureau, and Miss
Alice Gore King, Executive Director of the Alumnae
Advisory Center, Inc., of New York, N.Y. They
obtained the cooperation of the presidents and alumnae
associations of four colleges which supplied the names
and addresses of their alumnae, class of 1945. Appreciation is extended to these college officials and to the
alumnae whose participation helped make this survey
possible.
The report was written by Jean A. Wells, of the
Bureau's Division of Program Planning, Analysis,
and Reports, of which Stella P. Manor is Chief.

iv




Contents
Fare

Introduction
Survey highlights

1
3

Marital and family status.

4

Education and training; past and present
Employment status in I960.
Volunteer activities
Principal occupations
Future employment plans and interests
Plans for additional education or training
Interest in vocational counseling.
Conclusion

Appendix:

Tables
Questionnaire




5
6
7
8
10
12
13
14
16
23

v

FIFTEEN YEARS
AFTER COLLEGE
A Study of Alumnae
of the Class of 1945
Introduction
One of the most dramatic events taking place in today's world of
wo^k is the great influx of married women. It is now quite customary
for married women to consider combining homemaking with outside
employment when their children are in school or grown, and their
family and home responsibilities have lessened.
As recently as 1940, there were just 4.2 million working wives. By
1950, the number was up to 8.6 million and by 1961, had jumped
to 13.3 million.1 Some of this increase can be explained by the population increase and by the fact that marriages are occurring at a
relatively early age. The number of married women increased from
28.5 million in 1940 to 40.5 million in .1961. But more significant has
been the change in social attitudes concerning the employment of
married women. Husbands no longer consider it a reflection on their
earning ability if their wives have a paying job, and the earnings
of these married women have contributed to our country's high standard of living—including the rise in homeownership and the increase
in the number of college-educated youth. This social change is
apparent in the fact that 33 percent of all married women were working in 1961, as compared with only 15 percent in 1940.
Forecasts anticipate a continuation of this trend. If the estimated
figure of 18 to 20 million married women workers by 1970 is reached,
the labor-force participation rate may then exceed 40 percent among
married women.
What do these statistics and forecasts mean in terms of the women
themselves? What are the interests and needs of mature women
when fewer demands are made upon their time? Do those who are
planning to return to the labor market feel the need of further edu1

T h e figures given here refer to " m a r r i e d woman w i t h husband present."




l

cation or training? Do they want employment counseling or information? What kinds of work would they like to obtain?
Questions such as these are continually being received by the
Women's Bureau. The letters come from educators, business and
industrial leaders, government officials, and others—as well as from
interested individual women. Many inquire about the utilization of
educated womanpower and its relationship to the continued growth
of our Nation. They are concerned that adequate attention be given
to the potential economic contribution of women who have received
a good basic education but have been away from the academic or
business world for a period of time.
As a basis for better understanding of the interests and needs of
mature educated women, the Women's Bureau cooperated with the
Alumnae Advisory Center, Inc., in an exploratory survey of a small
group of alumnae2 of the class of 1945. In the winter of 1960-61,
questionnaires were mailed to 674 women. They were asked to describe such factors as their marital and family status, educational
attainment, employment interests, training needs, and related matters.
All were alumnae of four liberal arts colleges—two coeducational and
two women's colleges—which are members of the Center.
The number of women who completed the questionnaire was 580,
including 500 who had earned a baccalaureate degree and 80 who were
nongraduates. The total number of women graduated from college in
the school year 1944^45 was estimated at 74,000.
Because of the limited coverage, it is important to emphasize that
the survey is exploratory and that the findings relate only to the
alumnae of the four colleges surveyed. Despite this limitation, however, the study does give a general indication of some of the primary
interests and plans of college-educated women and points to the need
for, and feasibility of, a more extensive study of this group in the
future.
The survey findings in some instances varied considerably among the
four colleges. However, no attempt was made to analyze the differences because of the small number of colleges involved and the agreement to keep the detailed information confidential.
8 T h e term " a l u m n a e " as used in this report refers to aU members of the class of 1945,
both graduates and nongraduates.

2



Survey Highlights
The survey's focus on the present employment status and future
plans of mature women evidently touched a very responsive chord in
this group. More than 85 percent of the alumnae to whom questionnaires were mailed, about 15 years after college, supplied the requested
information. The first mailing of the questionnaire and one reminder
brought responses from as many as 74 to 79 percent of the alumnae
in the four colleges (table 1). Followup communications revealed
that some of the nonrespondents had moved from their last reported
address and may never have received a questionnaire.
The high interest of these college women in future training and
employment was revealed in another way. When asked specifically,
"Are you interested in obtaining a paid position in the future?" those
giving affirmative answers ranged from almost one-half to almost
two-thirds of the graduates (from 40 percent in one college to 63
percent in another). Only a few (ranging from 8 to 20 percent) reported no interest in future employment. Many graduates already
were employed, although the figures varied considerably among the
colleges, ranging from 16 to 45 percent.
Large proportions of the college women from each school felt the
need of additional training or education to obtain the type of position
they would like. This was true of a majority (54 to 71 percent)3
of the alumnae of all the four survey colleges. The proportions were
highest (62 to 72 percent) among those who were not employed at
the time of the survey. University courses were named much more
frequently than nonuniversity courses as the type of further education or training desired; significant numbers wanted to take courses
leading toward teacher certification. Relatively few reported interest
in business and commercial courses.
s T h e figures shown In parentheses throughout the report refer to the range f o r the f o u r
colleges; they are included Instead of a single average a s a reminder t h a t the data represent alumnae f r o m only four colleges.

638350—62




2

3

Marital and Family Status
Women who had been out of college for at least 15 years were surveyed on the assumption that many are at an age when they are
thinking about a new pattern of living. Most have been married
for some time, and their children are growing up and spending a
good portion of each day in school.
These generalizations describe quite well the situation of the alumnae (class of 1945) who participated in the cooperative survey of the
Women's Bureau and the Alumnae Advisory Center, Inc. At least
83 percent of the women graduates of each of the four survey colleges
reported they were married. Relatively few of the survey graduates
were single and even smaller percentages were widowed, separated,
or divorced (table 2).
More than 90 percent of the married graduates of each college had
children, but just a few had small children only. The largest proportions had children of both school and preschool age, and significant
percentages had children of school age only. The low percentages
of women with small children were related, of course, to the fact that
most of the women surveyed were in their late thirties.
Interest in changing the pattern of their lives was confirmed by the
comments of some of the survey respondents. Such comments often
revealed a strong note of hesitancy or doubt about how to proceed,
as indicated in the following:
. . there will be a great deal more time available to
me . . . time I should like to use in as constructive a
manner as possible . . .
I feel somewhat at a loss as to
my future plans . . . . I think I would like first to continue my education, perhaps toward an advanced degree."
"These thoughts (about returning to work or returning
to school) are constantly on my mind but I haven't decided
what I should do or how I should go about it."

4




Education and Training:
Past and Present
The undergraduate education of the alumnae covered a wide range
of specialties—with certain subjects more popular in some schools
than in others. Since the cooperating schools were liberal arts colleges, it is not surprising to find that the largest proportions of the
graduates had majored in the social sciences, English, psychology, and
biological sciences. There were also significant percentages of women
graduates with majors in history, chemistry, foreign languages,
sociology and social work, and music (table 3).
An interesting fact revealed about the undergraduate education of
this group of 1945 graduates is that relatively few (1 to 14 percent)
had majored in "education"-—the undergraduate specialty of about
half the women graduates of all colleges in recent years. For example,
46 percent of all the women who earned a baccalaureate degree in
1959-60 reported an education major. The difference may be due to
the types of colleges attended by each of the two groups. The women
referred to in the class of 1959-60 covered those from all institutions
of higher education, including many teachers colleges and State
universities and colleges. The latter might be expected to have larger
numbers of "education" majors than do liberal arts colleges.4
Only small numbers of the women had obtained an advanced degree
during the 15 years since graduation. Women with doctorates
amounted to no more than 4 percent of the graduates from any of
the four colleges. Relatively more (8 to 19 percent) had earned a
master's degree (table 4). As might be expected, advanced degrees
were found more often among the single than among the married
women graduates.
At the time of the survey—the winter of 1960-61—very few graduates were candidates for an advanced degree or certificate. Most
of these were studying for a master's degree, but some were working
toward a doctorate or a teaching certificate (table 5).
Additional percentages of the women graduates (9 to 32 percent)
had taken at least one graduate course not considered to be part of a
* There has been, of course, a steady growth and stimulation of interest in teaching as
a career. A m o n g all women with earned degrees f r o m all institutions of higher learning*
the proportion majoring in "education" h a s increased considerably since 1 9 4 5 . See reports
of the Office of Education, U . S . Department of Health, Education, and W e l f a r e .




5

degree requirement. The various graduate courses reported by the
women covered many subjects—with "education," sociology and social
work, and the health fields mentioned most frequently. Since college,
some of the alumnae had also taken one or more undergraduate
courses, and some had studied business and commercial subjects.
Comparatively few of the survey respondents reported taking preparatory courses for professional nursing, or any other vocational courses.

Employment Status in 1960
A majority of the class of 1945 alumnae from each of the four
colleges were housewives who were not working outside the home.
Of the reporting alumnae, higher proportions of graduates than
nongraduates were employed (table 6). This tendency for the employment of women to increase with their level of education resembles
the situation in the population as a whole. In 1959, the labor-force
participation rate was 53 percent among all college graduates and
40 percent among those with some college but no degree.
Of the few alumnae (class of 1945) who had remained single, virtually all were employed at full-time jobs. Many of the single
graduates had worked continuously since college and almost all
reported at least 10 years of employment.
Among those who were widowed, separated, or divorced, at least
three out of four from each of the colleges were employed in 1960-61,
some in part-time jobs. The work experience of this group varied
greatly, ranging from no years of paid work to as many as 15 years.
Lower proportions of the married than unmarried alumnae were
working outside the home. Even fewer of the married nongraduates
were employed than were the married graduates. For married
alumnae—both graduates and nongraduates—part-time jobs tended to
be more prevalent than full-time jobs. Among the four survey colleges, the proportions of married graduates who were employed
ranged from 10 to 36 percent; the proportions of those employed
part time ranged from 8 to 19 percent (table 7).
Although a majority of the 1945 alumnae of each of the survey
colleges were not employed at the time of the survey, large percentages
had held at least one paid job between college and the winter of 196061 (table 8). This was true for more of the women graduates than
of the women nongraduates. Some of the married alumnae (both
graduates and nongraduates) had worked over half of the time since
leaving college, but most reported 5 years or less of paid employment.
6




Among the married graduates, about half from each of the colleges
had 5 years or less of employment and relatively few had 10 years or
more.
The work experience was more recent for the surveyed graduates
than for the nongraduates. Many of the women graduates had held
a paid job since 1955, but most of the nongraduates had not worked
since 1950 (table 9).

Volunteer Activities
Many of the alumnae were active in volunteer services. In fact,
much higher proportions (83 to 91 percent) participated in volunteer
work in the winter of 1960-61 than worked for pay (16 to 39 percent).
Membership in educational, cultural, or recreational organizations
was reported by substantial groups of alumnae from all four survey
colleges. Many were also associated with civic, political, or welfare
service organizations and religious organizations. Relatively small
proportions of the alumnae said they were members of professional
associations. This may result from the fact that most of the alumnae
were not employed at the time of the survey.
Some of the alumnae who were busy with volunteer activities had
been disillusioned with brief job experiences. For example, a psychology major who was married and the mother of two children had
worked about 1 year after leaving college and reported:
" I never found a job that utilized my training, intelligence,
or aptitudes. Salaries in any interesting fields were not remunerative enough. Some were below minimum wage
standards."

However, other alumnae who engaged in both volunteer activities
and paid employment believed that unpaid volunteer work in some
organizations was becoming less attractive. A pertinent comment
follows:
''Employees receive more recognition than volunteers.
There is need for both, but the paid individual has the edge
on the volunteer. The paid person, I believe, receives the
more responsible assignments and therefore has more incentive, interest, and satisfaction."




7

Principal Occupations
Of the graduates who had had at least one paid job since graduation, a majority reported a professional position as the most responsible one they had held. The proportions ranged from 50 to 73 percent in the four colleges (table 10). Of the graduates with some
employment history, a minority (18 to 34 percent) named a clerical
job as their most responsible position; the job of secretary or stenographer predominated in this category. Very few of the graduates
listed a managerial, sales, or service position as their most responsible
one.
The undergraduate major of the graduates appeared to have a
strong influence on whether or not they had engaged in professional
work. There were decidedly larger proportions of professional
workers among the graduates who had majored in a technical or
specialized skill (nursing or health, chemistry, biological science,
sociology and social work, or physical education) than among those
with majors in liberal arts subjects (foreign languages, psychology,
English, history, music, or social sciences). Conversely, there were
more clerical workers among the liberal arts majors than among the
technical subject majors.
The predominant professional group among the graduates were
the teachers (14 to 21 percent of those with some employment history),
followed usually by social workers and biological technicians. A
fairly wide diversity characterized the professional positions of the
remaining graduates. The variety of responsible positions held by
the class of 1945 graduates include: budget examiner, college registrar, college residence and admissions officer, director of chemical
services in missile research and development, education program coordinator, head computer, physician, research physicist, school psychologist, systems engineer, TV performer and researcher, and
university lecturer.
This pattern of very diversified professional occupations differs
to a marked degree from the job picture reported by recent women
college graduates (classes of June 1955, 1956, and 1957) throughout
the country. As many as three-fifths of the employed graduates in
these later classes were teaching 6 months after graduation. The
remaining two-fifths, however, were holding numerous professional
positions. The marked difference in the proportion of teachers can
8




probably be traced again to the types of colleges attended by the
two groups and to the relatively fewer women who prepare for
teaching in the liberal arts colleges.
Of the nongraduates with some employment history, the proportions reporting professional positions ranged from only 11 to 29
percent in the four colleges. Clerical work was named by the largest
percentages (33 to 63 percent) of the nongraduates. In addition,
others reported their most responsible positions as managers, officials,
proprietors, or as salespersons.
When they considered the appropriateness of their college training
in terms of their employment experiences, numerous alumnae criticized
the counseling and guidance they had received. Some lamented the
lack of information which might have helped them anticipate typical
situations arising when marriage and outside work are combined.
This viewpoint is expressed by a graduate living in a small town
away from the many and varied job opportunities of metropolitan
areas, as follows:
"We have been trained for careers, rather than for jobs
which are available to married women who must live
wherever their husbands work.'*

Some of the strongest comments stressed the conviction that colleges should provide women with more and better vocational counseling and guidance. Illustrative of this view were the following:
" I think the biggest single lack in undergraduate schools
is the lack of guidance in choosing a profession for which you
are suited and wiU be challenging and rewarding to you."
"Strongly recommend a thorough vocational check not later
than the end of the freshman year of college."
. . perhaps all students in any college or university
should be required to take a vocational guidance exam which
might be helpful in choosing course of studies."
"I would strongly advise more and better job information
during college years."

There were also some who seemed convinced that secretarial skills
were almost a prerequisite for a woman's success in the business
world. An especially forceful testimonial came from a history major
who had advanced to the position of office manager and secretarytreasurer of an industrial and public relations firm, and who wrote:
"Typing and shorthand should be part of a woman's education if she plans to enter the business world. Thefirstjob you
get after leaving coUege wiU be a much better one if you have
office skills. . .

Somewhat similar views were held by an economics major who
became a customer relations representative of a utility company and




9

by a political science major who became a copywriter for a radio
station. Their respective comments follow:
"When first seeking employment, I found the lack of typing
knowledge a drawback. . . . I found most employers I contacted wanted this skill even though I was not applying for a
typist position as such."
"Found it discouraging after graduation to be told that the
only openings for women were secretarial."

A few of the alumnae offered the opinion that the employment
difficulties of themselves or their friends were associated with the
fact that they were women. One graduate, although pleased with
her own advancement to the position of "radio production officer"
in the armed services, stated:
"I believe a great deal is still needed to be done regarding
employment chances for women. There is still considerable
prejudice."

A physicist who had worked both for private industry and government also voiced concern about job discrimination against women
and noted:
"Industrial experiences involved considerable sex discrimination. Research institute and government have been much
more satisfactory in this respect."

Other comments of the alumnae were related particularly to
women's chances for job improvement and advancement, as, for
example:
" . . . I have found that by working for understaffed, underpaid nonprofit organizations I was able to enlarge the scope of
my job more easily than in a more specialized commercial
company."
"Men still are preferred for positions of authority—to the
point where no woman, however well qualified, could hope to
be considered for certain executive positions."

Future Employment Plans and Interests
A majority of the survey alumnae not already employed in the
winter of 1960-61 indicated an interest in future employment. Interest was somewhat greater among the graduates than among the nongraduates, although all of the nongraduates from one school reported
such interest. However, many of the alumnae also indicated they were
10




not considering seeking a job for at least 5 years and relatively few
were thinking of the immediate future ("within 1 year") (table 6).
It is especially noteworthy that, of the alumnae who showed some
interest in future employment, almost all mentioned a preference for
part-time work. This was true both for the graduates (73 to 90 percent) and the nongraduates (83 to 100 percent). Some had already
looked for a part-time job and were distressed to find a scarcity of
part-time opportunities, particularly in professional fields. The following comments reflect their dissatisfaction with this situation:
" Ifindit difficult to secure a part-time job with the pay and
responsibility I believe I am capable of."
. although I have proved my competence as a biostatistician, I have found very little sympathy when I look for parttime work.*'
. . supervisory scientists confided to me personally that I
could be of great help even if only part time but that company
policy would not permit it."
"I have always regretted the unavailabiUty of part-time jobs
for college-trained women."

Interest in part-time employment is so high that some of the
alumnae wish they had considered this factor when choosing their
college specialization, as indicated in the following remark:
"Guidance while in college toward an occupation which can
be done part time would have been very useful."

When reporting the type of future job they had in mind, the graduates responded very differently from the nongraduates. Virtually
all of the graduates (81 to 88 percent) wanted a professional position—
with teaching their greatest preference. Some of the nongraduates
(23 to 75 percent) also hoped for a professional job, but many of this
group named clerical, sales, or health service work.
At first glance, it might seem somewhat strange that teaching should
have so much more appeal for the survey graduates in 1960-61 than it
did during their undergraduate days. Several comments offered by
the graduates, however, may help explain their change of interest.
Probably the most frequently expressed comment came from those
who had moved to small towns because of their husbands' work and
who reported that teaching was the only professional work open to
them. Some of the alumnae expressed strong dissatisfaction with the
education their own children were receiving and considered it their
duty to utilize their education and talents in trying to remedy the
situation. Others remarked on teachers' desirable working hours,
which allowed them to be at home the same time as their children were.




11

This latter reason was offered by a chemistry major with a master's
degree when she commented:
"Would actually prefer going back to private industry but
because of small children, teaching would seem to be the
answer."

Plans for Additional Education
or Training
A strong feeling of need for more education or training existed
among the survey alumnae—a feeling that was expressed by large
proportions of employed alumnae (44 to 71 percent) as well as by
those not employed (62 to 72 percent) (table 11). In fact, some
alumnae in both groups reported that they had already made plans
to obtain additional employment training.
The fact that the graduates and nongraduates alike were interested principally in university courses may be associated with their
college background or their desire to study in fields related to their
undergraduate major. Among the graduates who specified the kind of
additional education or training they wished, the largest group was
comprised of those interested in obtaining a teaching certificate.
Others named courses in the social sciences and the humanities.
In addition, small groups were considering courses in the health
fields and in the natural sciences. Only a few of the graduates but
relatively more of the nongraduates indicated any interest in business courses or "miscellaneous training courses." Significant proportions of the nongraduates wanted to take undergraduate courses
leading to a degree.
Some alumnae commented on their need for further preparation
before returning to the world of work; others, on their difficulties
in finding suitable educational or training facilities in their locality.
Among the former were graduates who wrote:
"I feel unqualified to do anything but a routine type of
job, which would be very dull."
"I find myself now, with my children all in school, time
on my hands, a desire to add to family income, and having
no job training of a practical nature."
"Many women in my position would like to work in some
constructive way outside the home but are greatly discouraged by lack of recent experience."
12




Those having trouble finding the kind of training they wanted
made the following remarks :
"Beginning courses in technical fields are generally available but women who have technical majors and need a
brush-up course or the latest information in order to return
to workfindnothing available."
"I feel the need for more educational facilities in this
area at modest rates to further my education—for my job
and for my children's future."

Interest in Vocational Counseling
Significant numbers of the women alumnae responded affirmatively
when asked if they would like assistance in choosing a suitable field of
work. Generally, these were women who had had very little employment experience and weren't sure where or how they might fit into
the present working world, as reflected in the following comments:
" I should like to return to the labor market but I am not
sure what I would be best suited for. I should like to take
aptitude tests . . ."
"I have a great hunger to return to the 'world' now that
my baby-raising years are over, but wouldn't know how to
begin . . . . I should be very grateful for guidance."

Other alumnae were interested in learning about jobs which would
be compatible with the demands of their home life, as, for example:
"It seems to me that it would be most welcome and rewarding for mothers returning to work to have information on
available opportunities for work that can be done in the
house, either partly or completely."

As might be expected, assistance in choosing a suitable field of work
was desired by more of the women graduates who were not employed
(16 to 42 percent) than by the employed graduates (3 to 38 percent)
(table 12). Among the nongraduates, on the other hand, there were
generally larger proportions of the employed than of those not employed who wished help. However, more of the nongraduates than
of the graduates said they had no work plans.
The type of assistance or information desired by most of the alumnae
included both general facts about employment opportunities and trends
and detailed knowledge about the qualifications required for specific
occupations. Those who were employed at the time of the survey
showed considerable interest in these matters, as did the alumnae who




13

were not employed. This indication of interest might mean that some
of the employed women wanted more information to help them advance
on the job or make a possible job change.
Large proportions of the women alumnae also stated that they
wished more information about education or training courses conducted in their local area. This wish prevailed among many employed alumnae as well as those not employed, and supports the
premise that many of the employed alumnae are interested in making
a job change or in preparing for a better position.

Conclusion
Even though the information gathered was limited to only a small
group of alumnae who had been out of college at least 15 years, the
survey provided information about the needs and interests of a
significant group of educated women in the country. These women
view the roles of wife and mother as the major ones in life. But
many also feel that marriage, a natural part of a woman's development, need not be her only concern. In addition to the usual activities
connected with housework, child rearing, clubwork, and recreation,
these women expressed a strong need for other ways to assert their
individuality, to attain personal recognition, and to serve society.

Most of the survey alumnae reported that they were doing or had
done volunteer work in their community. But some found that such
work was not sufficiently satisfying. Volunteer service seemed to offer
less recognition than paid employment; in general, the paid employees were favored with the more interesting, responsible, and
satisfying assignments.
As their children grow older, significant numbers of alumnae indicated interest in working outside the home. Some stated emphatically
that their husband's income was sufficient to support the family and
that they wanted a job because of their personal need to utilize their
minds and skills. Concern about their potentialities and the utilization of their talents was voiced by many of the alumnae.
Some of these alumnae—including those with a baccalaureate
degree—disclosed, however, that they were at a loss to know how to
proceed. They were uncertain about what kind of a job they would
like to get, whether or what additional education or training was
needed, and which employment fields offered the best opportunities
for them.
14




At this period in their life—about 15 years after leaving college—
from 16 to 40 percent of the alumnae of the four colleges were working outside the home and a small proportion were thinking of seeking
work in the immediate future. Larger percentages thought they
might be interested in going to work about 2 to 5 years later. This
raises the question whether it might not also be profitable to make a
similar study of college alumnae who have been out of school for
about 20 years. At other stages of their development, their outlook
and needs would probably be very different, as mentioned by a graduate who indicated she had married later than most of her classmates
and said:
. . my needs would be different if I decided to go back
to work at age 46 or 47. I wonder if any jobs exist which
would use my abttities?"

The questions and doubts raised by the alumnae surveyed underline the necessity of paying more attention to their situation. Cooperative action would seem to be indicated on the part of various
groups in our society if the needs made apparent in the study are to
be met. Some of the alumnae made it very clear that their desire
to get a paying job when their children are older creates special
problems and interests which need to be recognized by counseling
and guidance personnel. Only then can these women hope to obtain
the kind of job information and assistance which will be applicable
to their individual and family needs.
Some of the alumnae have also pointed out their need for more
education and training to better qualify them for entry or reentry
into the labor market. To help them attain such training, there is
need for educators and training officers to review their training
courses and facilities—to see whether such aspects as admission requirements, time schedules, variety of courses offered, etc., are consistent with the interests of the educated women in their area.
The employment plans of the alumnae and the initial experiences
that some have had in trying to find jobs also established that
there is an urgent need for employers, both private and public, to
give greater consideration to qualified mature women in hiring
for professional positions and to show greater willingness to develop mutually satisfactory working arrangements, such as parttime assignments when feasible.
The interests and attitudes expressed by these educated women
indicate that efforts to spread awareness of their needs and to provide them with special services can be expected, in most instances, to
bring mutual benefits to all concerned. Our entire Nation should
profit, since there is need to utilize fully the available talents of all
our citizens, especially those who are trained and educated.




15

APPENDIX
[Because of rounding, percentages in these tables do not always total 100.]
TABLE

1.—Response to Exploratory

Study of Women Alumnae, Class of 1945
Total

Item

Number

College
A

College
B

College
C

100

272
100

147
100

130
100

125
100

Percent

College
D

At Total Alumnae
Total questionnaires mailed:
Number
Percent
:

674

Total respondents

580

85

90

84

86

57
19
3
7

55
20
1
9

62
15
5
8

61
18
3
2

54
20
4
7

94

Nonresponse

86

387
126
20
47

1st mailing
2d mailing
3d mailing
4th communication

14

15

10

16

14

100

223
100

111
100

82
100

84
100

69
20
4
7

65
24
2
9

69
17
6
7

79
15
5
1

67
21
5
7

B. Graduates Only 1
Total respondents:
Number
Percent
*

500

1st mailing
2d mailing
3d mailing
4th communication

343
102
19
36

1 Covers alumnae who earned a baccalaureate degree, regardless of whether awarded by the survey college
oranother college.

TABLE

2.—Marital and Family Status of Alumnae, Class of 19%5
Total

Item

Alumnae

Graduates only

Graduates

C

B

D

Percent distribution

A„ Marital Status
Total respondents

A

—

Single
Married
Widowed, separated, or divorced

100

100

100

100

100

100

8
88
4

9
87
4

11
86
4

5
89
5

4
94
2

12
83
5

B. Family Status
100

100

100

100

100

100

With children

95

94

94

94

96

92

Under 6 years only
Both under 6 years and 6 to 17 years..
6 to 17 years only
With no children

11
45
38
5

12
47
35
6

16
43
35
6

10
47
37
6

8
57
32
4

9
46
36
8

Total who are or have been marr ( ed.

16




TABLE

3.—Undergraduate Ma jor of Alumnae, Class of 1945
Total

Undergraduate major

Alumnae

Graduates

Graduates

A

B

O

D

Percent distribution
Total respondents
Art
Biological sciences
Chemistry
Education
English
History
Languages
Mathematics and statistics
Music
Physical sciences, n.e.c. *
Psychology
Social sciences, n.e.c. 1
Sociology and social work
Other

100

100

100

100

100

100

3
8
7
6
11
8
7
4
6
2
10
13
7
8

2
9
7
5
11
8
7
4
6
3
10
13
7
8

3
7
11
1
12
9
9
4
3
2
9
14
8
8

1
12
5
6
15
8
5
5
3
6
4
21
4
5

1
4
5
14
5
5
8
6
8

4
13
2
5
7
5
6
1
17
1
15
9
6
10

15
4
11
14

* Not elsewhere classified.

TABLE

4.—Educational Attainment of Alumnae, Class of 1945

Highest level of education

Total

A

O

B

D

Number

Percent

579

100

100

100

100

100

12
77
410
80
26
33
18
3

2
13
71
14
4
6
3
1

4
18
74
4
2
1

1
11
73
15
2
7
5
1

6
68
26
6
14
6

2
13
64
21
11
6
4
1

499

100

100

100

100

100

12
77
410

2
15
82

4
19
77

1
13
86

8
92

3
17
81

Percent distribution

A, Total Alumnae
Total respondents
Doctorate
Master's degree
Bachelor's degree
No degree total
3 to 4 years of college
2 to 3 years of college
1 to 2 years of college
Less than 1 year of college - - - -

0)
w

B. Graduates Only
Total respondents
Doctorate
Master's degree
Bachelor's degree
i Fewer than 1 percent.




17

TABLE

5.—Formal Education and Training Courses of Alumnae Since College
Graduates

Alumnae
Item

Total

Nongraduates

Graduates

11
1

580

500

30
100

30
100

210
100

210
100

106
100

40
100

142
100

Total respondents.Those who are candidates for a graduate degree or certificate:
Number
Percent

109
100

55
100

26
100

223

(0

0)

Doctorate
Master's degree
Teaching certificateOther certificate
Type not reported...
Those "with graduate courses:3 a
Number.
Percent
Education
Health fields
Sociology and social work..
Social science?, n.c.c. 4
Other graduate courses
Those with nongraduate courses:
Number
Percent
Business and commercial courses..,
Nursing (professional) courses
Teaching courses
Other university (nongraduate)
courses.
Vocational courscs
Other nongraduate courses
1 Number of cases too small to show percent distribution,
Includes both those who are currently taking courses and thoso who have taken courses.
* Includes those who are candidates for a graduate degree or certificate.
* Not elsewhere classified.
8 Within this group, the courses most often reported were history, art, psychology, biological science
chemistry,English, and foreign languages.
1

TABLE

6.—Employment Status and Plans of Alumnae, Glass of 19^5
Alumnae
Item

Total

Nongraduates

Graduates
Graduates

B

A

D

C

Percent distribution
100

100

100

100

100

100

32

25

33

33

36

16

45

.....

19
13

16
9

19
14

19
14

20
16

7
9

30
15

2

1

2

2

2

1

—

53

49

53

54

50

63

46

Within 1 year
About 2 to 5 years
Perhaps later—

4
15
34

9
4
36

3
17
33

4
21
29

2
20
28

13
50

2
8
36

Not interested in position

14

25

12

11

12

20

8

Total respondents
Currently employed
Full time
Part time
Seeking a position . . .
Interested in future position

18




-

100

^Table 7.—Employment Status and Plans of Married Graduates, Class of 1945
Total
Item

Number

College

Percent

A

B

D

C

Percent distribution
Total married graduates

432

100

100

108

25

24

30~

KT

36

43
65

10
15

9
16

13
16

3

17
19

Currently employed
Full time
Part time
Seeking a position

100

100

100

8

8

2

3

2

1

258

60

61

55

68

Within 1 year
About 2 to 5 years
Perhaps later

10
83
165

2
19
38

4
23
34

2
22
31

14
53

1
10
43

Not Interested in position

58

13

12

13

21

1
0

Interested In future position

TABLE

54

8.—Years of Paid Employment Since College, Class of 1945
Graduates

Alumnae
Years of employment

Total

Nongraduates

Graduates

A

D

C

B

Percent distribution
100

100

100

100

100

100

100

15 years
14 years
13 years
12 years
11 years

s
3
3
2
3

16

7
3
4
3
3

7
3
4
4
5

8
6
4
1
3

2
2

11
5
6
4
4

10 years
9 years
8 years...
7 years
6 years

5
4
5
6
6

5
1
1
5
3

5
4
5
6
6

7
4
6
7
6

4
5
5
7
4

8
8
10
11
8

5
5
12
18
8

9
8
10
10
8

9
9
8
8
6

7
9
5
10
12

Total respondents

5
4
3
2
1

years
years
years
years
year

Less than 6 months or never employed
Median years of employment




5
2
8
11
11
22
16
5

8
5
10
7
10

9

20

8

7

14

5

5

5.5

3.3

5.7

6.4

5.1

4.3

6.5

19

TABLE

9 . — M o s t Recent Year of Paid Employment, Class of 1945
Graduates

Alumnae
Most recent year of employment

Total

Nongraduates

Graduates

A

B

D

C

Percent distribution
Total respondents

100

TABLE

100

100

31
12
21
27
S

Currently employed
Last employed 1955-1960..
Last employed 1950-1954
Last employed 1945-1949
Never employed since 1945

24
9
8
41
19

33
13
23
25
6

100

100

100

100

35
12
19
21
14

16
7
33
40
4

45
8
24
18
5

33
17
22
24
4

10.—Most Responsible Position Ever Eeld by Alumnae, Class of 1945
Alumnae
Occupation

Total

Nongraduates

Graduates
Graduates

B

A

D

C

Percent distribution
Total ever employed

100

Editors, copywriters, reporters
Social workers
Teachers
Technicians, biological
Other professional
Clerical workers
Secretaries, stenographers
Other clerical

__

100

100

100

100

100

100

54

Professional workers

16

59

60

73

50

53

3
7
15
4
24

6
2
8

4
8
17
5
26

8
7
14
6
25

14
20
5
34

1
8
14
4
23

5
21
3
24

27

48

24

21

18

31

34

11
17

14
34

10
14

10
11

7
10

8
23

16
18

Managers, officials, proprietors

9

13

9

12

3

9

9

Sales

5

4

4

2

8

3

Other ever employed

fi

8
16

3

3

4

3

3

20




TABLE

11.—Training and Education Plans and Interests
Employment Status

of Alumnaet bp

Employed

Item
Total

A

B

Not employed
C

D

Total

A

B

C

D

A. Alumnae
Percent of respondents with training
plans
Percent of respondents who feel need
of more training

45

43

52

47

41

22

28

21

13

24

65

49

71

69

44

68

72

71

64

62

Percent of respondents reporting Interest in specified
type of training or education *
Type of training or education:
Business courses
Refresher courses
Teacher certification courses
Other university courses
Other training

6
5
15
76
8

3
3
23
86
3

3
7
7
73
13

10
10
30
60

12
6
6
71
12

10
2
39
68
2

10
1
38
71
2

11
2
40
71
2

46

44

53

46

43

22

27

21

11

24

54

49

72

64

40

70

71

72

66

69

8
4
43
63

14
33
61
3

B, Graduates
Percent of respondents with training
plans
—
Percent of respondents who feel need
of more training

Percent of respondents reporting interest in specified
type of training or education *
Type of training or education:
Business courses
Refresher courses
- Teacher certification courses
Other university courses
Other training.,.
...

4
1
16
83
7

3
3
24
85
3

4

13

8
81
12

25
75

7
86
14

(J)

8

41
73
1

8
3
13
1
38 "~43~ "~50~
74
74
70
2

10
3
32
71

» Refers to respondents who felt need of more training; some of them reported Interest In more than one
rpe of training or education.
' Fewer than 1 percent.




21

TABLE

12.—Assistance or Information Desired ty Alumnae, by Employment
Status
Employed

Item
Total

A

B

Not employed
C

Total

D

A

B

O

D

A. Alumnae
Percent of respondents who wish assistance in choosing a suitable field
of work

14

16

13

27

8

41

32

32

18

32

Percent of above respondents reporting interest in specified
type of information1
Type of information desired:
Education or training courses in
home area
Employment opportunities and
trends
Qualifications required for specific occupations
Other

52

70

60

33

56

56

70

36

53

81

00

C
O

67

100

74

76

87

71

53

81

90

100

33

67

61
2

54
2

83

57
7

53

13

15

12

38

3

34

42

32

16

33

B. Graduates
Percent of respondents who wish assistance in choosing a suitable field
of work
-

Percent of above respondents reporting interest in specified
type of information i
Type of information desired:
Education or training courses in
home area
Employment opportunities and
trends
Qualifications required for specific occupations
Other

59

67

75

33

82

89

75

67

76

89

100

33

55
100

56

68

20

57

77

75

95

80

57

57
2

54
2

79

40
10

50

i Some of the respondents reported Interest In more than one type of Information.

22




Questionnaire
C N I E TA
O FD N I L

Form approved
Budget Bureau No. UIi-602li

'U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau and the Alumnae Advisory Center, Inc.
jointly conduct a
S R E O W MN A U N E C A S O I9h$
UVY F OE L M A, L S F
Undergraduate
college

Nm
a e

City

State

Please circle O L O E N M E in each question, except where otherwise indicated.
N Y N U BR
Fill in all blank lines where pertinent, but do not f i l l in boxes (inserted for
tabulating purposes). Enter "none" if the item Hoes not apply to you.
I.

KU T L A D F ML S A U
/ HA N
A IY TT S
A.

Marital status
1*

Single

2* Married

3.

Widowed, separated or divorced

B* Enter the number of children you have under 17 years of age, by age group:
Number of children under 6 years
Number of children 6 to 17 years
H. E U A I N
D C TO
A.

Highest-level degree received to date:
1* No degree (specify number of years in college)
2.

B or B
A
S

3-

M or M
A
S

li.

P D or E D
h
d

5.

Other (specify)

B. Undergraduate major (specify)

C.

If you are n w attending or have attended graduate school, what is (was)
o
your field of graduate study?




23

-2-

D- Are you n w a candidate for a graduate degree or certificate?
e
1* Yes

2. N
o

E. If "yes", what degree or type of certificate?

F. If you are taking or have taken any courses not leading toward a degree (like
teaching, nursing, crafts, or business)—
_ > What is (was) your primary field of study?
1

2. N m of school
a e
m.

V L N E R ACTIVITIES
OU T E
A,

If you are at present a member of any voluntary organizations, indicate the
types. (Circle one or more.)
1. Civic, political, or welfare service
2. Educational, cultural, or recreational
3. Professional association
lw Religious
Other (specify)

IV. P O E SO A , A M N S R T V , CLERICAL, O O H R P S T O S
R F SI N L D I IT A I E
R TE
OII N
A. H w m n years of employment have you had since you left undergraduate
o
ay
college? (Include both salaried and self-employment and count years of both
full-time and part-time employment.)

B. W e were you last employed?
hn
1* N w employed
o
2. Last employed in (give year)_
3* Never employed since college

24




C. Give title and brief description of your present or last position since
college.

D.

In what kind of business or industry is (was) this?

What is the most responsible position you have ever held?

F.

If employed at present, are you working full- or part-time?
1* Full time

2.

Part time

G If not employed at present, are you n w seeking a position?
#
o
1.

Tes

2. N
o

H. If not new seeking a position, are you interested in obtaining one in the
future?
1.

Tes, within one year

2.

Tes, about 2 to $ years from now

3.

Doubtful, perhaps later

U No, not interested
*
I.

If interested in a position later or seeking one at present, what type of
position or occupation would you like to find?

J* Would you prefer to obtain a full-time or part-time position?
1.

Full time

2.

Part time

F T R T A N N PUNS
UU E R I I G
A.

Have you made any plans to obtain more education or job training?
!• Tes




2. N
o

25

-liB. D you feel the need for more education or training to obtain the type
o
of position you would like?
1. Tes

2. N
o

C. If "yes", what kind of additional education or training are you
interested in? (Circle one or more.)
1. Refresher or brush-up course in
2. Teacher certification course
3.

Business school courses

U. Graduate education (specify the field)
Other (specify)
D. Would you like assistance in choosing a suitable field of work?
1. Tes

2. N
o

E. Which, if any, of the following types of information would you like?
(Circle one or more*)
Information on:
1.

Qualifications required for specific occupations

2* Education or training courses in your area
3* Employment opportunities and trends
U. Other (specify)
. VI. G N R L C M E T
E E A O M NS
Do you have any general comments to m k concerning your work experiences, argr
ae
unsuccessful attempts to obtain a job, or w y you are not interested in
h
returning to the labor market? (Please use the other side of paper if
desired.)

VII.

N m (please print)
a e
Address

Last

Middle or maiden

First

Street

City

State

(All information received will be held confidential, but we are asking for your
n m and address to avoid writing you again for a reply.)
a e

2$





Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102