During this spring, we have been asking Chalmers Alumni some questions around how they perceived the entrepreneurial environment at Chalmers at the time of their studies, and what they which Chalmers would do more of. We are still in the process of analyzing this data more in depth. As a part of the survey we also somewhat daringly asked what peoples current salary was. Since questions about salaries are of general interest, I wanted to present some information about average salaries.
Note of caution: It should be noted that comparing means or later on evaluating correlations/regressions should not be done without a strong underlying theoretical framework, i.e. it does not provide information on why the data occurs in a certain way, just that it does. The findings are also based on the alumni that chose to reply to the survey, and can therefore not be said to be generalized to all Chalmers Alumns.
Salaries can vary somewhat depending on program that you take at Chalmers. Alumni who graduated (who chose to reply to the survey) from Industrial economics and management and Väg och Vatten earn more than graduates from e.g. Bioteknik and Kemiteknik med fysik. Teknisk fysik med mattematik is excluded due to few responses from this group.
Did you start a new firm?
The graph below shows the relationship between average salary, and if they have started a new firm anytime during their career (among those who chose to reply to the survey). The ones who did, earned on average more than the ones who didn’t. However, as can be shown in the standard deviation, also the risk is significantly higher.
Does male alumni earn more than female alumni? Yes, it seems like it. Male alumni earn on average 6000 more than female alumni.
What about alumni that work internationally, do they earn more than the ones that stay in Sweden?
It seems that way. The average salary of internationally working alumni is 13000sek higher than the average salary for Swedish working alumni.
What if we take all the variables into account in one model? Are international work, Gender and Start-up still valid variables?
Multiple regression on the relationship between international, start up, gender, and program on salary
Bringing all the variables together in one regression supports the overall picture of alumni working abroad, with start-up experience and of male gender earning more than others. Alumni from Väg och Vatten and Industriell ekonomi earn significantly more than other groups, and students from Bioteknik and Kemi med Fysik earn significantly less. The B value indicates the unstandardized effect size. For example, Chalmers Alumni that currently work abroad earn almost 14000 more than Chalmers alumni who work in Sweden. With respect to the Start up variable specifically, this data indicates that Chalmers Alumni with start up experience influence the salary positively by more than 7000. At the same time the standard deviation in the salary for Alumni with start-up experience indicates that it is a risky proposal to start up new businesses. Alumni who were participating in entrepreneurship educational programs have been shown to have similar results in a prior study from the University of Arizona.
The survey was sent to 5481 email addresses in total, and 636 answers were recorded for a raw response rate of 11,6%. I have not tested the data for non-response biases. I did run some more regressions and tests of other variables such as product development experience during and after the education and so on. The patterns discussed above are patterns that are fairly robust provided the current respondents.
If you think this was interesting, I could run a bit more analysis around these numbers and provide some more information.