Alumni network analysis

N. Rubens, M. Russell, R. Perez, J. Huhtamäki, Kaisa Still, D. Kaplan, T. Okamoto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Alumni connections are important resources that contribute to university evaluation. Even though alumni connections represent networks, they have been mostly evaluated as tabular data (e.g. by providing average salary, employment rate, etc.). This ironically disregards all qualities of a network, from which an alumni network gets its name. It is desirable to evaluate an alumni network as a network, because networks have the potential to provide very insightful information. Evaluation of alumni networks as a network has not been feasible in the past due to data fragmentation (neither universities nor companies willing to share meaningfully significant data in its entirety). Recently the feasibility of such analysis has changed, due to new trends towards democratization of information, accelerated by the Web 2.0 user-generated content phenomenon and crowd-sourcing mentality. Utilizing web-crawlers, we actively harvested data and assembled a dataset on alumni in leadership positions in technology-based industries. Moreover, we included a high proportion of startup companies, which allowed us to evaluate alumni networks with respect to entrepreneurial as well as technology involvement. We show that by analyzing alumni connections as networks, it is possible to uncover new patterns, as well as provide a new way of examining the old
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2011
PublisherIEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61284-643-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-61284-642-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2011 - Amman, Jordan
Duration: 4 Apr 20116 Apr 2011


ConferenceIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2011
Abbreviated titleEDUCON 2011


  • Alumni networks
  • engineering
  • entrepreneurship
  • network analysis
  • network visualization
  • university metrics


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