Alumni Success: Salary, Placement & Happiness

We track success of our alumni based on autonomy: we hope our graduates are doing what they want to do, and have gained the skills, attitude, and network to attain their dreams. More specifically, we track employment, salary, and happiness for our alumni.


AC4D has graduated 53 total alumni, and we have a 92% response rate (n=49) for our annual alumni success survey. Note that some alumni elected not to reveal their salary information, so the numbers below may not total to 49.

96% of our alumni respondents are professionally employed in design related careers (47 alumni)

36 of our alumni respondents are working in salaried (as compared to hourly or contract-based) positions; of these salaried alumni:

  • The mean salary is $109,581
  • The median salary is $105,650
  • The standard deviation is $29,039.35


92% of our alumni respondents are "happy in their current role" (45 alumni)

Alumni responded to the question "How much did your experience at AC4D contribute to your professional success or happiness, on a scale of 1-7, where 7 is the highest" as follows:

  • The mean response is 6.16 out of 7
  • The median response is 6.0 out of 7
  • The standard deviation is 0.98

The qualitative feedback from our alumni indicate that they are challenged, fulfilled, and empowered; students said:

  • "Being an alumni of AC4D is a constant reminder both personally and professionally of how unique and valuable my experience as a student of the school truly was. I feel ever more equipped to tackle a wide spectrum of social challenges. Anchoring my ability to make real social impact is the skill I've gained to develop my own frameworks through which I can navigate ambiguity for myself, but more importantly share that with those around me. I meet the work I do each day with the opportunity to broaden and scale what I gained from my time at AC4D."
  • "What I value most about my experience at AC4D is that it continues to be the foundation that gives me the confidence and autonomy to adjust year to year as 'what I want to be doing' keeps evolving."
  • "I love the world-changing power of technology and feel uniquely educated to advocate for the human experience amongst the change.”
  • "I'm creating new products and services which help shape the world we live in. I get to apply technologies in new way to help solve people's problems using design as a foundation.”
  • "My current work is centered on helping small business owners start, run, and grow their businesses. I'm excited to have the chance to get to know these very creative and courageous people, and do what I can to help them build their vision. Essentially, I get to be part of a team that continually learns, works creatively, and helps others--exactly what I want to be doing.”
  • "Yes, I went to AC4D in the hopes of being able to do design work on the most wicked social problems, which is exactly what I'm doing."


Our alumni have the following titles:

  • Associate Creative Director
  • Creative Designer
  • Design Manager
  • Design Research Lead
  • Design Researcher
  • Design Researcher and Experience Designer
  • Designer
  • Designer-In-Residence
  • Director
  • Director of Engineering
  • Director of Product
  • Director of Strategy
  • Experience Designer
  • Experience Director
  • Experience Strategist
  • Founder + CEO
  • Interaction Design Lead
  • Mobile Experience Designer
  • Principal
  • Principal // Associate
  • Product Designer
  • Research and Service Design Lead
  • Research Coordinator
  • Senior Associate
  • Senior Design Educator
  • Senior Interaction Designer
  • Senior Product / Experience Designer
  • Senior UX Designer
  • Senior UX Researcher
  • Service and UX Designer
  • Support Engineer
  • User Experience Lead
  • User Researcher
  • UX Designer
  • VP of Product