Lifelong Project Impact

WPI’s distinctive project-based educational model has been praised by the most recognized and valued resources in the academic world, as well as by those who know the benefits of a WPI education firsthand—WPI students and alumni. 

While we’ve never had any doubt about the value of this method of education, we now have powerful empirical evidence of its effectiveness—an extensive study of more than 2,200 WPI alumni, conducted in 2021 and 2012, has confirmed that there are lifelong professional and personal benefits of experiential, hands-on learning through project work.

In the 2021 survey—analysis conducted by Hanover Research—alumni were asked to rate the extent to which their project work contributed to 39 professional skills and abilities, world views, and personal attributes. Respondents from this survey reported significantly greater impact from formal project experience across all 39 areas as compared to alumni surveyed in 2012 regarding the same 39 attributes. The 2021 survey also revealed that:

  • Female alumni reported more positive impact of project work than males in all 39 areas, with the most notable differences in world views and personal impacts.
  • 95% of respondents reported that their project experience prepared them for their current career.
  • In addition to major project requirements, 98% of respondents indicated they had projects in at least some of their courses at WPI.

Of the more than 2,200 alumni across a span of 39 years who responded to the 2021 survey on the impact of their project experiences:

Preview

2021 PBL Alumni Survey Data

 

In industry, it isn't what you know today, but more importantly what you are able to learn. WPI and its project-based curriculum taught me how to learn and feel comfortable with the unknowns.
  • WPI Alumnus '00
  • Electrical Engineering
Project work is key to prepare students for real life work.
  • WPI Alumnus '85
  • Chemical Engineering
My experience at WPI was one that shaped my career and set the stage for my success in the real world.
  • WPI Alumnus '10
  • Industrial Engineering
The culture of WPI is rooted in projects, and this focus on collaboration and creative problem-solving has had far-reaching effects on my life both personally and professionally after leaving WPI.
  • WPI Alumnus '12
  • Biomedical Engineering