The Board of Governors’ Annual Baccalaureate Follow-Up Study, was recently released and is designed to answer the following four research questions: 1) Do graduates get jobs? 2) Do graduates pursue further education? 3) Do graduates work while pursuing additional education? 4) What are the starting salaries of graduates?
The good news; Florida college graduates are finding jobs, with 92 percent employed within one year of completing their bachelor’s degrees. One out of four graduates who worked also continued their education at the same time. Additionally, the overall median wage for recent graduates is up $2,800, from $36,300 to $39,100 between 2014 and 2015. The two most common majors were Business and Marketing (19 percent) and the Health Professions (12 percent). Engineering graduates fared best, at a median of $58,600 in terms of salaries.
Many graduates also chose to continue their educations, with 30 percent pursuing additional degrees. Of those students, 74 percent were enrolled and working at the same time. The fields with the highest number of graduates pursuing further education were Health Professions, Biological Sciences, Business and Marketing, Psychology, and Social Sciences.The report’s data has various practical uses, including helping students choose majors that lead to the career outcomes they desire. And, later, helping students negotiate their first salaries. The data also notes a gap between the average starting wages of women and men and between minority and all students. In the hands of career centers, this data could help students negotiate more appropriate salaries and know their value in the marketplace.
“This study is one of the Board of Governors’ most important initiatives because it helps us know whether our universities are successful at preparing students for employment,” said State University System Chancellor Marshall Criser III. “The resounding answer is ‘yes.’ So the next question is, ‘what can we take away from this data to help us build on our success?”