The National Association of Colleges and Employers released its annual report diving into the outcomes of college students six months post-graduation.
Bachelor’s degree recipients
The bachelor’s degree Class of 2015 had a positive year in terms of outcomes as compared to last year’s class. The percent employed improved, a greater percentage continued their education, and starting salaries increased. This was true for bachelor’s degree graduates throughout the US. Within six months of graduation, over 82% of students who earned a bachelor’s degree were either employed or continuing their education. Those with a full-time position at a traditional employer increased from 52.5% in 2014 to 54% in 2015, and those continuing their education increased from 16% in 2014 to nearly 18% in 2015. Finally, those still searching after graduation dropped from 17.5% in 2014 to just over 14% in 2015.
Bachelor’s degree summary outcomes, Class of 2015
For those graduates from the Class of 2015 employed full-time, the average salary was $50,219, compared with the average salary of $48,190 for the Class of 2014. This is a 4.2% increase in graduate starting compensation—another indication of positive outcomes for this class.
Focusing exclusively on employment after graduation, there is substantial variety across majors in terms of post-graduation success. The top five majors as measured by the percent employed full-time by a traditional employer—computer science, business, engineering technology, engineering, and communications—have employment rates ranging from 59-72%. By contrast, the bottom five majors in terms of the percent of full-time employment with a traditional employer—history, psychology, the physical sciences, philosophy, and biology—have employment rates that range from 28-37%.
Master’s degree recipients
87% of master’s degree recipients from the Class of 2015 were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation. More than 70% landed a full-time position with a traditional employer.As for starting salary, the master’s degree demonstrates a sizable increase over a bachelor’s degree. The average salary for master’s graduates with a full-time position was $65,818—an increase of more than 31% over the average starting salary for a bachelor’s degree graduate.
Master’s degree summary outcomes, Class of 2015
Doctorate degree recipients
Over 91% of those with a doctorate degree were either employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation. 27.5% were employed in “other” settings, which were defined as separate from traditional employers, but are, in fact, highly traditional for the degree (faculty, post-doctoral positions, etc.) In addition, doctorate degree graduates enjoyed a 14% increase in average starting salary over their master’s counterparts, and a 49% differential when compared with bachelor’s degree graduates. The average starting salary for those graduating with a doctorate from the Class of 2015 was $75,030.