Just 7 percent of students who graduated from college during the 2007-08 school year were unemployed four years later, another sign of the value of a college degree in the post-recession economy.
That’s according to a new report out today from the National Center for
Education Statistics. The report, “Baccalaureate and Beyond: A First Look at the
Employment Experiences and Lives of College Graduates, 4 Years On,” features
responses from about 17,000 college graduates.
The report also shows that STEM majors have generally had more success in
post-graduation employment than non-STEM majors. In 2012, STEM majors working
full-time jobs earned an average salary of $65,000, compared to non-STEM
majors, who earned an average of $49,500.
“If you have significantly higher earnings in STEM fields than you do in
non-STEM fields, you’d expect that over time you’d see a migration to those
fields economically,” said Ted Socha, an NCES project officer who worked on the
The report also showed that 2007-08 graduates who had never enrolled in
additional postsecondary education had held an average of two jobs in their
four years since graduation. And on average, bachelor’s degree recipients who
had been employed in their current job for more than three months reported
working 41 hours a week.
“It’s very clear that what you study in college makes a big difference in
terms of number of months unemployed after graduation,” Socha added.
Today’s report is the latest in what has been a recent trove of data
highlighting the workplace experiences of college graduates. In May, Gallup and
Purdue University released the inaugural results of a major ongoing effort to
study the well-being of graduates.