Florida graduates are highly likely to find jobs, with 92 percent of those in the Board of Governors’ latest study 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.
Those are just a few of the useful data points identified in the Board of Governors’ Annual Baccalaureate Follow-Up Study, which 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 Board of Governors’ top focus is student outcomes, and this study offers a comprehensive look at what our students’ experiences are one year out,” said Tom Kuntz, Board of Governors’ Chair. “Overall, the takeaway is very positive: Students are employed, furthering their educations, or doing both at the same time.”
The report identifies the most popular undergraduate majors in 2015 as well as the average starting salary for various fields. The two most common majors were Business and Marketing (19 percent) and the Health Professions (12 percent). When it comes to salaries, Engineering graduates fared best, at a median of $58,600. On the other end of the spectrum, graduates in the Biological Sciences — many of whom go on to graduate school — were likely to earn $29,500 the year after graduation.
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?’”
Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors
The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The system has 12 universities and more than 341,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the system’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the system’s chief executive. For more, visit flbog.edu, think-florida.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.