Reports

Earnings and Other Outcomes of Florida’s Postsecondary Graduates and Completers (2015)


January 4, 2016 08:51

This report results from a partnership between the State of Florida and College Measures. It focuses on the median first-year earnings of recent graduates and completers from Florida’s public postsecondary educational institutions: State University System of Florida (SUS), Florida College System (FCS), and District Technical Centers (DTCs). The report documents the variation in first-year earnings among completers who earned degrees or certificates from these three systems of postsecondary education. The report also presents data on the percentage of completers from various institutions that are receiving public assistance, as well as the percentage enrolled in continuing education programs. Debt accumulated by all students (not just graduates) is also reported. The results show that the types of postsecondary credentials that completers earn, and where they earn them, matter.

Information in this report comes from three main data sources: the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) from the Florida Department of Education, the Wage Record Interchange System 2 (WRIS2), and the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance. The data discussed in this report reflect outcomes for graduates and completers in their first year after graduation for a five-year period from academic years 2008–09 to 2012–13. Although the data represent employment and earnings outcomes, the data do not include information about the occupations of completers and whether they are employed in their fields of study.

Florida College System and District Technical Centers

  • The bachelor’s degree and the associate of arts (A.A.) degree are the two most commonly awarded degrees in Florida. The A.A. degree is designed as a pathway to the bachelor’s degree. The median first-year earnings of graduates with A.A. degrees are usually lower than those of graduates from many other degree and certificate programs.
  • Median first-year earnings vary across programs awarding the same degree in the same field of study. For example, median first-year earnings for Emergency Medicine Technology–Paramedic ranged from less than $50,000 (Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Seminole State College of Florida, North Florida Community College, and College of Central Florida) to more than $64,000 or more (Hillsborough Community College and Broward College).
  • The average federal debt level per student in 2012–13 across Florida’s colleges ranged from less than $2,000 (Hillsborough Community College and Seminole State College of Florida) to more than $4,000 (State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota).

State University System of Florida Degrees and Florida College System Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Median first-year earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees varied from about $23,500 (New College of Florida) to more than $35,000 (Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University). Some of this variation is related to the economic climate in the areas of the state which these campuses serve and where students choose to work.
  • During the five-year study period, campuses in the FCS awarded more than 14,000 bachelor’s degrees. These degrees were concentrated in a small number of relatively high-paying fields. In turn, the median first-year earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees from Florida’s colleges (around $41,000) were higher than those of graduates with bachelor’s degrees from Florida’s universities (around $34,000).
  • The median statewide federal loan amount per student was slightly more than $6,000. Federal debt for students ranged from an average of around $3,600 (New College of Florida) to more than $8,800 (University of Florida). Because this includes both graduate and undergraduate students, average debt may be higher in research universities, such as Florida State University and University of Florida. Moreover, this is only federally issued debt, and other sources of student loans were not included in this estimate.

Where the Jobs Are

The report also presents data on the industries and occupations that are likely to be most in demand.

  • Three of the four industries with the fastest growth in Florida are related to construction. With annual growth of 4.7 percent, the field of Construction of Buildings is projected to grow the fastest through 2022.
  • The health care industry is also projected to expand rapidly due to population growth, the aging population, and improved medical technologies.
  • Some occupations have a greater demand relative to supply. For example, during 2013–14, Florida’s postsecondary educational institutions awarded approximately 600 academic credentials for physical therapy. However, the industry demand is estimated to be around 1,500 therapists during this time, leaving a shortage of almost 900 trained individuals. Physical therapists are well paid.

More findings are available at: http://www.beyondeducation.org/esm

In addition to http://www.beyondeducation.org/esm, more information is also available at the following sites:

Click here to view the full report

Education Pays in Colorado: Earnings 1, 5, and 10 Years After College


April 29, 2015 03:17

Postsecondary education delivers many benefits to students who attend America’s colleges and universities and to society in general. But when students are asked about what they want from college, the most frequent responses focus on labor market outcomes, especially good careers and high earnings. The postsecondary education system in Colorado offers many pathways that can help students secure good jobs with middle-class earnings. Many of these do not necessarily run through bachelor’s degrees granted by the state’s best known universities. For example, the early career earnings of graduates with technical, career-oriented associate’s degrees can match or even exceed the earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees. And many certificate programs can also lead to high earnings.

As more and more students borrow more and more money to fund their postsecondary education, they should explore all of their options, including shorter and less expensive pathways (e.g., subbaccalaureate credentials) to good jobs. In the long run, and on average, the earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees surpass those of completers with subbaccalaureate credentials. But a bachelor’s degree takes more time and money to attain, and not all bachelor’s degree programs lead to high earnings. In fact, some of the bachelor’s degree programs with the largest enrollments in the state lead to earnings that lag those achieved by completers of a number of other postsecondary credentials.

This report and the accompanying website (http://co.edpays.org) present data on the earnings of students who completed certificates and degrees from all public and many private colleges and universities across the state, as far out as 10 years after completing their studies. Among the most important findings of this report:

  • Many postsecondary credentials other than the bachelor’s degree are becoming increasingly common, with a particularly rapid increase in the number of associate’s degree granted over the last 5 years.
  • Many subbaccalaureate credentials can lead to middle-class earnings—sometimes exceeding the earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees.

Short-Term Certificates (<1 Year)

  • Completers with short-term certificates in Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services fare particularly poorly in the labor market.

Longer Term Certificates (1–2 Years)

  • Earnings for completers of longer term certificates in Cosmetology and Related Personal Grooming Services; Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services; and several nursing programs start below the state median for these types of credentials (Year 1) and stay below the median at Years 5 and 10.

Associate’s Degrees

  • The Associate’s of Applied Science (AAS) degree has far more market value than the Associate’s in Art/Science (AA/AS) degree:
    • At Year 1, graduates with AAS degrees earn, on average, about $18,000 more than graduates with AA/AS degrees who have not attained a higher degree.
    • By Year 10, this gap narrows to $12,000 but is still quite large.

Bachelor’s Degrees

  • What students study is related to their earnings.
    • Graduates from many traditional liberal arts fields (such as Arts and English) earn below the statewide benchmark at Years 1, 5, and 10.

This report highlights only some patterns of labor market success among students who attain postsecondary certificates and degrees. As is evident even in the highlights, wage outcomes vary by level of postsecondary credential, program of study, and institution. Some of this variation is clearly tied to differences in regional labor markets. For example, completers of programs at postsecondary institutions in the Denver metropolitan area generally earn more than those from institutions in other parts of the state. But even within this pattern, completers of some programs earn high wages no matter where the institution is located. Given these variations, people throughout the state should learn more about the labor market success of students who have invested so much time and money in their postsecondary education.

View the full report here

The Earnings and Other Outcomes of Florida's Postsecondary Graduates and Completers (2014)


November 5, 2014 07:58

This report results from a partnership between the State of Florida and College Measures. It focuses on the median first-year earnings of recent graduates and completers1 from Florida’s public postsecondary educational institutions: the State University System of Florida (SUS), the Florida College System (FCS), and District Technical Centers (DTCs).2 The report documents the variation in first-year earnings for students who earned degrees or certificates from these three systems of postsecondary education. The report also presents data on the percentage of graduates and completers from various institutions that are receiving public assistance, as well as the percentage enrolled in continuing education programs. Debt accumulated by all students (not just graduates) is also reported. The results show that the type of degrees students earn, and where they earn them, matters.

Information in this report comes from three main data sources: Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) from the Florida Department of Education, Wage Record Interchange System 2 (WRIS2),3 and the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance. The data discussed in this report reflect outcomes for graduates and completers in their first year after graduation for a 5-year period from academic years 2007–08 to 2011–12. Although the data represent employment and earnings outcomes, the data do not include information about the graduate’s occupation and whether they are employed in their field of study.

Florida College System and District Technical Centers

  • The bachelor’s degree and the associate’s in arts (A.A.) degree are the two most commonly awarded degrees in Florida. The A.A. degree is designed as a pathway to the bachelor’s degree. The median first-year earnings of graduates with these degrees are lower, however, than those of graduates from many other degree and certificate programs. For example, graduates with an associate’s in science (A.S.) degree had median earnings more than $11,000 higher than graduates with bachelor’s degrees and almost $18,000 higher than graduates with A.A. degrees who are in the labor market.

State University System of Florida Degrees and Florida College System Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Median first-year earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees varied from less than $22,400 (New College of Florida) to more than $35,000 (Florida International University). Some of this variation is related to the economic climate in the areas of the state to which these campuses serve and where students choose to work.
  • During the 5-year study period, campuses in the FCS awarded almost 10,000 bachelor’s degrees. These degrees were concentrated in a small number of relatively high-paying fields. In turn, the median first-year earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees from Florida’s colleges (around $41,000) were higher than those of graduates with bachelor’s degrees from Florida’s universities (more than $33,000).

Where the Jobs Are

The report also presents data on the industries and occupations that are likely to be most in demand over the next 10 years.

The three industries with the fastest growth in Florida are related to construction. With annual growth of more than 3.7%, the field of Specialty Trade Contractors is projected to grow the fastest through 2021.

More findings are available at: http://www.beyondeducation.org/esm

In addition to http://www.beyondeducation.org/esm, more information is also available at the following sites:

Click here to read the full report

 

Tennessee Public Postsecondary Graduates and the Labor Market: Employment Prospects and Wage Trends


September 30, 2014 07:43

Tennessee has a reputation for being a leader in reform efforts to improve education at both the K–12 and postsecondary levels. Through the “Drive to 55” education initiative, Governor Bill Haslam has put the improvement of Tennessee’s higher education at the center of his tenure. The initiative challenges the state to increase the percentage of adults with postsecondary credentials from 36% to 55% by 2025. In pursuit of this effort, Tennessee has introduced several collegegoing and postsecondary completion initiatives, including changing the delivery of developmental coursework, offering free community college tuition for recent high school graduates, recruiting adults without degrees to reenter institutions of higher education, and better aligning postsecondary offerings with workforce opportunities across the state.  

College Measures’ new EduTrendsTN website (http://www.edutrendstn.com), developed in partnership with the State of Tennessee, supports these initiatives by providing prospective students and their families with information about higher education costs, benefits, and affordability and delivering insights into employment demand and wage potential across many fields. This website delivers important information to Tennesseans so they can make better informed decisions about their choices of colleges, credentials, and fields of study. The EduTrendsTN project should also increase consumers’ awareness of careers in high demand and where students who complete various kinds of postsecondary credentials will be more likely to find jobs.  

This report highlights just some of the information that can be found on the EduTrendsTN website (http://www.edutrendstn.com). The following are some of the noteworthy findings from our study on the labor market success of postsecondary education completers.

Subbaccalaureate Credentials

• Nearly 90,000 bachelor’s degrees were granted during the five academic years (from Academic Year 2006–07 to Academic Year 2010–11) covered for this report. While bachelor’s degrees are the most commonly awarded postsecondary credentials in the state’s public system of higher education, more than 84,000 subbaccalaureate credentials—including associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates—were awarded from 2006–07 to 2010–11. Subbaccalaureate credentials are often designed to prepare students for careers in a specific field related to postsecondary training that students received.   

Associate’s Degrees

• Among the 10 associate’s degree programs with the highest number of completers statewide, those in four of the programs earned wages that were below the state median for all associate’s degrees 1 and 5 years after graduation. The four programs were Business Administration, Business Operations, Liberal Arts, and Management Information Services. Of these, graduates with degrees in Management Information Services also experienced the lowest rate of wage growth among the 10 largest programs.

Bachelor’s Degrees

• Among bachelor’s graduates, there is wide variation in the earnings associated with different instructional programs. In contrast, there is less variation across the earnings of graduates from different universities across the state. This may reflect the facts that graduates from universities tend to be less tied to the local labor market and many graduates from institutions in smaller markets may migrate to larger ones. But the fact remains that if students don’t get into the University of Tennessee, Knoxville—the state’s flagship university—they can graduate from many other universities across the state and do as well in the labor market. 

Labor Market Demand for Postsecondary Completers

• In some fields, many more people are completing training than will likely find employment in that field. In other fields, the state projects many more openings relative to the number of people with the training to fill those openings. The fields of Cosmetology and Journalism are projected to have large numbers of students completing education or training relative to the number of job openings projected to exist. These are relatively low paying fields, but some fields with large numbers of completers relative to openings are high paying—for example, Aviation Maintenance, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical/Computer Engineering, and Business Management.

View the full report here

Measuring the Economic Success of College Graduates: Lessons From the Field


June 17, 2014 09:29

 Mark S. Schneider

Calculating how much recent graduates earn after completing their degree is one way for policymakers to assess the return on state and federal investments in higher education. It’s also an important consideration for students and families, who want at least some assurance that the burden of student loan debt taken on today will be offset by higher earnings in the future. Although the Obama Administration has focused on improving accountability and transparency concerning the cost of higher education, states are leading the way on collecting earnings data about their college and university graduates.

The American Institutes for Research, through CollegeMeasures™, has partnered with seven states to give policymakers and consumers access to data documenting the labor market success of their graduates. This report describes several lessons about how to turn complex data about education and wages into useful information that can improve the lives of students and families:

  • School-level reporting isn’t enough.
  • Consider combining several cohorts of graduates, not just the most recent year’s.
  • Be transparent about who is and isn’t included in recent graduates’ wage reports.
  • When possible, report both short-term and long-term wage outcomes.
  • In addition to reporting on wages, report on students’ loan debt at completion.
  • Capture data on graduates employed out of state.
  • Report information about rates of in-state employment.
  • Use medians, not averages, when reporting wages and student debt.
  • Discuss regional variations in wages.
  • Remind readers that wage reports alone can’t measure added value.

For more detail on each of these key points, see the full report