• A Majority of the Class of 2015 Are Employed or in Grad School Within Six Months of Graduation, Outpacing 2014 Graduates

    Graduates studying computer sciences had highest full-time employment rate at 76 percent

    CONTACT: Erin Bzymek, 248.444.1568
    Mimi Collins, 610.868.1421, ext. 119
    E-MAIL: ebzymek@mww.com
    DATE: June 8, 2016
    SUBJECT: A Majority of the Class of 2015 Are Employed or in Grad School Within Six Months of Graduation, Outpacing 2014 Graduates

    CHICAGO, IL—A majority of the college Class of 2015—82 percent—landed a job or were accepted into a continuing education program within six months of graduation, according to a new report released today by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey found that 58.4 percent of 2015 bachelor’s degree graduates were employed full time, while 17.7 percent had been accepted into graduate or professional school, and 6 percent were working part time. (See Figure 1.)

    The survey also shows that 2015 bachelor’s degree graduates outpaced their 2014 counterparts in securing full-time employment and continuing education. In fact, a greater percentage of 2015 graduates “landed” successfully than those who graduated in 2014; fewer 2015 graduates were working part time, still seeking employment, or still seeking continuing education than was the case with the previous crop of graduates.

    The Class of 2015 survey is the second iteration of NACE’s national initiative to gather outcomes data for new college graduates. NACE conducted its inaugural outcomes survey with the Class of 2014. Consequently, the Class of 2015 survey provides the first opportunity to make comparisons between graduating classes.

    “The second annual First-Destination Survey provides an early look at the future of America’s workforce and the future is bright for the Class of 2015,” said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. “We are glad to include even more graduates in the survey this year. The outcomes for individual classes are important, but the survey will continue to reveal meaningful trends over time, which will be especially significant for public policy makers, business and industry leaders, the higher education community, and all those focused on the value of higher education and a competitive and innovative U.S. labor force.”

    Additional highlights for bachelor’s degree graduates from the survey include:

    • By region, graduates in the New England (68.5 percent) and Plains (67.8 percent) regions fared best in terms of overall employment outcomes, while those in the Southwest (50.2 percent) and Far West (46.8 percent) were least likely to be employed full- or part time.
    • Graduates studying the computer sciences enjoyed the highest full-time employment rate (76 percent).
    • Full-time employment figures for Class of 2015 social sciences, English, and history majors all improved over those posted for the Class of 2014.

    An executive summary of the survey, which also covered first destinations for associate, master’s, and doctoral degree-level graduates, is available through NACE. In addition, details about outcomes for 2015 graduates by specific major will be available later in June.

    Figure 1: First Destinations - Class of 2015 vs Class of 2014

    First Destination Percent Class of 2015 Percent Class of 2014
    Employed, full time 58.4% 55.4%
    Employed, part time  6.0%  6.6%
    Graduate/professional school/ continuing education 17.7% 16.4%
    Still seeking employment 11.0% 13.9%
    Still seeking education 3.2%  3.6%
    Not seeking 1.9%  2.2%
    Source: Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers. All data are for bachelor’s degree graduates and represent initial post-graduation outcomes as of December 31, 2015.

    About the Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey: NACE’s Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey is the only national survey focused on outcomes of new college graduates that uses uniform standards for data collection and reporting. This annual survey, inaugurated with the Class of 2014, provides clear, concise, and consistent data on the outcomes associated with a college education on a national scale.

    The Class of 2015 survey is the first iteration to extend to all degree levels; it includes outcomes information for associate-, bachelor’s-, master’s-, and doctoral-level graduates. (The Class of 2014 survey covered associate- and bachelor’s-level graduates only.)

    A total of 279 colleges and universities nationwide, representing nearly half a million graduates, provided data for Class of 2015 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree graduates. Overall, data were reported for nearly 244,000 bachelor’s degree graduates in 34 broad disciplines and 185 majors, making this study the most comprehensive view of bachelor’s degree outcomes available. (For details about the number of graduates from other degree levels covered through the survey, see Figure 2.)

    The Class of 2016 survey, which captures data for those graduating July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, is currently underway. Data will be collected through December 30, 2016, reported to NACE through March 2017, and published in spring 2017.

    Figure 2: Graduates and Majors by Degree Level

    Degree level # of graduates # of majors
    Associate 4,902  23
    Bachelor’s 243,642 185
    Master’s 38,411 130
    Doctoral 6,377 73
    Source: Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers, www.naceweb.org

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at www.naceweb.org/press-releases.aspx.