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  • College Class of 2016: 81 Percent Employed or Pursuing Advanced Degree Within Six Months of Graduation

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Four-fifths of bachelor’s degree graduates from the Class of 2016 were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation, according to a new report published by the NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition.

    The report, First Destinations for the College Class of 2016, shows that approximately 58 percent were employed full time and 5.6 percent were employed part time, while 17.5 percent were pursuing a graduate or professional degree. Slightly more than 16 percent of the class reported they were still seeking a job or further schooling six months following graduation.

    These numbers are down slightly from those reported for the Class of 2015—which saw 82 percent of its bachelor’s degree graduates in a job or continuing their education within six months of graduation—but compare favorably to those posted for the Class of 2014, the first class to take part in the survey. (See Figure 1.)

    Figure 1: First Destinations – College Classes of 2014 – 2016

    First Destination Class of 2014 Class of 2015 Class of 2016
    Employed, full time 55.4% 58.4% 57.9%
    Employed, part time 6.6% 6.0% 5.6%
    Continuing education/graduate/professional school 16.4% 17.7% 17.5%
    Still seeking employment 13.9% 11.0% 12.2%
    Still seeking education 3.6% 3.2% 3.9%
    Not seeking 2.2% 1.9% 1.6%
    Source: First Destinations for the College Class of 2016, NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition. All data are for bachelor’s degree graduates and represent initial post-graduation outcomes as of December 30, 2016.

    Other highlights from the report include:

    • In terms of initial success in the job market—as determined by employment and salary—graduates in computer and information services; engineering; engineering technology; mathematics and statistics; business, management, marketing, and related support services; and the health professions fared best. All exceeded the class averages for employment and salary.
    • Those most likely to move on to an advanced degree included graduates in the physical sciences (35.6 percent); biological and biomedical sciences (32.4 percent); philosophy and religious studies (28.1 percent); mathematics and statistics (27.0 percent); parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies (25.6 percent); and public administration and social service professions (25.5 percent).
    • By region, graduates in New England reported the highest rates of full-time employment with a traditional employer (64.1 percent). Those in the Far West reported the lowest rates (44.1 percent). Meanwhile, graduates from schools in the Plains region were most likely to continue their education (19.7 percent); those in the Rockies region were least likely to do so (16.7 percent). New England (6.8 percent) and the Plains (9.2 percent) reported the lowest percentages of graduates still seeking either a job or further education. The Southwest (27.4 percent) and Southeast (25.5 percent) had the highest percentages of graduates still seeking.

    First Destinations for the College Class of 2016 is available free for download at www.naceweb.org/job-market/graduate-outcomes/first-destination/class-of-2016 The report also includes outcomes information for associate, master’s, and doctoral degree graduates.

    About the Report: First Destinations for the College Class of 2016 represents the third set of data for undergraduates and the second set of data collected for advanced degree graduates. Results are based on a national initiative headed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE); overall, NACE received responses from 350 schools/career centers detailing results for their bachelor’s degree graduates; 53 schools reported data for associate degree completers; 144 schools provided information for those earning a master’s degree; and 81 institutions reported results for doctoral degree recipients. In total, the graduating classes of these reporting institutions represent more than 650,000 graduates; this includes 516,000 at the bachelor’s degree level; 11,000 at the associate degree level; 110,000 at the master’s level; and 17,700 at the doctoral degree level.

    Data were collected for the Class of 2016 (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016) through December 30, 2016, reported to NACE through April 2016, and published by the NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition, a 501(c)(3) charitable, not-for-profit organization that supports the mission of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

    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/about-us/press/.