Are graduates of career-oriented degree programs leaving the occupations for which they are being prepared? NACE research examines the issue.
The NACE First-Destination Survey initiative provides for collecting, analyzing, and reporting outcomes for college graduates on a national scale. Based on standards and protocols developed by a team of career services practitioners, this survey features outcomes for associate- and bachelor’s-degree graduates nationally and regionally; outcomes are also available by Carnegie Classification and size of school as well as academic program. The survey also captures starting salary information.
The NACE First-Destination Surveys Task Force developed standards and protocols for colleges and universities to use in collecting and reporting graduating student career outcomes data. Developed by practitioners for practitioners, the standards and protocols also reflect feedback provided during the public comment period by more than 100 career services professionals. Resources, including the standards and protocols, articles about how some schools are implementing the standards, and PPTs and handouts from webinars about the first-destination survey effort are available here.
After taking a big hit in the wake of the recession, job-seeking students have since been making the gradual climb back up to their pre-recession levels of success. The Class of 2016 has stalled somewhat on this climb, according to results of NACE’s Class of 2016 Student Survey report.
Eighty-eight percent of master’s degree graduates and 92 percent of doctoral graduates from the Class of 2015 had positive outcomes at the six-month mark after the close of the school year, according to NACE’s Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey report.
A majority of the college Class of 2015 landed a job or was accepted into a continuing education program within six months of graduation, according to NACE’s Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey report.
The College Scorecard limits post-graduate information to salary for the school as a whole. In this article, NACE's research director looks at how three factors—type of school, demographics, and academic program—affect salary results.
What difference does an advanced degree make when it comes to attitudes about employers and the job search? NACE’s research team takes a look at how attitudes of master’s and doctorate degree students compare to their counterparts earning the bachelor’s degree.
Does pursuing a degree in the liberal arts and sciences (LAS) has any practical value in terms of employment and earnings? If anything, the debate over the value of a liberal arts and sciences degree has gotten more intense since the recession has ended
NACE’s First-Destination Survey Standards and Protocols were developed by a task force of practitioners, and reflect feedback provided during a public comment period by more than 100 career services professionals. The standards/protocols are designed to address the needs of individual institutions to track graduate outcomes, and can be used to address growing demand by accrediting bodies and governmental agencies.
Students who go to graduate school have a considerable advantage in the job market over students with bachelor’s degrees. Employers now place a greater emphasis on a more developed and deeper skill set for their new college hires. The Education Testing Service states that, “Graduate education is the engine of a highly skilled work force.”
Overall unemployment rate
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Unemployment rate, bachelor’s degree grads age 20 – 24
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Average projected starting salary, 2017 humanities major
Winter 2017 Salary Survey
Average starting salary, Class of 2016 bachelor’s degree graduate
Spring 2017 Salary Survey
Percent of Class of 2015 bachelor’s degree grads employed or pursuing more education
Class of 2015 First-Destination Survey report