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  • Master’s Grads: Dip in Employment Offset by Continuing Education

    September 26, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Graduate Outcomes
    A student receives her masters degree.

    TAGS: first destination, graduate outcomes, salaries, surveys, degrees, spotlight

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    Results from NACE’s Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey show that 79.2 percent of 2017 graduates at the master’s-degree level were employed within six months of graduation. This outcome represents a one-percent drop from the 80.2 percent of Class of 2016 master’s graduates who were employed six months post-graduation.

    That differential, however, is nearly fully accounted for by an increase in Class of 2017 master’s graduates who decided to continue their education. Among Class of 2017 master’s-degree graduates, 7.3 percent indicated they were going on for further education. Meanwhile, 6.4 percent of Class of 2016 master’s graduates listed the same result. (See Figure 1.)

    Other outcomes between the two classes—the percentages of master’s graduates who were still seeking an outcome and those who were not seeking—were nearly identical.

    The Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey covers those graduating from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017, and was conducted July 1 – December 30, 2017. Approximately 375 colleges and universities took part. Data were reported to NACE through April 2018. At the bachelor’s-degree level, data were collected for 549,664 graduates, representing nearly 30 percent of the 2017 graduating class at that level. This is the fourth college class for which outcomes data have been collected and reported on a national level.

    Results of the survey will be presented during a free webinar in October. (Register here.) In addition, the full report for the Class of 2017, featuring data for associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level degrees, will be available later this fall through the NACE website. View complete results for the Class of 2016 here.

    Figure 1: First-destination outcomes for master’s graduates, Classes of 2016 and 2017

    Results Class of 2016 Class of 2017
    Total Graduates 109,560 113,222
    Knowledge Rate 55.1% 57.3%
    Career Outcomes Percentage 89.1% 89.0%
    Percent Employed Overall 80.2% 79.2%
    Percent employed full time 76.1% 75.4%
    Percent employed part time 4.1% 3.8%
    Percent Continuing Education 6.4% 7.3%
    Percent Seeking Outcome 10.8% 10.9%
    Percent Not Seeking 1.4% 1.6%
    Mean Starting Salary $65,213 $65,725
    Median Starting Salary $59,389 $59,934
    Source: Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers