NACE Logo NACE Center Logo
National Association of Colleges and Employers NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition®
mobile menu
  • College Class of 2017: Four-Fifths of Graduates Are Employed or Continuing Education

    BETHLEHEM, PA—More than 80 percent of Class of 2017 graduates were employed or taking part in additional education within six months of graduation, according to results of a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). These results are nearly identical to those for the Class of 2016.

    NACE’s Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey—which provides data on the outcomes associated with a college education on a national scale—shows that 63.7 percent of 2017 graduates at the bachelor’s-degree level were employed within six months of graduation, which mirrors the 63.5 percent of 2016 graduates who were employed six months post-graduation. (See Figure 1.)

    Other results for both classes are closely aligned. In fact, the outcomes percentages for graduates continuing their educations—17.5 percent—are identical. Likewise, the mean and median starting salaries for these classes are separated by less than $750 and $250, respectively.

    The biggest difference—but still less than 1 percentage point—is among those still seeking an outcome, with fewer 2017 graduates reporting this result.

    Note: Members of the media and other interested parties are invited to participate in a free webinar as results of NACE’s Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey will be presented on Tuesday, October 16, from noon to 1 p.m. ET. (Find more information and register here.) NACE’s First-Destination Survey captures information regarding how new college graduates fare in their careers within six months of graduation and provides trends data over time to inform the discussion about the value of higher education.

    Figure 1: First-destination outcomes, Classes of 2016 and 2017

    Results Class of 2016 Class of 2017
    Percent Employed Overall 63.5% 63.7%
    Percent employed full time 57.9% 57.8%
    Percent employed part time 5.6% 5.9%
    Percent Continuing Education 17.5% 17.5%
    Percent Still Seeking Outcome 16.1% 15.4%
    Percent seeking employment 12.2% 11.9%
    Percent seeking education 3.9% 3.5%
    Percent Not Seeking 1.6% 1.7%
    Mean Starting Salary $49,525 $50,253
    Median Starting Salary $48,044 $48,273
    Source: Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About the First-Destination Survey: 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. The full survey 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.

    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 NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.