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  • College Class of 2018 Fared Well in Job Market

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Nearly 60 percent of Class of 2018 bachelor’s degree graduates had landed a full-time job within six months of graduation, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s First Destinations for the Class of 2018 shows that 58.7 percent of graduates were employed within six months of graduation—up from 57.8 percent of the Class of 2017. (See Figure 1.)

    Although the increase does not seem especially significant, it is coupled with a 3.0 percent increase in median starting salary—translating into a sizable overall improvement for Class of 2018 bachelor’s degree graduates.

    Other highlights from the report include:

    • Overall, 54.5 percent of those working full time had landed a position with a traditional employer, up from 53.3 percent in 2017.
    • Approximately 19 percent of the class was engaged in an advanced degree program or pursuing a professional certificate.
    • Just 14.1 percent of the class was still seeking either a job or more education. That is down from 15.4 percent in 2017.
    • By region, graduates from schools in the Northeast and Midwest did best: Between 89 and 93 percent of graduates from schools in those regions had landed an employment, educational, or service position within six months of graduating. In contrast, those from schools in the South and the West appeared to have the most difficulty in finding a landing spot immediately after graduation. More than one-fifth of these graduates were still seeking a job or educational placement at the time of the survey.

    Figure 1: First-destination outcomes, Classes of 2018 and 2017

    Results Class of 2018 Class of 2017
    Percent Employed Overall 63.5% 63.7%
    Percent employed full time 58.7% 57.8%
    Percent employed part time 4.8% 5.9%
    Percent Continuing Education 19.2% 17.5%
    Percent Still Seeking Outcome 14.1% 15.4%
    Percent seeking employment 11.2% 11.9%
    Percent seeking education 2.9% 3.5%
    Percent Not Seeking 1.5% 1.7%
    Mean Starting Salary $51,525 $50,253
    Median Starting Salary $49,725 $48,273
    Source: First Destinations for the Class of 2018, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About the First-Destination Survey: The survey on which First Destinations for the Class of 2018 is based covered students graduating from colleges and universities from July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018. The survey was conducted from July 1 – December 30, 2017, and data were reported to NACE through April 2018.

    First Destinations for the Class of 2018, the fifth iteration of the annual first-destination survey conducted by NACE, examines how Class of 2018 graduates—from the associate through the doctoral level—fared initially in their professional life. The report provides a baseline for assessing where graduates at the undergraduate and graduate levels land within six months, on average, after receiving their degree.

    In total, the graduating classes of these reporting institutions represent more than 693,000 graduates—529,000 at the bachelor’s degree level, 131,000 at the master’s level, 20,000 earning a doctoral degree, and 13,000 at the associate level.

    This translates to results for:

    • 26.7 percent of all bachelor’s degree graduates,
    • 15.8 percent of all master’s degree graduates,
    • 10.8 percent of all doctoral degree graduates, and
    • 1.4 percent of all associate degree graduates.

    To NACE’s knowledge, this represents the most comprehensive view of graduate outcomes currently available.

    The full survey report for the Class of 2018, featuring data for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level degrees, is available on the NACE website. Data for bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates are also provided by region, control structure (public/private), and academic discipline. Results for bachelor’s degree graduates are also broken down by size of school and Carnegie Classification.

    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.