First Destinations for the College Class of 2017
The report for the college Class of 2017 provides information about where graduates at the undergraduate and graduate levels land within six months of graduation. New graduate outcomes include various types of employment (full or part time, contract, temporary, etc.), additional education, entrance into the military or other service, still seeking (not employed, not continuing education), and not seeking. The report also provides starting salary data for those employed full time.
Outcomes data are also broken down by region, control structure, CIP code, academic discipline, and academic title for bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. Bachelor’s degree data are also broken down by size of school, and Carnegie class.
Overall, NACE received responses from 368 schools/career centers detailing results for their 2017 graduates in four degree programs: 360 schools reported outcomes for bachelor’s degree graduates, 68 schools for their associate degree completers, 159 schools provided information for those completing a master’s degree program, and 81 institutions reported results for doctoral degree recipients.
In total, the graduating classes of these reporting institutions represent more than 695,000 graduates (550,000 at the bachelor’s degree level, 16,000 at the associate level, 113,000 at the master’s level; and 16,700 earning a doctoral degree). This translates to results for:
- 28.1 percent of all bachelor’s degree graduates.
- 14.0 percent of all master’s degree graduates.
- 9.2 percent of all doctoral degree graduates.
- 1.6 percent of all associate degree graduates.
To our knowledge, this represents the most comprehensive view of graduate outcomes currently available.
- What is the value of a college education? The report reaffirms that the overwhelming majority of graduates, regardless of the type of school or academic program from which they graduated, are able to land a positive outcome fairly quickly after graduation.
- Outcomes for 2017 bachelor’s degree graduates are virtually identical to those of their of 2016 counterparts: 84.4 percent were employed or pursuing additional education within six months of graduation, up from 81.0 percent.
- Among bachelor’s degree graduates, approximately one-third of disciplines experienced improvements in their outcomes, including increases in their full-time employment rate.
- All degree levels experienced an increase in average salary in nominal terms. However, only doctoral degree graduates saw a gain in real terms. Graduates at all other degree levels actually lost ground with their salaries once inflation was factored in. Averages fell 0.5 percent for bachelor’s degree graduates, 1.2 percent at the master’s degree level, and 0.3 percent for associate degree holders.
- In terms of salary, a master’s degree “pays.” The differential between 2017 master’s and bachelor’s degree graduates was 31.8 percent.
First Destination Survey Results