March Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals: Focus on College Grads and Employment

The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on each of the titles to access full articles. The synopsis of each article is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (February edition).

Salary Survey (Ellen Peters)

The January 2012 Salary Survey of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports positive news regarding salary outcomes for the college class of 2011. The overall average salary for 2011 graduates is up to $41,701, 2.3% higher than the 2010 graduate’s average of $40,766. Average salaries have increased across the board, although there are greater gains in engineering and computer science than in other fields. NACE refined its data collection methodology this year, compiling data derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, and a master dataset developed by Job Search Intelligence. The NACE Executive Summary is available for free; the full report is available to NACE member institutions or by subscription.

Hard Time: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal (Melodie Christal)

The Center on Education and the Workforce addresses the question “Is college worth it?” in Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal. This report analyzes employment outcomes by major for recent college graduates, experienced college graduates, and graduate degrees. The authors conclude college is worth it and the best alternative for young people. Although the unemployment rate for students with new bachelor’s degrees is high at 8.9%, it is much higher for high school graduates (22.9%) and even higher for high school dropouts (31.5%). The risk of unemployment for recent college graduates varies considerably depending on the major.  Architecture majors have the highest unemployment rate (13.9%) while majors in healthcare and education have the lowest rates (5.4%).

Beginning Subbaccalaureate Students’ Labor Market Experiences: Six Years Later in 2009

This set of web tables presents descriptive statistics on the spring 2009 labor market experiences of subbaccalaureate students who first entered postsecondary education in 2003–04. Data from the 2004/09 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study is used to identify and present the demographic and employment characteristics of certificate and associate’s degree completers and noncompleters. Labor market experiences presented include employment status as of spring 2009, unemployment spells since last enrolled, median salary earned as of spring 2009, employer-offered benefits, and job satisfaction

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