Education
3:54 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

New Report Tracks Employment Outcomes of Graduates from Kentucky's Public Universities

Over 76 percent of those who earn a bachelor's degree from WKU are working in Kentucky within five years.
Over 76 percent of those who earn a bachelor's degree from WKU are working in Kentucky within five years.
Credit WKU

The overwhelming majority of in-state students who get bachelor’s degrees from Kentucky’s public universities are remaining in the commonwealth.

A new report from the Center for Education and Workforce Statistics shows over 80 percent of Kentucky students who got a four-year degree from a state-funded school were working in the commonwealth a year later. On the other hand, only 30 percent of out-of-state students who graduate from Kentucky’s undergraduate programs stay in the commonwealth to work.

The report also gives a school-by-school breakdown of how many graduates stay in Kentucky versus those who leave the state, as well as a comparison of the average wages of each school’s degree holders.

You can see what the report had to say about the employment outcomes of WKU graduates here.

Charles McGrew, the executive director of the group behind the report, said schools can use the information to get a better idea of where their graduates are, and how they are doing.

“I think it’s difficult for faculty to know where all of their students go. Sometimes colleges do alumni surveys, but they may not be able to catch many of their alumni after the fact. So they don’t necessarily know how well they’re doing in the workforce, or possibly how long it takes to find a job, or whether they go on to graduate school,” McGrew told WKU Public Radio.

The report shows 76 percent of WKU bachelor’s degree holders are employed in Kentucky within five years of graduation. Those graduates earn a little more than $47,000 dollars a year on average after five years, which is roughly equal with the average of the state’s four-year public schools.

McGrew said that’s in sharp contrast with those who only have a high school diploma.

“We did a report a couple of weeks ago about high school students who don’t go to college, and the wages are very depressed in that area. Even after three years the average has only been $11,500 a year, and that’s considerably less than even full-time minimum wage.”

“So no matter that the major was necessarily, or what the credential level was, the college graduates are doing much, much better than that. In fact, the people who come to college for a while and don’t finish a degree and don’t transfer still did much better than the people from high school who didn’t go to college at all.”

The report shows a school-by-school comparison of employment outcomes, including the average wages of graduates from specific departments.