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March 5, 2008

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Ten Years After College: Comparing the Employment Experiences of 1992-93 Bachelor’s Degree Recipients with Academic and Career-Oriented Majors

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Full Report

Using longitudinal data from the 1992-93 Baccalaureate and Beyond Study (B&B:93/03) representing about 1.2 million bachelor’s degree recipients that year, this report examines college graduates’ work experiences in 1994, 1997, and 2003, describing their labor force status, employment stability and intensity, occupations and industries, salaries and benefits, and perceptions about their jobs. It compares the experiences of graduates with academic and career-oriented undergraduate majors. About half of all the graduates (51 percent) were employed and not enrolled at all three follow-ups, but the other half moved into and out of the workforce, often to pursue further education. By 2003, some 46 percent of graduates had ever been unemployed (not working, but looking for work) since they had graduated, but unemployment became less prevalent the longer graduates had been out of college. By 2003, most graduates were settled in a job they considered a career and used their education, and the average salary for a graduate employed full time at one job, adjusted for inflation, had roughly doubled since 1994. A majority were satisfied with their pay, fringe benefits, job security, and opportunity for promotion. Compared with graduates with academic undergraduate majors, those with career-oriented majors appeared to establish themselves in the labor force earlier and relatively fewer obtained additional education.