Graduate Employment Outcomes

The employment outcomes of students who earned a post-secondary award program in Minnesota between July 2010 and June 2011 are described below and referenced in Table 1:

  • Two thirds of students were employed a year after graduation. 
  • Overall, wages increased with education level.
  • Hourly wages for bachelor’s and graduate degree completers rose at a higher rate than others between 12 and 24 months after graduation, suggesting stronger earning power in the long run.
  • Both fulltime status and year-round employment status affected wage results. Individuals who worked fulltime for the whole year earned considerably more than those who worked part-time or for only part of the year.
  • Overall, only 42 percent of employed graduates managed to find a fulltime job and keep it for the whole year. These results stand as evidence of under-employment, or under-utilization of skills in the economy.
  • Health Care and Social Assistance is the dominant employer of Minnesota’s new graduates, accounting for one fourth (24 percent) of students with jobs. This high concentration reveals both strong employment demand in the state’s Health Care industry. 


Table 1

Employment and Wage Outcomes of Minnesota Post-Secondary Program 
Completers by Award Level, class of 2011

 

Percent 
Employed 
12 months 
after 
graduation

Median 
hourly wage 
12 months 
after 
graduation

Hourly wage 
increase 
from 
12 to 24 
months

Top industry 
24 months 
after 
graduation

2nd year 
median 
wages, 
working 
any hours

2nd year 
fulltime 
Year-round 
employment

2nd year 
fulltime Year- round  
wages

All awards

67%

$ 16.51

+ $ 1.9

Health Care and Social Assistance (24%)

$28,518

42%

$41,475

Sub-baccalaureate Certificates 

71%

$ 14.20

+ $ 1.48

Health Care and Social Assistance (28%)

$22,119

35%

$34,696

Associate Degree

72%

$ 14.63

+ $ 1.38

Health Care and Social Assistance (34%)

$23,240

36%

$36,946

Bachelor’s

63%

$ 16.16

+ $2.41

Health Care and Social Assistance (18%)

$28,798

44%

$40,207

Graduate (Master’s, PhD, etc.)

63%

$ 30.14

+ $2.22

Education (38%) 

$51,924

50%

$ 64, 354

Sources: MN Department of Employment and Economic Development; Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE). 
Data on each individual completing a degree from July 2010 through June 2011 were linked with wage records from all employers subject to Unemployment Insurance taxes in Minnesota.


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