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After-graduation activity of CU-Boulder alumni
Employment and further education
- Alumni report employment and further education
- Three to five years after graduation,
almost all alumni report that they are currently employed and/or in further
education (92% of bachelor's, 92% of master's, and 96% of doctoral recipients).
Very few report that they are not in further education and are seeking
employment (6% of bachelor's, 6% of master's, and 3% of doctoral recipients).
Employment/further education percentages are higher for doctoral than master's recipients,
higher for masterís than bachelor's recipients, higher 3-5 years after graduation than 6-12 months after,
and higher for bachelor's and master's alumni surveyed in 2007 than in the recession year of 2011.
Details (PDF, Jan. 2013)
- Methods and further details including salaries, further degrees,
and relationship of employment to the CU-Boulder degree are in alumni survey reports:
- Seniors plan on diverse activities
- 27-31% of graduating seniors plan to work full-time in Colorado
immediately after graduation.
- Others plan to move outside Colorado, pursue further
education, work part-time, or engage in military service,
volunteer activity, travel, internships, student teaching, and
starting or raising a family.
- Details in senior surveys
- Bachelor's graduates pursue further education.
For over 26,000 unduplicated students receiving CU-Boulder bachelor's degrees
summer 2006 - spring 2011, the National Student Clearinghouse
reports that 27% enrolled in higher education in the first two
years after graduation.
- Alumni report earnings
- CU-Boulder bachelor's recipients reported median full-time annual salaries
of $40,000 to $55,000, while master's and doctoral recipients
reported medians of $55,000 to $80,000, in the
2011 survey of alumni
3 to 5 years after graduation.
- Leeds School of Business class of 2012 employment statistics for
MBA degree recipients.
- College of Engineering and Applied Science
post-graduation survey results administered 6 to 8 months after graduation.
- The Colorado Department of Higher Education
website on "Initial Earnings of Graduates from Colorado Colleges and Universities Working in Colorado"
reports earnings by degree discipline for the first year after
graduation for 3,700 (13%) of the 28,000 duplicated bachelor's
graduates summer 2006 through spring 2011.
Report rates are higher for graduates in business (24%) and
engineering (29%) than for all other disciplines. Earnings for CU-Boulder graduates in
business (median $41,944) and engineering
(weighted median $53,910) are in line with those from other Colorado schools, with more
variance within schools than between schools.
- The earnings reported reflect only employment in Colorado,
excluding federal government and self employment, and may
reflect part-time work. Concurrent
bachelor's/master's recipients are excluded from the bachelor's
- In general, over the state, median earnings for bachelor's
recipients are (a) higher the older the average age at
graduation (Mines 22, UCB 23, Regis 35) because age is a proxy
for prior experience; (b) higher for schools in Denver, than
schools on the rest of the Front Range, and lowest for schools
off the Front Range; (c) higher for computer science and
engineering, then health professions, then business, closely
followed by all other majors.
- The low report rates reflect CU-Boulder graduate decisions
to pursue further education, start their own businesses, work
for the federal government, live and work outside Colorado, and
engage in activities other than paid employment immediately
from CDHE and College Measures -
Executive summary -
list of data limitations compiled by the University of
- CU-Boulder analysis of bachelor's report rates and earnings:
- See the CDHE
list of approved degrees and certificates offered for names and CIP codes of programs throughout
- National data on earnings present both initial and lifetime earnings.
These data also examine relationships of earnings to graduates' majors
and to the jobs and industries in which they work.
- Selected displays from the sources noted below.
- Taken over all workers, earnings increase and unemployment
rates decrease with higher levels of education.
U.S. Bureau of
- Starting salaries of bachelor's and master's
graduates are related to academic discipline or major, and to
employment sector and title. NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers)
survey of employers.
Executive summary |
- Disciplines with highest starting salaries: Computer
science and Engineering. Business leads the rest.
- Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
- Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings (2013)
shows differences in unemployment and earnings based on major for BA and graduate degree holders.
- The College Payoff: Education, Occupations,
Lifetime Earnings (2011) shows how earnings increase over a
worker's lifetime, with greater rates of increase for higher
levels of education.
- The U.S. Census Bureau also
reports on educational attainment, sector, and earnings.
- Payscale collects and reports self-reported salary data from
interested workers. Use caution with Payscale data -- workers wishing
to change jobs, and those in business and engineering, are overrepresented in the reports.
- According to PayScale's 2013 College Salary Report the median starting salary for
CU-Boulder graduates is $45,000 with a median mid-career salary of $87,100.
- Secondary sources also report on the value of college degrees:
NY Times |
Huffington Post |
Pew State and Consumer Initiatives
- Federal initiative to rate and compare colleges. In August 2013 President Obama
to measure college performance based on indicators that include postgraduate wages.
Enjoying and exercising the benefits of a liberal education
CU-Boulder's learning goals for all undergraduates echo the
basics of a liberal education.
- Just what is a liberal education, and why is it
valuable even now? See
i-seek (Minnesota's career, education, and job resource), and the
Huffington Post for complementary answers.
- The Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) project of
the Association of American Colleges and Universities relates
college learning outcomes and employers' views in several
- Voting, health, job satisfaction -- all are related to higher
levels of education. The College Board's
published every three years, presents detailed evidence of the private
and public benefits of higher education by examining earnings, employment, poverty rates,
lifestyle, heath, and other outcomes.
- The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)
that "a majority of arts graduates are happy with their
intensive education in the arts and do not view salary levels as the dominant measures
of their success." SNAAP surveys visual and performing arts
graduates from a range of schools across the U.S.
Where they live
- Living in Colorado is a decided benefit of going to school in
- Almost two-thirds of CU-Boulder alumni (64%) who earned a
degree between August 2006 and May 2008 were living in Colorado in 2011.
- Bachelor's recipients: 83% of Colorado residents and 29% of
those from outside Colorado
- Master's recipients: 69%
- PhD recipients: 47%
- MBA and Law not checked
The value of a CU-Boulder education
- After graduation but also while enrolled -- a CU-Boulder
education has both immediate and enduring value.
- The director of CU-Boulder's Career Service
writes to parents.
- CU-Boulder Undergraduate Admissions discusses
- Chancellor Phil DiStefano
addresses students and the public