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Report Outlines College Graduates’ Employment, Debt and Enrollment

A U.S. Department of Education report on college graduates from 2008 shed insight into their employment, debt and enrollment status four years after their graduation.

Tracking graduates’ outcomes to 2012, the “Statistics in Brief” indicated that 69 percent of those who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2008 were employed, 11 percent were simultaneously employed and enrolled in further higher education and six percent were enrolled only.

Seven percent of 2008 college graduates were not enrolled or employed.

A data table in the report broke down occupations by graduates’ sex and race/ethnicity. Males and females were both more likely to enter business or management occupations at 23.9 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively.

The smallest portion of graduates – 5 percent – worked as social services professionals or in sales, according to the report. Between 9 and 12 percent worked in PK-12 education, health care, trades and technical occupations, STEM or business support or administrative assistance.

A key finding regarding race/ethnicity showed that Asian graduates were significantly more likely at 18.4 percent to enter STEM occupations compared to White (11 percent), Black (8 percent) and Hispanic graduates (7.8 percent).

Data on college graduates not enrolled in further higher education also showed that a large majority were in the process of repaying their student loans. Seventeen percent had already paid them off.

For those graduates pursuing additional education, they entered master’s degree programs at the highest rate (62 percent) above doctoral, post-baccalaureate, associate’s or additional bachelor’s degree programs.

The report “Four Years Later: 2007-08 College Graduates’ Employment, Debt and Enrollment in 2012” was prepared for the National Center for Education Statistics and can be viewed here.

Tiffany Pennamon can be reached at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @tiffanypennamon.

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