Within 6 months of graduating, 82% of the bachelor’s degree Class of 2015 were employed or in grad school

The National Association of Colleges and Employers released its annual report diving into the outcomes of college students six months post-graduation.

Bachelor’s degree recipients

The bachelor’s degree Class of 2015 had a positive year in terms of outcomes as compared to last year’s class. The percent employed improved, a greater percentage continued their education, and starting salaries increased. This was true for bachelor’s degree graduates throughout the US. Within six months of graduation, over 82% of students who earned a bachelor’s degree were either employed or continuing their education. Those with a full-time position at a traditional employer increased from 52.5% in 2014 to 54% in 2015, and those continuing their education increased from 16% in 2014 to nearly 18% in 2015. Finally, those still searching after graduation dropped from 17.5% in 2014 to just over 14% in 2015.

Bachelor’s degree summary outcomes, Class of 2015


For those graduates from the Class of 2015 employed full-time, the average salary was $50,219, compared with the average salary of $48,190 for the Class of 2014. This is a 4.2% increase in graduate starting compensation—another indication of positive outcomes for this class.

Focusing exclusively on employment after graduation, there is substantial variety across majors in terms of post-graduation success. The top five majors as measured by the percent employed full-time by a traditional employer—computer science, business, engineering technology, engineering, and communications—have employment rates ranging from 59-72%. By contrast, the bottom five majors in terms of the percent of full-time employment with a traditional employer—history, psychology, the physical sciences, philosophy, and biology—have employment rates that range from 28-37%.

Master’s degree recipients

87% of master’s degree recipients from the Class of 2015 were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation. More than 70% landed a full-time position with a traditional employer.As for starting salary, the master’s degree demonstrates a sizable increase over a bachelor’s degree. The average salary for master’s graduates with a full-time position was $65,818—an increase of more than 31% over the average starting salary for a bachelor’s degree graduate.

Master’s degree summary outcomes, Class of 2015

Doctorate degree recipients

Over 91% of those with a doctorate degree were either employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation. 27.5% were employed in “other” settings, which were defined as separate from traditional employers, but are, in fact, highly traditional for the degree (faculty, post-doctoral positions, etc.) In addition, doctorate degree graduates enjoyed a 14% increase in average starting salary over their master’s counterparts, and a 49% differential when compared with bachelor’s degree graduates. The average starting salary for those graduating with a doctorate from the Class of 2015 was $75,030.

Doctorate degree summary outcomes, Class of 2015