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Labor Department/Higher Education Report Tracks Job Success for College Grads

For immediate release
June 5, 2008

WETHERSFIELD, Two out of every three public college graduates who made up Connecticut’s overall 17,726-member Class of 2006 found employment in this state following graduation and went on to be counted as part of Connecticut’s workforce, according to a just-released report titled Higher Education: Building Connecticut’s Workforce.

The Connecticut Departments of Labor and Higher Education produced the report, which was issued today by State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield and State Department of Higher Education Commissioner Michael P. Meotti. The report provides comprehensive employment and compensation data for students who graduated from the state’s 18 public colleges in 2006.

“This project builds upon other research initiatives by the Labor Department and Higher Education to identify the employment outcomes of participants in public programs,” noted Commissioner Mayfield. “Overall, 68 percent of the graduates were found to be working in Connecticut seven to nine months after their graduation in a wide variety of industry sectors, including educational services, health care, professional and technical services, manufacturing as well as retail trade.”

“Through this collaborative effort, we have been able to quantify the financial benefits of attaining a college degree,” noted Commissioner Meotti. “Our graduates more than doubled their income potential, and earned an average of $38,400 a year just nine months after graduation. Some earned as much as $85,000 in fields such as utilities and management. In addition, these results demonstrate the growing importance of our higher education system to building and sustaining an educated workforce, particularly in the health care industry where over 20 percent of our graduates are working,” he added.

Nearly seven of every 10 graduates, or 69 percent, were employed by firms with 100 or more employees, according to the report. A total of 45 percent, meanwhile, worked in firms with 500 or more employees, while almost two out of every three (65 percent) of the employed graduates were women.

The report further notes that 78 percent of the graduates from the Connecticut Community Colleges were employed in this state while 76 percent from the Connecticut State University System were employed in the state. Another 56 percent of those from the University of Connecticut were employed here, while 26 percent from Charter Oak State College found jobs in Connecticut.

“The results reflect, in part, the student population each system serves,” Meotti noted. “This takes into account the predominantly local communities served by the community colleges, to students potentially around the world who are pursuing the on-line offerings found at Charter Oak. Many UConn graduates, for example, may have gone on to graduate school and therefore are not yet seeking employment.”

“The Department of Labor regularly projects workforce needs in the state’s various industries and has determined that in-demand areas include the education and health services sector, which will provide one-third of the career opportunities, along with professional and business services,“ Mayfield said. “With this in mind, 60 percent of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the state will require, at minimum, a bachelor’s or master’s degree, reflecting the importance of higher education in meeting the knowledge and skill needs of Connecticut’s economy.”

Other facts highlighted in the report include:

  • Public college graduates employed in Connecticut were more likely to be working in Educational Services (23 percent) than in any other single industry sector. Although information on their occupations is not available, most are likely to be employed as teachers.

  • The top five degree-producing disciplines among public higher education institutions for many years have been in business, education, health professions, social sciences and history, and liberal arts and sciences. These five comprise 57 percent of all degrees awarded in 2006.

  • The greatest number of employed 2006 graduates majored in Business Management (2,162), followed by Education (1,637), Liberal Arts & Science (1,439) and Health Professions and Related Sciences.

The complete report, on the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Web site at www.ct.gov/dol, can be found under the Labor Market Information link, and also on the Department of Higher Education’s Web site at www.ctdhe.org.

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535

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