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New Report Tracks Grads From State Colleges; Nearly 70 percent Working in Connecticut 

For immediate release
February 26, 2007

WETHERSFIELD, A new report issued by the state Departments of Labor and Higher Education has found that nearly 70 percent of public college graduates from the state were working in Connecticut seven to nine months after graduation.

The report, Higher Education – Building Connecticut’s Workforce – analyzed data from 2004 and determined that two out of every three graduates (or 68%) from Connecticut’s public college system have remained in the state. The graduates were working in a wide variety of industry sectors, including educational services, health care, professional and technical services, manufacturing and retail trade.

“Too many times we hear about the challenges our state faces because we are losing so many of our young and talented college graduates to other states,” notes State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield. “While some of our students who opt to attend schools outside of Connecticut do find jobs in other states, we need to recognize that a large percentage of our talented students who attend Connecticut colleges find our state to be an attractive and profitable place to live and work.”

Using data from the state’s 18 public colleges, the report determined that 14,780 students graduated from Connecticut public colleges in 2004. Of this number, 77 percent of those graduating from community colleges were employed in the state while 75 percent who attended the state’s university system were working in Connecticut. Another 57 percent who graduated from the University of Connecticut remained to work in the state, along with 44 percent from Charter Oak State College.

The report, which also summarizes employment and earning results for the students, also provides detailed information on the graduates in terms of the jobs they found, and the financial rewards that resulted from higher education. Data also revealed the following:

  • The majority of the students earning degrees from Connecticut public universities in 2004 were women (59 percent) and nearly two out of every three (64%) of employed graduates were women.

  • Seven out of 10 graduates became employed in firms with 100 or more employees.

  • Graduates earned degrees in areas where jobs requiring higher education could be found. The top five degrees received (in order) were business, education, health professions, social sciences and history, and liberal arts and sciences. According to research from the state Labor Department, industries that will need the largest number of workers include the education and health services sector, (which will provide more than one-third of the new career opportunities) and professional and business services. Additionally, nearly half of the state’s leading careers will be in management, professional, and technical occupations. These will include positions in healthcare, business and financial operations, management, education and training, and computer and mathematical occupations. 

  • Those 2004 graduates working for utilities companies realized the highest average quarterly earnings ($14,613) and those working for firms involved in Management of Companies and Enterprises, such as corporate headquarters, followed with $13,478. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of the graduates had earnings above $9,000 in the third quarter after graduation.

“This collaborative effort has resulted in a report that we hope to expand in the future,” said Valerie Lewis, Commissioner of Higher Education. “In addition to quantifying the benefits of attaining a college degree and the importance of supporting our higher education system to sustain an educated workforce, the report demonstrates the benefits of maximizing research and information sources to assist state policymakers with addressing critical needs in Connecticut.“

The complete report can be accessed through the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Web site, or by calling the agency’s Office of Research at 860-263-6275. 

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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