This report, the result of a partnership between the State
of Florida and College Measures, focuses on the median first-year earnings of
recent graduates/completers from two-year and four-year institutions across
Florida as well as District Technical Centers. It documents the variation in
first-year earnings for graduates of specific degree programs at specific
colleges and universities. The report also presents data on the percentage of
graduates/completers from various institutions that are receiving public
assistance, as well as the percentage enrolled in continuing education. Debt
accumulated by students, not just graduates, also is reported. The results show
that the degrees and certificates students earn, and where they earn them,
View the full report here
the findings in this report:
State Colleges and District Technical Centers
- The bachelor’s degree and the associate of arts (A.A.)
degree, designed as a pathway to the bachelor’s degree, are the two most commonly
awarded degrees in Florida. The median first-year earnings of graduates with
these degrees are lower, however, than those of graduates of many other degree
and certificate programs. For example, graduates with an associate in science
(A.S.) degree have median earnings that are more than $11,000 higher than
graduates with bachelor’s degrees and almost $20,000 higher than graduates with
A.A. degrees who are in the labor market.
- The graduate’s field of study can greatly affect early
career earnings. The median first-year earnings of a graduate with an A.S.
degree in child care provider/assistant are around $25,000. A graduate with an
A.S. degree in nursing can expect twice as much, and graduates who earned an
A.S. degree as an emergency medical technician-paramedic can expect even more.
- There is a range of median first-year earnings across
programs awarding the same degree in the same field of study. Median first-year
earnings for emergency medicine technology–paramedic range from less than
$50,000 (College of Central Florida and Santa Fe College) to around $65,000 or
more (Palm Beach State College, Miami Dade College, Indian River State College,
Edison State College, and Broward College).
- The average federal debt level per student in 2010–11 across
Florida state colleges ranges from less than $3,000 at Pensacola State College,
Northwest Florida State College, and Florida Gateway College to more than
$5,000 per student at St. Petersburg College; Florida Keys Community College;
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota; College of Central Florida; Valencia
College; St. Johns River State College; and Broward College.
- District Technical Centers issued far more career
Postsecondary Adult Vocational (PSAV) certificates than did Florida colleges.
PSAV certificates issued by District Technical Centers accounted for more than
60% of all the certificates awarded in the state.
- However, graduates with certificates from the Florida
College System (FCS) are more successful in the labor market. For example, 76%
of college graduates/completers who were awarded PSAV certificates were found
to be employed compared with 68% with PSAV certificates from District Technical
Centers. In addition, the median first-year earnings for the five-year period of
study (academic years 2006–07 through 2010–11) of graduates/completers from
colleges were higher ($34,628) than the earnings ($28,028) of those with
certificates from District Technical Centers.
- More than 15% of graduates/completers who have earned PSAV
certificates in District Technical Centers received public assistance, almost
double the percentage of those who earned their degrees and certificates from
Florida’s state colleges.
- Students earning associate’s degrees are less likely to have
received public assistance than students who earn certificates.
- There is variation in the median earnings of graduates with
bachelor’s degrees from less than $30,000 at Florida Agricultural and
Mechanical (A&M) University to more than $36,000 at Florida International
University. Some of this variation is no doubt related to the different economic
areas of the state where these campuses serve and students choose to work.
- The median wages of graduates of four universities
(University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of
South Florida, and the University of North Florida) were within $750 of each
other, suggesting many university pathways into the labor market that employers
value at roughly the same level.
- Graduates with degrees in psychology, one of the most
popular fields of study in state universities, have low first-year earnings,
around $6,000 less than the statewide median. Graduates with degrees in
political science and English language and literature also fall toward the
bottom of the earnings distribution.
- Among the highest paid graduates are those with degrees in
business-related fields (business administration, finance, and accounting). In
contrast, graduates with degrees in marketing, another business-related field,
have lower first-year earnings.
- The median statewide federal loan amount per university
student is slightly more than $8,000. The amount varies, however, from around
$5,100 at Florida Gulf Coast University to more than $13,000 at the University
of Florida. Because this amount includes disbursements to both graduate and
undergraduate students, there may be some upward pressure on the amount reported
in research universities such as Florida State University and the University of
Florida. Moreover, this is only federally issued debt, and other sources of
loans students may be using to help finance their education are not included in
- During the five-year study period, Florida state colleges
awarded more than 6,000 bachelor’s degrees, concentrated in a small number of
relatively high-paying fields. In turn, the median first-year earnings of
graduates with bachelor’s degrees from Florida’s colleges (around $41,800) are
higher than those of graduates with bachelor’s degrees from Florida’s
universities (slightly more than $33,600).
- Graduates with master’s degrees earn more, often far more,
than graduates with only bachelor’s degrees. The median first-year earnings of
graduates with master’s degrees in Florida is around $49,000 compared with less
than $34,000 for graduates with bachelor’s degrees.
- For field of study, the earnings gained for having a
master’s degree, compared with only a bachelor’s degree, range from around
$5,000 (elementary education and teaching) to more than $25,000 for several
business degree programs and nursing.
Where the Jobs Are
The report also presents data on the industries and
occupations that are likely to be most in demand in future years. Following are
- The top three industries with the fastest growth in Florida
are related to construction with specialty trade contractors projected to grow
the fastest from 2013 to 2021 with annual growth of +3.72%.
- The health care industry is also projected to grow rapidly
due to population gains, the aging population, and improved medical
- Another way to look at where the jobs are is to see which
industries will be creating the most new jobs, regardless of the growth rate.
Some fast-growing industries are relatively small, others are much larger. For
example, ambulatory health care services and professional, scientific, and
technical services are expected to add numerous new jobs, and both have high growth
rates. In contrast, two industries, hospitals and administrative and support
services, have lower growth rates, but because they are large industries, will
add many more jobs than most of the faster growing industries.
- Some occupations will have a greater demand relative to
supply. Florida projects that only 572 graduates with the academic credentials
to become physical therapists will be produced by state colleges and
universities between now and 2021. The estimated industry demand, however, is for
more than 2,000 therapists during this time, leaving a shortage of around 1,500
trained individuals. Physical therapists are well compensated.
- Similarly, Florida colleges and universities will produce
far fewer securities and financial service sales agents than projected industry
demand (a shortage of some 1,800 graduates). These graduates are among the most
highly paid graduates in the state.
In addition to www.beyondeducation.org, readers interested
in more information may want to visit the following sites:
What People are Asking (WPAA) http://www.whatpeopleareasking.com/index.shtm is designed to retrieve Florida
job and wage data by area. It features Hot Jobs, What Hot Jobs Pay, and other information
of interest to students and parents.
http://smart-college-choices.com/ provides outcome data on
graduates of the Florida College System and District Technical Schools.