These colleges have the highest employment rate after graduating

Employment Rates for University Graduates

These colleges have the highest employment rate after graduating

While the economic downturn has led to higher unemployment rates across the US, a new report shows that university graduates do have an advantage.

“When it rains hard enough and long enough, everyone gets a little wet.” So says the opening line of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce’s (CEW) latest report, ‘The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm’.

However, the report’s authors, Anthony P. Carnevale, Tamara Jayasundera and Ban Cheah, are not talking about the weather, they’re talking about unemployment.

What difference does a degree make?

Recent statistics have revealed that the financial troubles experienced since the beginnings of the ‘Great Recession’ in 2007 have resulted in an overall unemployment rate for graduates in the US of 4.5%.

A closer look at the statistics reveal the figure for recent graduates is higher, standing at 6.8%. Sounds pretty disheartening, doesn’t it? Why go to university if you can’t even get a job it?

Well, here’s why: the unemployment rate for those with only a high school qualification is 9.4%. And for recent high school graduates it’s a whopping 24%!

This has been the way throughout the recession. The highest unemployment level for recent university graduates was 11.1%, which occurred in July 2011. It’s a scary figure, but the equivalent for those with only a pre-university qualification was 30%, occurring in January 2010.

Similar patterns can be seen in the case of underemployment (those who are employed on a part-time basis who want or need to work full-time, or those who are employed in fields for which they are overqualified).

Job gains and losses

The report identifies a period of recovery, beginning at the start of 2010, since when jobs have been created in the US.

However, the jobs that have been created have been those which require a tertiary level qualification. Of the 1.8 million jobs lost by those with at least an associate’s degree (two years of university), 1.6 million have been regained.

On the other hand, four every five jobs that has been destroyed were those which required only a high school level qualification.

So those with degrees have been hit less hard. This is even the case in fields of employment where degrees are not traditionally required. In manufacturing, employment fell 19% for those with only a high school education, but only 9% for those with one; in construction the equivalent figures are 24% and 4%.

In every field except public administration, the study reveals, demand for those with bachelor’s degrees is greater than those without.

And with graduates continuing to earn more and more than non-graduates, as the CEW has discussed before (it has also produced a guide to how much graduates can expect to earn according to discipline), there is still clearly a demand that is greater than the supply!

Gender differences

The recession has affected men and women to different extents. Men with bachelor’s degrees lost 200,000 jobs. However, this was offset by the job gains made by women, who “more than made up for those losses”, according to the report. Men with only high school qualifications were also hit harder, losing 3.6 million jobs, compared to the 2 million lost by women.

The reason for this, the report concludes, is the long-term decline in traditionally male dominated blue collar industries such as construction and manufacturing.

These industries were artificially swelled by the construction boom which occurred before the recession began, but were then hardest hit by the recession. It is estimated that 5.2 million of the 7.2 million jobs lost have been in these industries, with wholesale and retail accounting for another 1 million.

Men have traditionally lagged behind women in the US in terms of university education. However, the proportion of men going to university has risen faster than that of women since the beginning of the recession, so it seems that this particular gap will close in the future.

Still worth it

This report only applies to the US, but it seems fair to say that the findings will be reflected in many others regions in the world which are experiencing similar issues.

Graduate unemployment figures often make the front pages, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t a stand-alone problem, but, well, people getting wet from the heavy rain.

Compared to the equivalent statistics for those with only a high school education, graduate unemployment figures are much stronger – and when the economy recovers, it will be in the graduate sector that gains are made.

In terms of employment, then, it seems that going to university is still worth it!


The 10 Best Colleges for Career Success After Graduation

These colleges have the highest employment rate after graduating

College is not only about getting a job – it is about the transition to becoming a well-rounded person. College provides a study not only in real-world skills, but literature, humanities, history, and more.

However, one significant reason we all attend college is to ultimately gain employment afterward. A degree is a prestigious marker indicating you have studied from an institution with experts who have prepared you for the real world.

The truth is, some schools have significantly better career & employment outcomes than others.

If I asked you what schools you think are the best for career success and employment rate, what would you say? You’d probably think Harvard…Princeton…Yale…these types of places.

While those are legendary institutions, believe it or not the data actually shows a very different assortment of schools.

So how does a school qualify as a top school for career success?

For this particular list, we are looking at one metric – percentage of students employed within a year after college.

All data for this ranking is publicly available on, an organization who sorted through data provided by College Scorecard, a government-maintained higher education database.

Additionally, we are only showcasing one unique school per state that appears in this list.

Here are the 10 best schools for career success in the US:

10. University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE)

photo by NCI

Starting off the list is the University of Nebraska Medical Center, a public health school constituent of the University of Nebraska academic system.

Their placement in the top 10 of the employment ratings makes sense; in the most recent US News ranking of Primary Care schools, the University of Nebraska Medical Center was ranked #8 of all medical schools nationwide.

The Medical Center as a whole is an incredibly productive center, housing Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health, and Pharmacy, among other schools. The total annual budget for this medical center is an impressive $700m+ annually.

Annually, hundreds of thousands of people find themselves patients of this medical center, making it the ideal space for the training of future health professionals.

Employment Rate: 94.96%

9. Siena College (Loudonville, NY)

photo by UpstateNYer / Matt H. Wade via Wikimedia Commons

A private liberal arts college based in New York, the employment rate for students graduating Siena is an impressive 95%+, and with good reason.

Siena has one of the strongest marketing programs at an undergraduate liberal arts college. Recently, ranked it the #1 marketing program in the country. Other sources, including College Factual and Design Rush, also place Siena in the top 10 colleges nationwide for undergraduate marketing.

Given how employable marketing and business skills are in the real world, it makes sense that Siena enjoys one of the highest employment rates of any school in the country.

Approximately 28,000 people call themselves alumni of Siena College. Some of these alumni are William Kennedy, one of the most important fiction writers of the 20th century who won a Pulitzer in 1984, and Ed Henry, a television correspondent who has worked for Fox and CNN.

In another recent ranking, designated Siena a top-100 Catholic College. 

Employment Rate: 95.13%

8. Saint John’s University (Collegeville, MN)

Saint John’s is unique in that it shares its curriculum and resources with another institution, the College of Saint Benedict. Saint John’s University (SJU) is an all-men’s institution while the College of Saint Benedict (CSB) is an all-women’s school.

Saint John’s is widely regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. US News recently ranked Saint John’s in the top 80 liberal arts colleges nationwide.

The experience at Saint John’s is characterized by international study alongside a strong student-faculty collaboration. Some destinations students and faculty regularly travel to include Australia, Chile, England, Japan, and South Africa. Over 55% of SJU and CSB students participate in a year-long study-abroad program.

Employment Rate: 95.16%

photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel via Wikimedia Commons

Providence College (PC) is ranked by US News as the #1 best regional university in the north. Given that an impressive 95%+ of graduating students find employment, this ranking makes sense.

One word frequently used to describe the educational experience at Providence College is innovation. To that end, the school has recently been awarded the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, an accolade given to their Global Studies Program for its innovative work on internationalization.

At the heart of the PC experience is giving back to the community. Historically, Providence College was the first school to offer a degree in Community Service Studies. More recently, due to its excellence in service, PC was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, an award given to a select few schools for demonstrating a measurable impact in their community.

Providence College is on the rise and has expanded tremendously in the past decade. In 2018, PC erected a new facility intended for the study of natural science known as the Science Complex. Also in 2018 was the opening of the Ruane Friar Development Center, a $30m facility complete with an innovation lab as well as a sports medicine center.  

Employment Rate: 95.28%

6. Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)

photo by © Matthew Hendricks via Wikimedia Commons

With a 95%+ employment rate after college, Marquette is not only the school for sports stars Dwyane Wade and Doc Rivers. Indeed, the school is home to a community no other in the country. 

The Ashoka Institute, a leading organization dedicated to social entrepreneurship, dubbed Marquette a “Changemaker Campus,” a prestigious designation awarded to less than 1% of all higher education institutions nationwide. 

What makes Marquette a Changemaker? In 2017, they instituted the 707 Hub, an initiative designed to encourage collaboration between students and faculty through social and entrepreneurial innovation. Aligned with the school’s jesuit mission, the 707 Hub naturally prepares students for a life in leadership and service according to Ashoka. 

Marquette is one of the top schools nationwide, ranking in the top 100 National Universities in US News’ 2020 list.

Employment Rate: 95.55%

5. Western New England University (Springfield, MA)

photo by Bpayne4001 via Wikimedia Commons

Western New England has the highest employment rate of all schools in Massachusetts, an academic powerhouse of a state home to dozens of universities including Harvard and MIT.

One reason their employment rate is over 95% is simple; they teach practical, experiential classes providing the skills and framework essential for career success in the real world. Western New England has dedicated schools for the study of business, engineering, law, and medicine.

The core of the Western New England experience is the caliber of people – both the students and the faculty. Students who rate the school consistently say the professors truly care about the outcomes for their students.

46,000 people call themselves alumni of Western New England. 

Employment Rate: 95.56%

4. Lebanon Valley College (Annville, PA)

photo by DutchmanOne via Wikimedia Commons

Lebanon Valley College is a hidden gem college in Pennsylvania with approximately 1,700 students, giving this unique institution the environment of a classic liberal arts experience.

For a small school, Lebanon Valley College offers numerous opportunities for their students. Study abroad experiences are at the heart of Lebanon Valley, with programs available in Argentina, China, New Zealand, and Spain, as well as several other countries.

Throughout the last 2 years, Lebanon Valley has witnessed a significant surge in growth. Newly constructed facilities include the Jeanne and Edward H. Arnold Health Professions Pavilion, a $20m complex dedicated to exercise science as well as physical therapy. 

So why does this school have such a high employment rate? Lebanon Valley is dedicated to seeing their students succeed in and college. The Edward and Lynn Breen Center for Graduate Success, which launched in 2018, helps students find employment in the real world after their studies.

Employment Rate: 95.63%

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photo by Bmamlyuk via Wikimedia Commons

With a nearly 96% employment rate for students, Ohio Northern is the best school in all of Ohio for placing students into jobs after graduation, surpassing the numbers of Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan, and many other highly-ranked midwest institutions.

Situated across 342 acres, Ohio Northern has sustained tremendous growth throughout the past few decades. Expansions include a new engineering building, the Freed Center for the Performing Arts, and renovations to several of the campus’ current facilities.

This approach to growth is a reflection of the university’s commitment to seeing their students succeed in and college.

Worthy of mention is the school’s central mission of sustainability. Successful environmental efforts include the implementation of wind turbines meeting nearly 10% of the university’s energy needs, as well as a solar field reducing ONU’s carbon footprint by 2,200 tons.

Employment Rate: 95.86%

2. Augustana University (Sioux Falls, SD)

photo by David Huebner via Wikimedia Commons

Augustana – South Dakota’s largest private university with approximately 2,000 students – has a higher employment rate than any top-ranked school in the country, including Williams, Amherst, Harvard, and Yale.

Don’t believe us? For every 25 students who graduate Augustana, an amazing 24 find work soon upon graduation, according to data from the Federal government.

How is Augustana so successful in placing students into work after college? It’s through their commitment to getting students ready for work after college.

Experiential learning is at the core of the Augustana experience. The school invests a quarter of a million dollars each year helping students gain internships, field work, and other opportunities setting them up for career success after graduation.

Accepting 3 every 5 students who apply, Augustana is labeled by US News as a “more selective” institution, and with good reason; this exclusive institution is the midwest’s very best for helping their students shape profitable and fulfilling futures.

Employment Rate: 96.05%

1. Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT)

photo by JlsElsewhere via Wikimedia Commons

The #1 school nationwide for helping students find significant employment after college is Quinnipiac University, a hidden-gem university tucked away in Hamden, Connecticut.

How does Quinnipiac maintain a 96%+ employment rate within six months of graduation? Perhaps it’s the fact that 3/4ths of the entire student body participate in an internship during their undergraduate studies, or that nearly 70% engage in service learning while at Quinnipiac.

Or maybe it is that this school has many highly-ranked programs preparing students for successful careers. Quinnipiac’s School of Business as well as their School of Law are ranked highly by US News as well as Forbes Magazine.

What makes Quinnipiac special though is its unique standing as an east coast institution. Surpassing every Ivy League university as well as every top liberal arts college in employment rate is no small feat; we predict Quinnipiac’s ranking in mainstream media outlets will rise significantly over the next 3 years. 

Employment Rate: 96.10%

Featured Image by JlsElsewhere via Wikimedia Commons


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