Through WMU’s 2020-21 Post-graduation Activity Survey of graduates (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and postbaccalaureate certificate), the University collected data for a total of 3,346 graduates, or 69%, of those who earned their degrees between August 2020 and June 2021. Three weeks before each graduation, all graduating students receive an email on behalf of their college dean, department chairperson or program director with a personalized link to the Post-graduation Activity Survey. Nonrespondents receive at least four reminders via email. The data collection cycle ended on Oct. 30, 2021. Sixty-eight (68%) percent of the data in the report was obtained through an online questionnaire and 32% through LinkedIn. A total of 687 graduates from the Haworth College of Business responded to the question about employment, continuing education or military service. Please review the Post-graduation Activity Report for detailed information about the methodology.

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My students are getting worried about the job market because they are hearing about this recession. Yes, recessions tend to be VERY bad for college grads. However…there are only (sarcasm) around 10M unfilled jobs. National unemployment is 3.7% (near 50 year lows). That is not a labor recession. College grads, worry not (not even close – pick the right major & get work experience though, see below). The unemployment rate for Americans w/ a college degree has dropped to 1.9%.

Recession Graduates:

The benefits of starting college in a recession

The top 10 most-regretted college majors — and the degrees graduates wish they had pursued instead. “Bachelor’s degree holders generally earn 84% more than those with just a high school diploma…STEM, health and business majors are among the highest-paying…Top-paying college majors earn $3.4 million more than the lowest-paying majors over a lifetime.”

The avg cost of college tuition & fees at public 4-year institutions has risen 179.2% the last 20 years for an avg annual increase of 9.0%. It’s a disturbing chart. BUT, while my supply chain students spend around $60K for their degree, they graduate with a job that pays $60-75K, & many are at 100K by age 30. That’s not bad ROI, right?

Education boosts earning power…Avg salary by education 2022 (inflated IMO): 1. High school diploma $98,157; 2. Two-year degree $91,204; 3. Some college $108,647;
4. Bachelor’s degree $134,037;
5. Master’s degree $163,335;
6. Ph.D. $265,606.
Over their lifetime, an MBA graduate can expect to earn $3M more than someone w/ only a bachelor’s degree.

…by 2030, the U.S. could experience unrealized revenue of $1.748 trillion due to labor shortages — equivalent to 6% of the country’s entire economy.


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