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New Jersey Higher Education Graduates’ Employment and Earnings

New Jersey Higher Education Outcomes Dashboard

The New Jersey Statewide Data System (NJSDS) is pleased to release its updated New Jersey Higher Education Outcomes Dashboard. This dashboard uses linked, longitudinal administrative data from the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to show the employment and earnings outcomes of graduates of New Jersey’s two- and four-year colleges. The percent of graduates employed and their median annual earnings are shown by graduation year, institution of higher education, major, race, and sex for the three years following their graduation. Building on prior products, this dashboard reports outcomes by demographic group for each institution, rather than in aggregate.

How to interpret wages and percentages

The report provides estimates for full-time, full-year workers by classifying graduates as working full time if their yearly salary is above the full-time equivalent minimum wage. Our white paper on this topic indicates that this method provides the lowest biased estimates. This method also accounts for the economic cycle as graduates enter and exit the workforce or are employed in seasonal jobs. While we have high confidence that wage estimates represent the entire population of graduates, readers should use caution when interpreting the percentage of graduates who are employed. These only account for those employed full time for firms within New Jersey. Not included are those working part time, working out of state, self-employed, working for the federal government, or farm workers. When interpreting the percentage estimates, note that there are two markets in which higher education institutions participate. One market is regional where students come in from out of state or leave to work out of state. The second is local, where graduates tend to stay within state near their college or university after graduating. As such, some successful institutions and subgroups may have lower percentages of graduates working within the state because of high-income workers moving across the nation, working in Philadelphia or New York, or entrepreneurs beginning their own small businesses. A high percentage of those working within New Jersey can also reflect an institution’s success at responding to and meeting the demands of a local economy. Work continues toward obtaining data-sharing agreements with surrounding states.

Highlights from this dashboard include:

  • Overall, those earning Bachelor’s degrees earn more than those completing an associate degree.
  • Earnings typically increase annually each year following graduation, and earnings have increased for each cohort.
  • Male graduates of New Jersey’s colleges typically earned more than female graduates, though female graduates were slightly more likely to be employed in the state.
  • There are higher disparities by race in both earnings and the percentage employed full time within New Jersey at the associate degree level compared to the Bachelor’s degree level.

View detailed outcomes in the dashboard linked below. To change the page, click on one of the five grey boxes at the top. To change selection options, click the buttons on the left panel to filter the graduation year, award level, or characteristic displayed.

An aggregate data file will be available for download soon.