Major Wages: Graduate Outcomes from Umpqua Community College

by Henry Fields

July 18, 2022

Job and wage data for college graduates has traditionally been quite difficult to obtain. Different states and college systems each maintain their own internal data and approaches to tracking graduates, which have rarely been connected in a systematic way to employment outcomes.

These critical data questions got a bit easier to answer this month, when Oregon joined a cohort of states in the Post Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) experimental data product from the U.S. Census Bureau. PSEO matches up degree recipients with job data to provide a range of insights on where graduates end up and how much they earn over time.

There’s lots to explore, but in this short article I’ll look at earnings outcomes by program of study at Umpqua Community College (UCC), one year and five years after graduating.
The median wage of UCC associate degree holders increased by $11,631 (+34%) five years after graduating, in comparison with one year post graduation. Health professions was the highest earning field of study, which reflects high wages and demand in medical professions such as registered nurses and nursing assistants. General studies, business and mechanic technologies all earned less than the average in their first year out of school, although the latter saw a substantial increase and was well over the median five years after graduation.

These data do not include every graduate. The universe is limited to graduates who earn at least the annual equivalent of full-time work at the prevailing federal minimum wage and work three or more quarters in a calendar year.

You can explore the data for yourself here using the PSEO Explorer tool. There you can not only examine earnings data for different programs and schools, you can also find information on the flow of graduates to particular industries or regions of the U.S.

Whether you’re planning your path to college or developing the local workforce, these data provide a much firmer understanding of the value of post-secondary programs in our area.


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