FDS: Outcomes Rate for Class of 2022 Bachelor’s Grads Returned to Pre-Pandemic Levels

December 11, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

First Destinations
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TAGS: graduate outcomes, nace insights, trends and predictions,

After two relatively down years connected with the COVID-19 pandemic, the outcomes rate for Class of 2022 bachelor’s degree graduates returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to First Destinations for the College Class of 2022.

The outcomes rate for bachelor’s graduates from both the Class of 2022 and the pre-COVID Class of 2019  was 86%. This follows the Class of 2021 (84.1%) and the Class of 2020 (82.4%), which experienced the lowest recorded rate in the history of the report.

Driving the upswing for the Class of 2022 was an exceptionally strong labor market, characterized by record low levels of unemployment. This is evident in the percentage of graduates from each class employed full time within six months following graduation; 59.1% of the Class of 2022 had full-time employment at that point, as did 55.3% of the Class of 2021 and 53.6% for the Class of 2020.

Further proof of the strong labor market the Class of 2022 graduated into is the increase in starting salaries to $61,869 from $58,862 for the Class of 2021. In addition, nearly one in four bachelor’s degree graduates who received full-time employment was granted an average bonus of $9,966 in addition to their base salary. It is likely that employers used bonuses as a means to counter inflation, which was 6.5%.

First Destinations for the College Class of 2022details outcomes for the graduates of the Class of 2022 six months after the end of the academic year (June 30, 2022). Overall, NACE received responses from 344 schools/career centers detailing results for their 2022 graduates in four-year degree programs. Among these, 314 schools reported summary outcomes for bachelor’s degree graduates, 181 schools provided information for those completing a master’s degree program, 111 institutions reported results for doctoral degree recipients, and 57 schools for their associate degree completers. In total, the graduating classes of these reporting institutions represent nearly 829,000 graduates: 594,000 at the bachelor’s degree level, 187,000 at the master’s level, 31,000 earning the doctoral degree, and 16,000 at the associate’s level. Both the survey report and its results dashboard are available on NACEWeb.

First Destinations for the College Class of 2022 - Dashboard Screenshot

NACE Dashboard: Access And Analyze the Class of 2022 First-Destinations Survey Data

In addition to having access to the first-destinations survey report for the college Class of 2022, NACE members also receive access to the full set of data from the survey through the report’s dashboard. This is an invaluable way for your team to gain insight into trends and issues, and enhance your ability to develop solutions and advocate for and market your department. For directions and tips on how to use a NACE research report dashboard, please see this YouTube video.

blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at kgray@naceweb.org.