Postsecondary students who completed a credential had higher employment rates than noncompleters, and those who earned a degree had higher employment rates than those who earned a certificate.
Among students who began their postsecondary education in 2003–04 and were not enrolled 6 years later, 84 percent of those who completed a credential were employed in 2009, compared to 75 percent of students who did not complete a credential (figure 1). Employment rates were also higher for completers than for noncompleters at each credential level. For example, 77 percent of certificate completers were employed in 2009, compared to 62 percent of students who intended to complete a certificate, but did not.
Among students who had completed a credential, those who completed a certificate had the lowest employment rate (77 percent), while there was no measureable difference between the employment rates of bachelor’s and associate’s degree completers (87 and 84 percent, respectively).
Compared to students who earned an academic credential, a higher proportion of students who earned an occupational credential were employed in 2009.
Employment rates were also related to whether students earned their credential in an occupational or academic field of study (figure 2). Overall, 86 percent of students with a credential in an occupational field were employed in 2009, compared to 82 percent of students with a credential in an academic field.
Among employed completers, a higher proportion of those with an occupational credential reported working in a job related to their field of study, compared to those with an academic credential.
In 2009, about 74 percent of employed completers with an occupational credential reported that their job was related to their field of study, compared to 53 percent of employed completers ith an academic credential (figure 2).