Monday, March 19, 2018
AccessLex Institute, After Graduate and Professional School: How Students Fare in the Labor Market:
Although on average, advanced degrees are valuable in the labor market, students pursuing a graduate or professional degree face considerable uncertainty. Research doctoral and professional degree recipients have lower unemployment rates and higher average earnings than those with master’s degrees, and there is wide variation in outcomes, even among students who complete the same type of degree. As noted in the first brief in this series, Who Goes to Graduate School and Who Succeeds?, about a quarter of students who enroll in graduate and professional degree programs leave school without earning a degree. Among those who complete their studies, outcomes vary based on type of degree, field of study and occupation, as well as race, ethnicity and gender.
This brief explores employment and earnings outcomes among advanced degree recipients. Examining these outcomes across degree, occupational and demographic categories paints a nuanced picture of the payoffs of graduate and professional education. This information is critical for prospective students and others seeking to assess the value of these degree programs.