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New Florida Report Tracks State College And University Graduate Earnings

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A new Florida report tracks differences in employment and earnings based on the degrees earned by Florida college and university graduates.

Science degrees pay. And generally, the higher the degree one earns the more they can expect to be paid — even within their field.

Those are two conclusions from a first-of-its-kind economic study of Florida’s college and university graduates. Lawmakers required the annual reports two years ago, part of a push to tie the state’s education system to job needs.

The median earnings of Florida associate of arts graduates was $26,504 in their first year, while the median bachelor’s graduate (not divided by arts and science) earnings was $33,652. Nursing, accounting and teaching graduates earned the highest median pay among bachelor’s graduates. For bachelor degrees earned at Florida colleges, the median pay was highest for nursing, computer and information technology and dental hygienists.

The median associate of science earnings was $45,060, with emergency medical technicians, nursing and physical therapy the most lucrative fields. The report shows the differences in earnings for the same degree at state schools.

But to paraphrase Mr. McGuire from “The Graduate,” one word: Pharmacy. Median first-year earnings for Florida’s pharmacy graduates were $111,104 — the highest of any field.

The report also tracks student debt. St. Petersburg College students had the highest average federal student loans at $7,251. The average federal loan amount at most colleges was closer to $4,000.

Among state universities, the average student had $9,254 in federal loans. The average University of Florida student had the most federal loans, $13,011, while Florida Gulf Coast University students had the least, $5,152.

Check out the full report below. There’s a lot to chew on:

John O’Connor is a reporter for StateImpact Florida, a project of WUSF, WLRN and NPR covering education. John writes for the StateImpact Florida blog and produces stories for air on Florida public radio stations.