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Guide to the Post-Completion Wages of Graduates

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Guide to the Post-Completion Wages of Graduates

There is unquestionably much more to life and education than getting a job. Individuals pursue postsecondary education for a variety of reasons, including lifelong learning and personal skills development. They pursue higher levels of education to benefit their community, the Commonwealth, and the nation, as well as themselves. There is also no question that some individuals  pursue a career as the primary focus of their educational pursuit. This is especially true when one considers the breadth of degree and certificate opportunities the public and independent colleges and universities of the Commonwealth have to offer.

Through the development of the Virginia Longitudinal Data System, guided by language in Virginia's Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011, and required by the passage of HB 639 of 2012, SCHEV is able to report wage and enrollment outcomes on a subset of graduates, at all levels of award, by institution.

Through the links below, users will be able to explore a variety of data about how much graduates earn 18 months following completion of a degree or certificate. In cases where we have adequate data, we also report on earnings at five and eight years following completion. We also publish data at the state level displaying wage outcomes as much as 20 years post-completion.

In using the data contained within these reports, users should exercise great care to understand the limitations of the available data and their meaning. Wage outcomes of graduates do not measure the quality or effectiveness of any institution. Instead, they provide basic facts about the experiences of graduates after entering the workforce and indications as to broadest levels of outcome in the Commonwealth - full-time employment, part-time enrollment, and enrollment in higher-level programs. 

SCHEV does not endorse or recommend using these data to evaluate program or institution quality. While it may be tempting to rank and compare programs at multiple institution, any ranking that does not consider family wealth of the graduates, Virginia residency, and the mix of gender & race/ethnicity is necessarily flawed as all of these are factors in individual earnings.

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