Wichita State University had the highest rate among state universities with 73.6 percent of its graduates finding jobs in Kansas within a year after graduation, the university said in a statement Tuesday.
Using graduation data from the Kansas Board of Regents and employment data from the Kansas Department of Labor, the analysis shows nearly 74 percent of Kansas residents who graduated from one of the 32 public higher education institutions, which also includes private schools and colleges, were employed in Kansas one year after graduation.
Wichita State topped the list of state universities, followed by Emporia State University at 71.7 percent, Fort Hays State University at 66.6 percent, Pittsburg State University at 57.4 percent, Kansas State University at 54.2 percent and the University of Kansas at 47.2 percent.
One factor leading to the higher employment rate for WSU graduates is the focus by Wichita State to help students gain work experience in their field before graduation.
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"Research conducted by our office indicates that over the past five years an average of 91 percent of graduates who completed a co-op or internship through our office are working in Kansas," said Connie Dietz, director of WSU’s Cooperative Education and Work-Based Learning. "Our research further indicates for the same time period that 75.6 percent are employed in a job related to their major."
National research indicates that outcomes and job placement are central factors in the college search process, according to Bobby Gandu, director of undergraduate admissions.
"Students and parents want to know what their educational investment and experience will yield and numbers like these provide a great reason why Wichita State should be on the short list of every student in Kansas," said Gandu.
"The jobs of today and the future require a college education," said Andy Tompkins, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents. "By the end of the decade, more than 60 percent of Kansas jobs will require some level of higher education attainment. By meeting the needs of Kansas employers through highly skilled graduates, higher education supports economic development and offers a sound return on state investment."