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Get a Job: College Graduates and Gainful Employment

So, how do you judge something to be true or not true? Since I’m immersed in the higher education world that requires me to “prove” validity and reliability … provide reliable evidence from valid sources to back-up a statement … I attempt to carefully check sources. Recent research by Michigan State University seems to provide valid and reliable information about the important topic of college graduates and being able to secure a job following graduation. In higher education, this is called obtaining gainful employment.

The good news is that the Michigan State University study shows that we are in the third year of college graduates getting hired. Specifically, this study identified a 15% jump in hiring from all degree levels. The study also showed that actual hiring is influenced by companies growing and employee turnover. The not so good news is that those employed in fields other than engineering and information technology are not seeing salaries increase and the one field most identified as lacking growth is industrial manufacturing.

Overall, the Michigan State study identified that unlike 2009 and 2010, when college grads being hired were extremely low, there is a rebound in hiring opportunities for college grads. That’s great news.

Locally, the Azusa Pacific University School of Education recently reported that over the past three years they have credentialed some 853 California teachers. It’s estimated that about 25% of the 853 teachers earned their credential from the APU Murrieta Regional Center. Overall, the APU School of Education is the third largest private school and sixth largest among all California higher education institutions issuing teaching credentials. APU Murrieta Regional Center Credentialed students are working as principals, teachers, counselors, and school administrators and many have been recognized with awards at the local and state level.

More and more the topic of college graduation and gainful employment is being researched. When shopping for a college, it’s wise to learn from the potential college or university of choice when and where their new graduates are finding “gainful employment.”

Written by Vickie Becker, EdD

Vickie Becker, EdD, is the Executive Director for the Azusa Pacific University Murrieta Regional Center. She may be reached at 951.304.3400 or

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