OUS grads more likely to find jobs

According to new data compiled by the Oregon University System (OUS), recent graduates of OUS schools are finding employment that correlates to their degree, 82.9 percent of which report that they are either employed part time or full time, despite the depressed Oregon economy.

Data was collected in a report that assessed how 2001 graduates of Oregon’s seven public universities assess their educational experience, and remark on how it has aided their employment.

While this year’s percentage of employed graduates has dropped slightly from the 83.4 percent in 1999-2000 to 82.9 percent this year, the number of unemployed graduates has fallen as well, to 4 percent, roughly half of Oregon’s 8.1 percent unemployment rate at the time of the survey.

These graduates seem to have gone back to school, with a 2.1 percent increase in enrolled students over last year, counterbalancing the drop in unemployed graduates.

Portland State University officials echo this analysis, citing an increase in returning students this year.

The majority of recent graduates obtained employment within six to twelve months of completing their degree.

Occupations held by respondents varied by gender, with female graduates tending to enter fields with lower earning potentials.

About 80 percent of graduates employed took jobs in Oregon; local employers are drawing significant portions of their workforce from OUS schools. 12 percent work in Washington or California.

OUS students and graduates make up about one fourth of the 400 interns at Intel.

“There are 95 interns (from OUS) at Intel for the intern year of 2002,” Amaia Lotina, Oregon intern program manager, said.

Kaiser health services affirms that most of their hires are of local applicants.

About 15 percent of graduates employed full or part-time use their second language skills to communicate with contacts in their workplaces.

The report also outlines the somewhat nontraditional nature of Oregon higher education, with students completing a bachelor’s degree on average in 4.9 years.

Most graduates began their education at a different institution than the one they completed their degree at, 57 percent of respondents entered into OUS as transfer students, only 40 percent entering as freshman and completing their degree at the same institution.

More than a third of the respondents were the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree, most of which began at community colleges.

“First generation” college grads report lower college GPAs than those with family member who had graduated college before them.

Around 24 percent of first generation college grads reported a GPA of 3.0 or lower, compared to 18 percent of graduates whose parents completed college.

“First generation” students lag behind students whose parents completed college with 12 percent reporting GPAs of 3.5 or greater, compared to 16 percent of students from university families.

About 43 percent of the graduates say their work relates closely to their degree major.