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Degrees of success: 2020-2021 K-State graduates finding jobs, educational opportunities

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022

K-State post graduation success

Kansas State University's 2020-2021 graduates are finding success within six months of their graduation. The university's latest post-graduation report shows that 97% of these graduates were employed or furthering their education and that median salaries rose $2,000 from a year ago.



MANHATTAN — New Kansas State University graduates are putting their degrees to work — and earning more.

The latest post-graduation report from Kansas State University for graduates in the 2020-2021 school year finds 97% are employed or furthering their education — up from 95% for the 2019-2020 school year.

"Last year's K-State graduates were remarkably resilient," said Kerri Keller, K-State Career Center executive director. "Facing multiple disruptions to their personal and educational lives, they utilized their networks, experiences and resources to land opportunities during one of most challenging years that I have seen in 30 years of career services. I appreciate the employers who remained loyal to K-State and made efforts to connect with our students, whether that meant recruiting through virtual career fairs, online interviewing, listings jobs in the Handshake system or leveraging connections through social media."

The annual post-graduation report is based on surveys conducted within six months of a student's graduation from K-State. The report shows new K-State graduates are popular with employers in Kansas, with 54% of the university's recent graduates accepting jobs in the state. Among bachelor's degree recipients, 58% report being employed in Kansas. And among all graduates, 71% are employed in Kansas or the surrounding states of Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska. Of the remaining employed graduates, 28% had jobs elsewhere in the U.S. and 2% were working internationally.

Degrees from K-State are also proving their value. The median starting salary for new bachelor's degree graduates increased to $52,000 — up $2,000 from the previous year. A 2021 survey by SmartAsset finds new K-State graduates command the highest-average starting salaries in Kansas. And a new study by a K-State economics professor finds that students who re-enroll in college and complete their bachelor's degree earn more immediately after graduating and experience extra annual income growth.

The knowledge rate for the surveys was 80%.

Leading employers of new K-State graduates include Cargill, Koch Industries, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 and Shamrock Trading Corporation. More than 3,250 different organizations hired at least one K-State graduate from the class of 2020-2021.

Of those graduates included in the report, 17% were furthering their education through almost 180 different graduate or professional programs with the most common fields of study, including accounting, business administration, law, medicine and veterinary medicine.

The K-State Career Center offers recruiting events that connect students with employers across all industries and career fields. The Career Center provides support to current students and is available to new graduates throughout the calendar year as they pursue their next steps. Services are available to students in person at the Berney Family Welcome Center as well as online through the Career Center website and a variety of virtual resources.