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Where are they now?

Smith Career Center recently published its 2017-18 First Destination Report, outlining what last year’s Bradley graduates are doing after graduation.

The First Destination Report recently published by the Smith Career Center outlined what last year’s graduates are doing after graduation, including if they are pursuing a higher degree or landing their first job.

The report included data from 949 of 992 Bradley baccalaureate degree recipients from all departments and 283 of 300 advanced-degree graduates from August 2017 to May 2018. Among these, 258 baccalaureate and 54 advanced-degree graduates reported their salary information.

Career Outcome

Among all 949 baccalaureate graduates with data, 82 percent found a job, 11 percent to pursue a higher degree and 7 percent are still seeking opportunities. All graduates were categorized by their primary major of choice.

In graduate college, 95 percent of 283 reported are employed; 2 percent are continuing education and 2 percent are still seeking.

“We basically stayed where we are at, we have a nice 93, 94 percent career outcome rate,” said Jon Neidy, executive director of Smith Career Center and assistant vice president for student affairs.

According to the report, an overall 93 percent of baccalaureate career outcome rates, the percentage of graduates who are employed or continuing education out of all reported, maintained the same with Bradley’s five-year average and is 1 percent higher than its 10-year average.

Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology ranked the highest employment rate at 93 percent among 193 graduates reported. College of Liberal Arts and Science had the highest continuing education rate of 26 percent among 190 graduates reported and 66 percent employed.

On the low end, the Slane College of Communication and Fine Arts had an 85 percent baccalaureate outcome rate, below its five-year average of 89 percent and 10-year average of 86 percent, ranking the lowest among five undergraduate colleges.

The nursing program awarded 78 baccalaureate degrees last academic year, ranking the largest program at Bradley. Ninety-five percent were employed after graduation, roughly 73 graduates of the 77 reported, and no graduates continuing education.

In 108 baccalaureate programs lists, many programs only graduated a few students last year; 78 programs had less than 10 graduates, and 30 programs had over 10 graduates. These 30 programs included 716 of the total 992 graduates.

In terms of overall career outcome, the television arts major ranked the lowest among programs with over 10 graduates. Out of the 12 reported, four graduates are still seeking opportunities. The program had 14 graduates last year.

Starting Salary

The report also stated graduates’ starting salary based on majors, and compared with national average based on data from National Association of Colleges and Employers. The report included salary information from 258 of employed baccalaureate graduates, and 21 majors received more than three reports and calculated the average.

“We don’t have a really big data set around salary, as you get down closer to majors, we may have no data set on a salary,” Neidy said. “We do spend a lot of time looking at the report of salary data, and getting raid of things don’t seems accurate … We look at each line of salary and make decisions in that space.”

Electrical engineering with computer option received the highest starting salary average of $72,120. Five other majors received averages over $60,000. They are electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, management information system, industrial engineering and construction, respectively.

Elementary education with ESL endorsement received the lowest reported average of $26,000 among Bradley graduates, lower than national starting salary average of $37,094 by about 30 percent.

Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology also received the highest salary reporting rate of 60 percent. In contrast, Slane College of Communication and Fine Arts only had 14 percent salary reporting rate.

In the graduate school, 43 advanced degree recipients reported their salary information, and nine programs received more than three reports to calculation an average.

Master in computer science graduates have the highest average salary of $81,000 compare to national average of $91,151.

Among all the average salaries available, accounting three-plus-two bachelor’s and master’s degrees combined program and master of business administration program are the only two Bradley graduate programs surpassed the national averages. The accounting program averaged $58,984 compare to the $53,517 national average, and business administration program received $66,667 compare to $62,456.

The full report is available at Smith Career Center website at

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