Job Ready: MSU boasts 94% success rate in employment after graduation

Contact: Harriet Laird

Students, employer representative talk at at MSU Career Expo
Students talk about their resumés and job search at the Spring MSU Career Expo. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State graduates continue to enjoy a more than 90% success rate for being employed or working on advanced degrees after graduation.

The 2021-22 career success rate from MSU’s First Destination Survey report is particularly impressive at 94%, measuring higher than the overall national percentage of 84.1% for bachelor’s degree graduates in the most recent 2021 report administered by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Last year, the university enjoyed a 97% career outcome rate, a category which also includes graduates in the military or service-related programs. MSU was among 292 other colleges and universities who participated in the NACE assessment.

“Students at Mississippi State are highly sought after by companies and organizations, as shown by the high rate of successful career outcomes, and it is because their well-rounded experiences at MSU help them to stand apart from the rest,” said Bethany Mills, executive director of the MSU Career Center. “The university is dedicated to student success, and this data should affirm the work that is being done in the classroom, through internships and co-ops, and through involvement and leadership opportunities on campus.”

More than half of graduates who reported their employment location said they have remained in Mississippi to work, with many choosing to stay at MSU for advanced degrees. Top employers include Boeing Co., International Paper, Raytheon, FedEx, and several public school districts and federal government agencies.

Also, the majority of respondents choosing to further their education after graduation instead of employment are staying in Mississippi, with 74% attending in-state colleges and universities. Survey respondents who reported being employed—either full- or part-time—listed an average base salary of $59,691. This is in line with the annual “Best Value Colleges” rankings, which lists MSU No.1 in the state for graduating students with the highest average starting salary of $55,100. A 2020 analysis conducted by international economic modeling company Emsi found that MSU alumni have an economic impact in the state of approximately $935 million annually.

“We hope that the MSU community finds this data helpful and encouraging,” Mills said. “It clearly indicates the value of an MSU degree and showcases top employers, programs, and locations for our students after graduation. At the Career Center, we hope to continue focusing on preparing students for life after graduation and creating opportunities for students to connect with employers and programs that help them reach their career goals.”

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