First Destination Survey continues to show successful career outcomes rate for MSU graduates, Magnolia State retention

Contact: Allison Matthews

A student talks with an employer at MSU's Fall 2023 Career Expo.
A student talks with employer representatives at MSU's Fall 2023 Career Expo. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An annual First Destination Survey report continues to show strong career success rates for Mississippi State graduates gaining employment soon after earning their degrees, with more than half remaining in the Magnolia State.

The successful career outcomes rate for 2022-2023 MSU graduates within six months is 93%, which represents respondents who reported being employed full- or part-time, enrolled in a continuing education program such as graduate school, participating in a service program such as the Peace Corps, or serving in the U.S. military. The survey is conducted by MSU’s Career Center.

“The career success of our students is a point of pride in the MSU community. Our faculty, staff and community partners continue to create new opportunities for our students through industry and career events, research initiatives, as well as leadership development programs to help our students gain the hands-on, practical knowledge that sets them apart from their peers,” said Bethany Mills, executive director of the Career Center.

“One new MSU initiative we are particularly excited about is the Bulldog Experience, which will not only help our students gain additional skills and experiences but also will help our students better learn to market themselves for the next step in their careers,” Mills said.

Of the 5,831 graduates, reliable information for the survey was collected from 4,467. Of these, 69% were employed full time and 27% were enrolled in a program of continuing education.

Top employers for the graduates include MSU, Starkville-Oktibbeha School District, International Paper, Meridian Public Schools, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Entergy Corp. and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. The survey showed that 88% of respondents agreed their employment aligned with their degree awarded from MSU.

Of those pursuing advanced degrees, 70% were attending in-state colleges and universities.

“We have seen an increase in employer interest and engagement on our campus to hire MSU graduates. Throughout the 2022-2023 academic year, 884 unique employers attended the 43 career fairs and events that we held on-campus. At the Career Center, we hope to continue this momentum creating new connections for our students, and we are incredibly grateful for the support we feel across campus and for the new partnerships to help make these new connections a reality,” Mills said.

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Monday, February 19, 2024 - 10:53 am