Workforce Preparation and Employment Outcomes

Average Quarterly Earnings: Florida

Average fourth quarter earnings for Florida College System students who left or completed a degree or certificate program

What Is Measured?

Average fourth quarter earnings

Who Is Counted?

2008-09 Florida College System students who left or completer a degree or certificate program and were employed in the fourth quarter of 2009

What It Tells Us

Average fourth quarter earnings for Florida College System degree and certificate completers were generally higher than those of their counterparts who did not complete a degree or certificate. Students earning advanced technical certificates had average quarterly earnings of $13,000, compared with $5,000 to $11,000 for associate degree completers.

Why It's Important

Many students enroll in community colleges to gain new skills so that they can improve their employment prospects. Numerous studies have found that median earnings for individuals with associate degrees are higher than median earnings for high school graduates. Even individuals who attend community college but do not complete a degree have higher earnings than those whose education stops at high school. Fewer studies have examined vocational certificates at the national level, but their results are consistent with the research on associate degrees, with certificate recipients showing a substantial advantage in earnings.

About the Data
Average fourth quarterly earnings were calculated for all individuals employed in public, private, or nonprofit establishments covered by the Florida Unemployment Insurance System between October and December 2009, regardless of the amount of earnings or time worked in that quarter. Data on degree and certificate completers were restricted to unduplicated individuals with valid Social Security numbers matched to those in the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP) between July 2008 and June 2009. Results include individuals who were still enrolled in postsecondary education, including those who completed an Associate in Arts degree in order to transfer to a four-year institution and who may not have been employed full time.
Data Source

Florida Department of Education. (2010). Florida education and training placement information program (FETPIP): Annual outcomes report.

Florida Department of Education. (2011, March). Benefits of educational attainment in Florida, p. 6.