Median quarterly earnings six months and two years after exiting
Virginia Community College students enrolled in spring 2007 and not enrolled in any two- or four-year institutions in fall 2007
The median quarterly earnings of spring 2007 Virginia Community College exiters was $4,800 immediately after they left their community colleges. Exiters experienced the highest earnings growth within the next six months, when their quarterly earnings rose to $5,900. Their earnings increased more modestly over the subsequent year and a half to $6,500.
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.
Exiters: Virginia Community College students enrolled in spring 2007 and not enrolled in any two- or four-year institutions in fall 2007. Graduates made up 7 percent of the exiters in spring 2007.
Earnings data come from Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records from Virginia, Washington, DC, and the nearby states of Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. UI earnings records do not include self-employed, military, and federal employees.
Virginia's Community Colleges. (2010, February). Student success snapshot: An initial view of student success in the workforce, Issue #12. Richmond, VA: Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.