Campus & Community

Wages of FCS bachelor’s grads surpass state universities

Students graduating from the Florida College System with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of nearly $9,000 more per year than those who receive the credential from the state’s universities, according to a recent report.

The report from the Florida Education and Training Placement Program, a data collection and consumer reporting system that provides information on former students and program participates who have graduated, exited or completed a public education or training program within Florida, shows that FCS bachelor’s degree graduates on average earned $50,892 in 2015-2016 (the latest year for which information is available) compared to $42,284 for their university counterparts.

That is welcome news for Dr. Anita Kaplan, dean of bachelor degree programs at Palm Beach State, who has seen the number of students pursuing bachelor’s degrees rise from 442 when the College began offering the programs in 2009-2010 to 2,500 enrolled for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

“I think it shows that we’re doing our job and making our students workforce ready and that the bachelor’s programs we offer are focused on where there is demand in the marketplace for new employees in these fields,’’ Kaplan said. In the state report, which uses data from 24 of the 28 colleges, PBSC’s bachelor’s degree graduates earned an average of $51,004 per year.

PBSC is now among 27 of the 28 colleges in the Florida College System that offers bachelor’s degrees. The College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Management with concentrations in Database Administration, Security & Network Assurance (IT Forensics) and Project Management. It also offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management with concentrations in General Management, Health Management, Entrepreneurship and Project Management.

Kaplan said the degrees offered by the College are not only in booming fields like cybersecurity and technology, but also in fields like nursing, where the expectation will be for workers to have a bachelor’s degree. She pointed to the Future of Nursing Report from the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, which indicates that it wants all nurses by 2020 to be prepared with a bachelor’s degree rather than associate degree.

She said the Supervision and Management program with various concentrations has the highest enrollment at PBSC because “it crosses a broad spectrum of areas in the marketplace of business and industry.”

“It’s really about making students marketplace ready,’’ Kaplan said.

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