Of Oklahomans who graduate from an Oklahoma state system college or university, 96% remain and work in the state one year after graduation, according to the 2022 Employment Outcomes Report from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
“The state system of higher education remains focused on meeting Oklahoma’s growing workforce needs in high-demand fields,” said State Regents’ chair Jack Sherry. “This latest report shows that graduates of our colleges and universities choose to stay in the state, joining our labor force, strengthening our economy, and contributing in our communities.”
Employment outcome rates reflected in the report are calculated from data matched between the State Regents, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) and Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) records to determine the percentage of state system graduates who remain in and are employed in the state one year and five years after graduation.
“The vast majority of resident graduates from our public institutions make their living in Oklahoma,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. “Even five years after graduation, these individuals are helping to meet Oklahoma’s current and future workforce needs in numerous fields, including health professions, education, engineering, computer science, and business.”
The report shows that five years after graduation, more than 88% of Oklahomans who graduate from a state system college or university remain and work in the state.
Of STEM graduates from our state system colleges and universities, more than 84% of resident students remain and work in Oklahoma one year after graduation. Five years after graduating with a STEM degree from a public institution, more than 70% of Oklahomans still live and work here.
Over 84% of engineering graduates earning a bachelor’s degree are working in the state one year later. Of teacher education graduates from our public institutions, 88% are employed in Oklahoma one year after graduation. More than 95% of nursing graduates at all degree levels are employed in the state one year after graduation, and more than 90% remained five years later, meeting a critical workforce need.
Most Oklahoma’s Promise students also stay and work in the state after earning a degree. More than 96% of Oklahoma’s Promise graduates remain and work in Oklahoma one year after graduation. Over 91% of Oklahoma’s Promise graduates are still living and working in the state after five years.
The report also examines how education level impacts earnings. The 2022 study supports national data that link salary to educational attainment. Consistent with national trends, data for graduates of Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities confirm that the higher the degree a student earns, the higher the salary they are likely to earn. Additionally, wages increase five years after graduation at all degree levels. The report is available online at https://okhighered.org/econ-dev/statewide-employment-outcomes/.