MACON/ATLANTA – In a key indicator of the value of a college education, Mercer University undergraduates for the second consecutive year outperformed their peers across every category of four-year institutions in the U.S.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) annual First Destinations report for the Class of 2021, Mercer undergraduates’ positive career outcome rate of 95% exceeds the overall national average of 84%, as well as the averages among private institutions (92%), Southeast institutions (82%), institutions with undergraduate enrollment between 2,000-4,999 (90%) and Carnegie Classification Doctoral Universities with High Research Activity (88%).

Additionally, alumni of Mercer’s professional and graduate programs also outperformed the national average for all institutions, with a 94% positive career outcome rate compared to 88% overall.

“Mercer prepares students to leverage their educational experiences to make a positive difference in their lives, their communities and their chosen professions,” said Mercer Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis. “This is borne out in the NACE survey results, and it is another confirmation of the great return on investment that Mercer delivers for our students.”

The Class of 2021 consists of those who graduated during summer 2020, fall 2020 or spring 2021. Data was collected on 2,038 of 2,312 eligible graduates, resulting in a University-wide knowledge rate of 88%, well above national averages for bachelor’s (54.7%) and master’s (47%) degree programs.

Mercer’s Graduate Career Outcomes Survey consists of questions developed by NACE, along with a set of Mercer-specific questions. The annual survey is launched just before graduation, and data collection continues until six months after graduation. Questions collect detailed information about graduates’ career plans, career field experience engagement, resource utilization and career decision-making process.

Positive career outcomes include employment, continuing education, or volunteer or military service within six months of degree completion.

Mercer’s Center for Career and Professional Development prepares students and alumni to succeed in work and life by providing customized, innovative and comprehensive career resources. A wide range of services and tools are offered to help Mercerians with career direction, resume, curriculum vitae and letter writing, job and internship searching, interview preparation, networking, and more. Staff members are available to provide career consultations to Mercerians each weekday in one-on-one appointments.

“Seeing how well our Mercerians do in their next step after graduation is so exciting,” said Kim Meredith, executive director of the Center for Career and Professional Development. “This data really shines a light on how highly talented and motivated our graduates are. It also bears witness to our University-wide priority of career development and positive career outcomes for all graduates.”

Featured photo by Leah Yetter

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.