University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Employment and Training Institute

Brief Summary

Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Milwaukee Public School Students Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1989-1998

a collaborative project of the Milwaukee Public Schools and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2000.

This report examines the experience of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) from 1989-1998 and details earnings of graduates by degree and diploma area. The tables showing the earnings of graduates are intended to provide MPS staff with follow-up analyses useful for counseling students on the experience of recent college graduates and the impact of post-secondary education on future earnings.

During the ten-year period examined, more than one out of every ten graduates of UWM (2,868 of 24,991) were graduates of Milwaukee Public Schools. Analysis is provided by gender and by type of Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees awarded to MPS graduates. Because most UWM and MPS students live and work in the Milwaukee area after graduation, the employment analysis provides a current and exhaustive examination of earnings impact over time applying a state-of-the-art research methodology that uses state wage data to track earnings for the total population employed in Wisconsin. The earnings of graduates who move out of state or are self-employed are not included in this analysis.

The top 25 degree areas for both males an females are presented by year of graduation from UWM with average annualized earnings as of the Fourth Quarter 1999

Female Graduates

  • Most of the 1,654 female UWM BA/BS graduates (from the ten years examined) were employed at a full-time level in Fourth Quarter 1999, and 81 percent were concentrated in the top 25 degree areas as shown in the attached table. See Top 25 BA/BS Degree Areas for MPS/UWM Female Graduates by Year of Graduation from UWM (1989-1998) and Their 1999 Wages

  • Wages tended to increase over time for most graduates. 1999 annualized earnings for females averaged $33,948 for students who graduated from UWM in 1996-1998. Earnings rose to $41,928 for students who had graduated from UWM in 1989-1992.

  • Education and Nursing were by far the most popular areas of study. When education areas are combined, 305 graduates (or 19 percent of employed female graduates) were in the School of Education with 124 majoring in Elementary Education, 36 in Exceptional Education, 34 in Secondary Education, 70 in Community Education, 27 in Early Childhood and 14 in Art Education. Elementary Education graduates averaged $37,788 in annualized wages for recent graduates (1996-98) and $56,464 for students who had graduated in 1989-92.

  • Nursing was the second most popular field of study with 94 graduates employed full-time in Fourth Quarter 1999 with initial annualized earnings of $34,508 for 1996-98 graduates and $40,400 average annualized earnings for 1989-92 graduates.

  • The next most popular degrees for females were in Social Work (90), Accounting (87), Criminal Justice (85), and Psychology (79).

1999 Wages of MPS Women Graduating from UWM
Male Graduates

  • The top 25 degree areas for MPS males who were UWM graduates from 1989 through 1998 (shown below) included 960 graduates, or 79 percent of the 1,214 graduates in the male study population. Accounting topped the list of UWM majors for men with 87 graduates, followed by Criminal Justice (64), Finance (62) and Economics (59).

  • Average wages increased over time with 1996-98 UWM male graduates earning $41,424 in 1999, while 1993-95 graduates were earning an average $45,820, and 1989-92 graduates were earning $51,636 on average by Fourth Quarter 1999.

  • The top paying majors for UWM male graduates were in Engineering where 1999 wages averaged over $70,000 for 1989-92 graduates.

  • Other top paying areas of study for 1989-92 graduates were in Economics, Computer Science and Accounting. See Top 25 BA/BS Degree Areas for MPS/UWM Male Graduates by Year of Graduation from UWM (1989-1998) and Their 1999 Wages.

1999 Wages of MPS Men Graduating from UWM

Study Background

For the longitudinal follow-up studies Milwaukee Public Schools, the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and Milwaukee Area Technical College cooperated in first-time research effort to track the education experience of MPS graduates attending UWM and MATC during the last ten years and to analyze their subsequent employment in 1999. A majority of students graduating from MPS and going on to post-secondary education attend either UWM or MATC. Data on students' areas of study, credits attempted and earned, and graduation date were matched with state wage records for Fourth Quarter 1999. The earnings of students who are employed in another state, who do not receive wages or who are self-employed are not included in the wage match analysis.

For further information, contact John Pawasarat of the Employment and Training Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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