MSU graduates continue to achieve successful career outcomes; Magnolia State retention on the rise

A college student engages with employer representatives at MSU’s Fall 2023 Career Expo. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The latest annual First Destination Survey report underscores the robust career achievements of Mississippi State graduates who swiftly secure employment post-degree, with over 50% staying in Mississippi.

The favorable career outcomes rate for the 2022-2023 MSU graduates within half a year stands at 93%, comprising individuals employed full- or part-time, pursuing further education like graduate studies, engaging in service initiatives like the Peace Corps, or serving in the U.S. armed forces. The survey is overseen by MSU’s Career Center.

“The professional success of our students is a source of pride within the MSU community. Our faculty, staff, and collaborative partners continue to foster fresh avenues for our students through industry and career functions, research endeavors, and leadership development programs to equip our students with the practical knowledge that differentiates them,” noted Bethany Mills, executive director of the Career Center.

“One noteworthy new endeavor at MSU is the Bulldog Experience, designed not only to enhance our students’ skills and experiences but also to equip them with the prowess to market themselves effectively for the subsequent phase in their careers,” Mills added.

Out of the 5,831 graduates, data was gathered from 4,467 for the survey. Among these, 69% were gainfully employed full-time while 27% were enrolled in follow-up educational programs.

Leading employers for the graduates encompass MSU, Starkville-Oktibbeha School District, International Paper, Meridian Public Schools, Mississippi Department of Transportation, Entergy Corp., and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. The survey indicated that 88% of respondents affirmed that their job aligned with the degree conferred by MSU.

Of those pursuing advanced studies, 70% were attending institutes within Mississippi.

“We have noticed a rise in employer interest and involvement on our campus for recruiting MSU graduates. Across the 2022-2023 academic year, 884 distinct employers partook in the 43 career expos and events hosted on-campus. At the Career Center, we aim to sustain this positive trajectory, forging new affiliations for our students, and we are sincerely appreciative of the solidarity felt across the campus and the partnerships that are being forged to foster these fresh connections,” Mills emphasized.

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