Racial Differences in Employment and Educational Attainment of College Graduates a Decade Later

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers data on the educational and employment histories of students who graduated from college during the 2007-08 academic year. Some of the data was broken down by racial or ethnic group.

The study found that a decade after graduating from college, 30 percent of African Americans went on to earn a master’s degree compared to 26.6 percent of Whites. More than 5 percent of Whites had gone on to earn a professional degree, compared to just 3.2 percent of Blacks

Some 66.8 percent of non-Hispanic Whites who graduated from college in the 2007-08 academic year owned their home. Only 46.9 percent of African American college graduates owned their homes. African American college graduates were slightly more likely than their White peers to report a negative net worth or difficulty in meeting basic expenses.

Whites, on average, were more likely than Blacks to hold full-time jobs and worked more hours per week. The average salary for Whites who had full-time jobs was $82,170. For African American college graduates who had full-time jobs, the average salary was $65,104.

Half of White college graduates had jobs where they supervised other workers. Only 38.5 percent of African American college graduates were employed in positions where they supervised other workers.

The full report Baccalaureate and Beyond: First Look at the 2018 Employment and Educational Experiences of 2007–08 College Graduates, may be downloaded here.


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  1. What do we have here, another redundant, misleading, and ahistorical so-called study is down right insulting because it fails to mention the role of institutional, structural, and systemic racism plays in securing sustainable employment.

  2. Question, in order for something to be systemic and institutional must be that there are on the books policies overtly used and calibrated to hinder minorities. There are laws on the book which legally prohibit acts of discrimination. By that logic “systemic and institutional racism” are not part of the “system”. Statistics are easily used ot perpetuate a narrative that does not benefit the development and growth that HBCU’s have managed to accomplish. HBCU’s and many other institutions have put out more professional and PHd students than most select 1 schools. Do the stats break down in what fields those groups graduated with and the percentile of their academic indices upon graduation? Putting out numbers to the reader out of context is very misleading and to take away the success of African- Americans who are leaders and who have achieved scholarly and professional success is a tragedy. I urge all to look into any of theses studies to verify the full context of studies when it comes to anything the Gov’t puts out and it’s half truths. Very misleading article.

    • Hey Lily,

      For starters, anyone even remotely familiar with the history of HBCUs can very easily direct you to the thousands of scholarly books, legislative history (see the CRS[Congressional Record Service] which documents the long storied history of systemic racism (e.g., funding disparities, construction, policies, etc.) towards HBCUs.

      More important, do not ever refer to native born Black Americans as a “minority” because it’s a downright insult along with not being true. Not to mention it clearly show that you’re unconsciously harboring a 21st century neo-colonial mindset in that regard.

      Finally, the only valid point you made was that article being very misleading.

      • My apologies, but I did not say anything of Offensive and the neo colonial is very disparaging to myself as I come from a long history of oppression and that is an insult to me and my people. Yes there were many on the book actions that hurt HBCU’s bit obviously you did not want to take away the key point I was making that out victimization by past egregious acts HBCU’s still managed and to this manage to put out better educated individuals who attain the highest level of success both in academia and private sector. That was my point.

        • Hey Lilly,

          No apologies necessary. I disagree with regarding my usage of the term neo-colonial in reference to your initial comment. What do you mean that “you and your people come from a long line of oppression”? What specific racial and ethnic group are you referencing or even time period? If you’re referring to native born Black Americans, simply because you have a few so-called Blacks in some lofty position in White academia or corporate America, it should not be used as the measuring stick for success for the collective Black group.

          Moving forward, I just bet you would the ‘no-good’, dismissive, anti-HBCU, war mongering [drone president], corporatist, and quintessential neo-liberal President Obama was good for so-called Black America. Sad.

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