Students awarded bachelor degrees at Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University had the highest median earnings in the state, according to a new report from the Florida Department of Education.
And graduates of Broward College, Florida Keys Community College and Miami Dade College tended to earn more than graduates completing associate degrees at other state colleges.
Emergency medical technology, nursing and physical therapy are the highest-paying fields for Florida College System graduates. Nursing, accounting and education have the highest median pay for graduates earning a bachelors degree at a Florida university.
Broward College is also near the top of the rankings for graduates’ employment rates.
The median earnings of Florida associate in arts graduates was $26,504 in their first year, while the median bachelor's graduate (not divided by arts and science) earnings was $33,652. Nursing, accounting and teaching graduates earned the highest median pay among bachelor's graduates. For bachelor degrees earned at Florida colleges, the median pay was highest for nursing, computer and information technology and dental hygienists.
The median associate in science earnings was $45,060, with emergency medical technicians, nursing and physical therapy the most lucrative fields.
But to paraphrase Mr. McGuire from "The Graduate," one word: pharmacy. Median first-year earnings for Florida's pharmacy graduates were $111,104 -- the highest of any field.
The report shows the differences in graduate earnings between state schools for the same degree.
The report also tracks student debt. St. Petersburg College students had the highest average federal student loans at $7,251. The average federal loan amount at most colleges was closer to $4,000.
Among state universities, the average student had $9,254 in federal loans. The average University of Florida student had the most federal loans, $13,011, while Florida Gulf Coast University students had the least, $5,152.
Lawmakers ordered the annual report two years ago as part of a push to tie higher education to job needs.