2 KPC degree programs top earnings list for UAA grads

Five years after graduation, alumni of two Kenai Peninsula College associate of applied science degree programs rank No. 1 and No. 3 in average earnings when compared to all University of Alaska Anchorage degrees including master’s, bachelor’s and other associate degrees, according to a recently released research report.

KPC process technology graduates top the earnings list making on average $105,627 annually while those with UAA MBAs earn $101,200. KPC’s occupational safety and health AAS degree graduates earn on average $76,909. 

UAA’s Institute for Social and Economic Research on Dec. 11 released the research summary titled, “UAA Graduates: How Many Stay and Work in Alaska.” Written in conjunction with UAA’s Office of Institutional Research with assistance from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the paper answers questions about UAA graduates working in Alaska and their earnings from 2003-2007.

“The strong demand for these (Process Technology) graduates is clear in their earnings: Five years after getting process technology degrees, 2003-2007 graduates earned on average more than $100,000. That was double the average for all UAA graduates — and far more than the average for civil engineers or those with master’s degrees,” said the report. On average, UAA graduates earned $51,000 (adjusted for inflation) five years after receiving their degrees.

KPC offers the process technology degree at their Kenai River Campus and Anchorage Extension Site locations while the occupational safety (OSH) degree is offered at the KPC Anchorage Extension Site. The OSH degree is also available totally via distance learning. 

More than 85 percent of the graduates of the process technology program are working in Alaska five years after they graduate, and relatively few leave the state. From July 2013 to June 2014, 68 students graduated with KPC process technology two-year degrees and 16 graduated with OSH degrees. The college also graduated 10 students from their industrial process instrumentation AAS degree, a program closely aligned with the process technology degree.

The ISER research paper can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/.