Where do New York's Online Grads Work? Finance Draws 17% of Alumni
New data highlights the biggest employers, industries, and jobs behind the top online colleges for salary in New York
Written by: Michael McCarthy
Research and Analysis by: Taylor Nichols
Published: November 16, 2021
Alumni of New York's top online colleges work in finance and insurance more than any other sector
Healthcare and business jobs are popular for NY online graduates, with registered nursing drawing close to 5%
Over half of alumni from the top-ranked college Excelsior work for the U.S. Military
New York state's colleges offer a wide range of online bachelor's degrees, but it can be hard to figure out which schools offer the best career outcomes for graduates. To answer this question, we took a deep dive into employment data for alumni of the best online colleges in New York for salary to find out where top-earning graduates end up after their degree.
Our employment data comes from Burning Glass Technologies, which provides an extensive database of employment data gathered from social media profiles, resumes, and LinkedIn profile information. We found the top five employers, occupations, and industries for each ranked college to get a better sense of where these students go after graduation.
These conclusions reflect data from 38,110 alumni of the 2015-2020 graduating classes, 60% of whom still live in New York. All eight schools on this list are located in New York and have a Salary Score above 50. For a detailed explanation of OnlineU's proprietary measurement tool, see our guide to Salary Score.
We examined schools that offer at least five online bachelor's degree programs across different areas of study. When determining the top employers for each school, we also omitted the institutions themselves to focus on the career paths taken outside of alumni working for their college upon graduation. Limitations of the available data mean that we can't strictly analyze the wages of online graduates to the exclusion of traditional campus students.
Most Popular Jobs, Employers, and Industries for New York's Top Online Schools
Taken together, the eight ranked colleges on this list graduated more registered nurses than any other occupation. In all, 4.6% of alumni from New York's online colleges became RNs. This reflects a broader trend in online education — our previous research found 5.1% of California's online graduates and 5% of alumni from popular online schools went into nursing during the same period.
Most of these colleges feature online nursing programs with Salary Scores in the 90s, which means alumni earn relatively high pay compared to nursing majors from other schools in the U.S. However, this may be offset by the high cost of living in New York and especially in New York City, where many RNs work.
Still, healthcare was only the second most popular industry among alumni of these cohorts. Finance and insurance accounted for 17% of jobs, the highest of any industry. This finding is unsurprising given New York's position in the global economic structure. JP Morgan Chase was the top finance employer, hiring 4.5% of graduates.
As with our previous findings on career outcomes for alumni of online schools, the Army and Navy are top employers for these New York graduates. Many attended top-ranked Excelsior College, but SUNY Empire State also features the Army as a top employer.
Excelsior earns the highest Salary Score among online New York colleges and is the only fully online school on the list.
Public administration is by far the most popular industry for Excelsior graduates, indicating a large contingent of active-duty military students. The top three employers for Excelsior alumni are the Army, Navy, and Air Force, which suggests that military students often continue to work for their service branch after graduating.
Excelsior's high percentage of military students is unsurprising given that online colleges are often popular with service members. Distance learning allows these students to complete a degree uninterrupted if they're reassigned during their studies. This also might explain why only 12% of Excelsior alumni end up living in New York.
One of NYU's strongest programs by Salary Score is general business and commerce with a score of 100. The university offers business programs both online and on campus.
Just under one-quarter of NYU graduates work in finance and insurance, with JP Morgan Chase hiring 5.5% of alumni. Another 17% of graduates work in professional services, including business-related jobs such as project manager, sales representative, and management consultant.
NYU produces software developers more than any other occupation, followed by business and management analysts. Alumni from 2015-2020 have secured these jobs at both Amazon and Google — two companies that account for a combined 8.6% of graduates.
As with other colleges on this list, finance and professional services are popular fields for Pace graduates, with nearly 10% working for JP Morgan Chase or PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Healthcare also makes a strong showing: Two of the top five employers are medical centers in New York City, and many of the registered nursing graduates work for these employers.
The top occupation for Pace alumni is software developer, which may help account for the 5% of students who found jobs with custom software provider EPAM Systems. Other popular occupations include business owners and founders, and business analysts and managers.
Intern and trainee positions also make the list, possibly reflecting recent graduates who haven't yet secured full-time paid work.
Healthcare is well represented among Empire State's most recent graduating classes, drawing nearly 20% of alumni. Registered nursing is the most popular occupation for Empire State graduates, many of whom work for Northwell Health, New York's largest healthcare network.
Finance, insurance, and education are also popular fields for these alumni, with M&T Bank, Geico, and the New York City Department of Education listed as top employers.
Overall, the 2015-2020 classes at Empire State represent a wider range of occupations than any other college on this list. Registered nursing accounts for 3.3% of graduates, and the university's nursing program has a high Salary Score of 98. Although many alumni go on to work in education, Empire State's teaching programs have a Salary Score of 37, indicating graduates tend to earn less than teaching majors from other U.S. colleges.
Dominican College has the highest rate of graduates in healthcare of any school on this list. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Dominican graduates became registered nurses, and more than half (54%) entered the healthcare field in some capacity. Given this, it's unsurprising that the top five employers for Dominican alumni are hospital systems and medical centers.
While nursing majors are highly paid for their major with a Salary Score of 95, other healthcare majors from Dominican tend to be underpaid. The university's allied health diagnostic and treatment programs have a Salary Score of 27, indicating median salaries for these alumni are lower than graduates from most other colleges.
SUNY Delhi is another college that produces a high rate of healthcare workers, with 30% of alumni in the industry. Just under 19% work as registered nurses and are highly paid for their field of study with a Salary Score of 94.
SUNY Delhi's largest single employer is Barnard Construction. Although Barnard is based in Montana, it contracts a lot of work for hurricane preparedness in New York. Many alumni work as project engineers or construction managers for the company.
With 81% of alumni remaining in New York, SUNY Delhi has the highest rate of graduates living in-state of the schools on this list.
Once again, registered nursing tops the list of occupations at just under 16% of alumni. This percentage accounts for nearly five times as many graduates as the next most popular occupation: cyber security engineers. Two of the largest employers are healthcare systems, with 31% of alumni working in healthcare and social services.
A good percentage of graduates also secured work in finance and insurance, with the Bank of New York Mellon hiring 8% of alumni. Another popular employer is Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm that hired many Utica graduates as information security engineers, according to LinkedIn research.
Nearly one in five graduates work in education, with SUNY and Upstate Medical University topping the list of Utica's largest employers.