According to figures that were included in a report to the Florida State Board of Education Meeting held in December, community college graduates who earned associate in science degrees from Florida community colleges earned an average annual salary of $47,708 right out of school. By the same token, students who graduated from one of the state's 11 public university earned an average annual salary of just $36,552. The difference, around $11,000 per year, is not insignificant for those just starting out in the professional world, particularly those who might be graduating with a decent amount of student debt.
However, the age difference in community college student may also explain the discrepancy in part. Because more adults with work experience under their belts are heading back to school for retraining, they may be facing higher salaries out of school because of the dues they have already paid in the workforce prior to college.
Florida International University Provost Douglas Wartzok suggested to the Herald that "degree inventory" may be a factor in the difference. Some of the private universities might be more particular about the types of degree programs they offer, focusing their attention of fields of study that are more practical for employment after graduation.