Welcome to NC Tower

Welcome to NC TOWER (North Carolina's Tool for Online Workforce and Education Reporting), a product of the Common Follow-up System. Select "Community Colleges" or "Public Universities" from the right and click "Go" to view information about the workforce and educational outcomes of programs at those institutions. Or, scroll down on this page to see selected statistics about North Carolina's State-funded education programs.

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Highly Paid University Degrees

Top-Paying Bachelor's Degree Programs
(By Median Wage After 5 Years of 2007-2008 Graduates from All University of North Carolina System Schools)
Program Median Wage
Nuclear Engineering$89,537
Computer Engineering, General$73,011
Electrical & Electronics Engineering$70,000
Chemical Engineering$68,120
Mechanical Engineering$67,312
Engineering, General$65,729
Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician$63,534
Construction Engineering$61,824
Applied Mathematics, General$61,289
Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist$60,704

Information - Median Wages

Median wages reflect the annual wage of graduates from programs who were employed in "covered employment" in North Carolina a given number of years after their graduation. "Covered employment" includes all individuals working for employers subject to North Carolina's unemployment insurance tax laws, as specified in Chapter 96, Article 2 of the North Carolina General Statutes. It is estimated that covered employment represents over 90% of North Carolina's total employment. However, employment that is not covered by North Carolina's unemployment insurance laws includes (but is not limited to):

  • Individuals who are self-employed
  • Individuals working for the federal government, including the military
  • Individuals who are working outside of North Carolina

An individual's annual wage is determined by examining quarterly unemployment insurance wage records for that individual in the four quarters representing a given number of years after the individual's graduation. For instance, if a student graduated in May of 2006 (i.e., Q2 2006), that student's annual wage one year after graduation will be determined by the sum of the student's quarterly wages in the next four quarters (i.e., Q3 2006, Q4 2006, Q1 2007, Q2 2007). Students who were not employed in North Carolina covered employment (i.e., had annual wages of $0) for a given year are not included in the percentile wage values.

In situations where a student graduated multiple times during a given school year, the last relevant graduation date is used as the reference point for the wage data match. For example, if a student received an Esthetics Technology Certificate in December 2005, and an Esthetics Instructor Certificate in May 2006, that student's annual wage will be determined using Q4 2005 as a reference point when viewing outcomes for 2005-2006 graduates with Esthetic Technology Certificates, using Q2 2006 as a reference point when viewing outcomes for 2005-2006 graduates with Esthetic Instructor Certificates, and using Q2 2006 as a reference point when viewing outcomes for 2005-2006 graduates with a Certificate in any subject area.

Highly Paid Community College Degrees

Top-Paying Associate's Degree Programs
(By Median Wage After 5 Years of 2007-2008 Graduates from All North Carolina Community Colleges)
Program Median Wage
Cardiovascular Technology (Invasive and Non-Invasive)$60,869
Radiation Therapy Technology$59,102
Fire Protection Technology$53,193
Nuclear Medicine Technology$52,147
Clinical Trials Research Associate$51,676
Electrical Engineering Technology$50,533
Associate Degree Nursing$50,144
Dental Hygiene$48,796
Medical Sonography$48,467
Cardiovascular Sonography$48,160

Information - Median Wages

Median wages reflect the annual wage of graduates from programs who were employed in "covered employment" in North Carolina a given number of years after their graduation. "Covered employment" includes all individuals working for employers subject to North Carolina's unemployment insurance tax laws, as specified in Chapter 96, Article 2 of the North Carolina General Statutes. It is estimated that covered employment represents over 90% of North Carolina's total employment. However, employment that is not covered by North Carolina's unemployment insurance laws includes (but is not limited to):

  • Individuals who are self-employed
  • Individuals working for the federal government, including the military
  • Individuals who are working outside of North Carolina

An individual's annual wage is determined by examining quarterly unemployment insurance wage records for that individual in the four quarters representing a given number of years after the individual's graduation. For instance, if a student graduated in May of 2006 (i.e., Q2 2006), that student's annual wage one year after graduation will be determined by the sum of the student's quarterly wages in the next four quarters (i.e., Q3 2006, Q4 2006, Q1 2007, Q2 2007). Students who were not employed in North Carolina covered employment (i.e., had annual wages of $0) for a given year are not included in the percentile wage values.

In situations where a student graduated multiple times during a given school year, the last relevant graduation date is used as the reference point for the wage data match. For example, if a student received an Esthetics Technology Certificate in December 2005, and an Esthetics Instructor Certificate in May 2006, that student's annual wage will be determined using Q4 2005 as a reference point when viewing outcomes for 2005-2006 graduates with Esthetic Technology Certificates, using Q2 2006 as a reference point when viewing outcomes for 2005-2006 graduates with Esthetic Instructor Certificates, and using Q2 2006 as a reference point when viewing outcomes for 2005-2006 graduates with a Certificate in any subject area.

Popular University Degrees

Most Popular Bachelor's Degree Programs
(By Number of 2011-2012 Graduates from All University of North Carolina System Schools)
Program Number of Graduates
Business Administration & Management2,698
Psychology2,329
Registered Nursing1,778
Biology/Biological Sciences1,646
Elementary Education & Teaching1,405
Speech Communication & Rhetoric1,376
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies1,151
Political Science & Government989
English Language & Literature956
Sociology800

Information - Student and Graduate Counts

Counts of students and graduates represent the number of unique individuals present in CFS data for the selected programs during the specified school year. This means that total counts of students or graduates will not always be equal to the sum of their parts. For example, if a student majors in both History and Sociology, that student will be counted once for the number of History students, once for the number of Sociology students, and once and only once for the total number of bachelor's degree students. Also note that the Public University System reports students' program of study only for "Upper Division Enrollment." As a result, counts of students enrolled in any particular course of study in the Public University System will not include Freshmen and Sophomores. However, counts of students enrolled in all programs will include Freshmen and Sophomores.

External Information

For more information about student and graduate counts, consult each agency's internal statistics. Please remember that, because of federal reporting requirements and other factors, educational agencies may count students and graduates in a fashion that is slightly different from the methodology used by NC Tower. For example, the University of North Carolina counts students based on fall semester enrollment and counts unique degrees conferred rather than unique individuals receiving degrees. NC Tower also removes students with invalid SSNs from student and graduate counts so that employment rates are not distorted by a lack of matching data. These factors may cause some slight discrepancies between the counts provided by educational agencies and those present in NC Tower.

Popular Community College Degrees

Most Popular Associate's Degree Programs
(By Number of 2011-2012 Graduates from All North Carolina Community Colleges)
Program Number of Graduates
College Transfer - Arts6,370
Associate Degree Nursing1,947
General Education1,094
College Transfer - Science1,039
Early Childhood Education987
Business Administration920
Medical Office Administration897
Criminal Justice Technology817
Accounting568
Medical Assisting460

Information - Student and Graduate Counts

Counts of students and graduates represent the number of unique individuals present in CFS data for the selected programs during the specified school year. This means that total counts of students or graduates will not always be equal to the sum of their parts. For example, if a student majors in both History and Sociology, that student will be counted once for the number of History students, once for the number of Sociology students, and once and only once for the total number of bachelor's degree students. Also note that the Public University System reports students' program of study only for "Upper Division Enrollment." As a result, counts of students enrolled in any particular course of study in the Public University System will not include Freshmen and Sophomores. However, counts of students enrolled in all programs will include Freshmen and Sophomores.

External Information

For more information about student and graduate counts, consult each agency's internal statistics. Please remember that, because of federal reporting requirements and other factors, educational agencies may count students and graduates in a fashion that is slightly different from the methodology used by NC Tower. For example, the University of North Carolina counts students based on fall semester enrollment and counts unique degrees conferred rather than unique individuals receiving degrees. NC Tower also removes students with invalid SSNs from student and graduate counts so that employment rates are not distorted by a lack of matching data. These factors may cause some slight discrepancies between the counts provided by educational agencies and those present in NC Tower.