More than 2,600 new veterinarians to enter tight job market
Growth in the number of veterinary graduates has been at a steady 3 percent increase for the last two years, following a mere 0.3 percent increase from 2008 to 2009. Graduation rates were essentially flat for two decades prior, but some industry watchdogs say steady increases in enrollment could have a substantial effect over the next few years.
One new program already causing a bump in class size is the partnership between Iowa State’s veterinary college and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that began in 2007. The partnership allows veterinary students to begin their education at Nebraska and earn their degree from Iowa State. The program has room for up to 25 Nebraska students per year. This year, the first class admitted under the partnership graduated, resulting in Iowa awarding the highest number of DVM degrees’142 total. Of those students, 119 were Iowa students (two less than the 121 who graduated last year) and 23 were from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Ohio State University had the most veterinary graduates last year with 141, but fell to second place behind Iowa this year with 139.
Other schools graduating the most veterinarians include Colorado State University with 137, the University of California-Davis with 124 and Texas A&M University with 123.
Schools with the least amount of graduates were Oregon State University with 49, Tuskegee University with 59 and the University of Missouri with 69.
But smaller programs may be catching up, and several already reported notable jumps in the number of degrees awarded. Iowa had the biggest jump, with 21 more graduates than last year, followed by a 13-student increase at Purdue, 10 at the University of Illinois and 8 each at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Missouri. Seven other veterinary schools awarded five or more degrees than last year, as well. In addition to its 13-student increase in graduates this year, Purdue announced that it will increase class sizes by 20 percent—adding another 14 students to its graduating class of 2015.
Nine schools saw declining numbers of graduates. Tuskegee University and Louisiana State University both lost the most (six each).
Only six of the 28 veterinary schools saw no change in graduation class size, and those veterinary schools were Cornell, Kansas State University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, Oregon State University and Tufts University.
Special report: Check out more detailed reports about this issue in the June issue of DVM Newsmagazine, and follow our continuing coverage on dvm360.com about the veterinary job market.