Study: COB graduates have multi-million dollar economic impact in ENC

Each year, students enroll at ECU to invest in their human capital. In order to meet the diverse needs of students, the College of Business (COB) offers a wide array of degree programs in the areas that students are seeking. As students continue to invest time and energy into earning a business degree at ECU, a new economic impact study suggests that this investment is paying off for both students and the region.

The study conducted by economists in the College of Arts and Sciences and sponsored by the Bureau of Business Research finds that ECU College of Business graduates delivered a $28.7 million economic impact in Eastern North Carolina and a $34.8 million increase in GDP across the state during the academic year 2021-22.

During that time, ECU awarded 831 bachelor’s degrees in business disciplines and 279 master’s degrees in business. These degrees represented increased intellectual capacity of the region and increased potential earnings of the graduates. In total, graduates are expected to earn incomes that totaled over $25 million more than they would have earned without their degrees.

On an annualized basis, ECU business majors are earning $6,309 more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient while those earning a master’s degree in business show a further increase in earning potential by $28,467.

Clearly, graduates are benefiting directly in terms of higher annual pay, but there are also benefits to the economy more broadly. As graduates spend their higher incomes on consumption, they set off a chain reaction of additional expenditures through the business sector and through the household sector which increases economic activity and employment.

For the academic year July 2021 to June 2022, the study reports spending by COB graduates sparked $28.7 million in economic output in the region and generated another $8.3 million in income for other people in Eastern North Carolina. In addition, the statewide economic impact from ECU’s COB graduates contributed $34.8 million in GDP.

If you would like to learn more about this study or degree offerings in the COB, please contact Dr. Jason Rowe at