Higher Education Institutions Can Go “New School” with Grad Data

November 13, 2017 Insights Editor

Go “New School” with Grad Data

With the rapidly-rising costs of pursuing a degree or certificate program, higher education institutions are under considerable pressure to prove to stakeholders (students, parents, lawmakers, etc.) the value they deliver to students.

Families, lawmakers, and educators are making tough decisions around higher education with very limited resources.  Ideally, their choices should be driven by which institutions and programs can deliver measureable results – those with the greatest return on investment for students, specifically related to employment and earnings potential.  Although institutions understand the need to track graduates’ employment and wage data, they often result in interpreting inadequate information or data wrangling from multiple sources to help prove their graduates’ success.

So how are institutions proving their value today?

Many colleges and universities are turning to time-consuming methods to collect data on former students, like launching outcome survey initiatives, social media searches, or outbound call campaigns to draw conclusions on the value they are providing.  But many institutions would agree that these approaches are fundamentally flawed, often yielding dated, confusing, and incomparable results.

There is no question that colleges and universities need a better way to effectively collect reliable data about their graduates, allowing them to paint a more complete picture of their programs’ overall performance and help reduce their data collection burdens.

What can higher ed institutions be doing differently?

As institutions are grappling with the best ways to track their graduates as they move into the workplace, there have been developments to help institutions measure alumni success.

Equifax allows higher education institutions to go “New School” with grad data by providing access to up-to-date, accurate, longitudinal data on graduates that can help guide decisions and strategic initiatives.  With the largest source of authentic employment and income information, Equifax can provide aggregated, anonymized data to answer questions such as:

  • In what industries are business administration majors working?
  • What is the most common first placement for criminal justice certificate earners?
  • In what states are 2010 nursing school graduates living?
  • What is the median salary of engineering program graduates from the class of 2012?
  • Are students who completed an internship commanding higher salaries?
  • What is the median salary for students receiving a grant?

With the ability to pull data that maps to institution-defined measurement attributes (SAT score, campus location, internship completed, and transfer in, etc.), there are hundreds of reporting options to suit most any reporting need.

To learn more about Equifax Grad Outcomes Metrics, contact us today at Gradoutcomes@equifax.com or by visiting www.equifax.com/gradoutcomes.


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