Graduate Employment Outcomes

The Graduate Employment Outcomes tool shows how many recent Minnesota graduates found jobs in Minnesota’s labor market during the first year after graduation and their earnings one and two years after graduation. Read the news brief for a summary of findings and more information on how to use the tool.

Select this link to use the tool


About

Description:

The Graduate Employment Outcomes tool shows how many recent Minnesota graduates found Minnesota jobs one and two years after graduation. It also shows the median wages earned and the top industries where graduates found jobs. You can search by year, location, award type, institution type, and instructional program. Reports will be updated with a new cohort of graduates each year.

Data sources:

  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) postsecondary graduation records for school year 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. 
  • Wage records from all employers subject to Unemployment Insurance taxes in Minnesota.

Students with valid Social Security numbers were followed longitudinally through education into the workforce using Unemployment Insurance wage records. 

Who will use the tool?

  • Prospective students, to set realistic expectations for employment and wages following graduation in a specific program;
  •  Parents and career counselors, to help prospective students explore prospects for employment and earnings as they plan their education;
  • Education program planners interested in more closely aligning program offerings to labor market demand;
  •   Policy makers interested in identifying potential under-supply or over-supply of skilled labor in strategic sectors of the economy or evaluating the state’s returns on investments in higher education.

How is the data formatted?

Viewable tables and graphs, downloadable files..

Disclosure notes

We include only those programs reported to the Minnesota Department of Higher Education which have at least 10 graduates. And outcomes are only shown when there are at least 10 graduates with valid wage records. 

Findings

Read full report

The employment outcomes of students who earned a post-secondary award in Minnesota between July 2010 and June 2011 are reported in Table 1 and summarized below:

  • Two thirds of the graduates were employed in Minnesota a year after graduation. 
  • Overall, wages increased with education level.
  • Hourly wages for bachelor’s and graduate degree completers rose at a higher rate than others between 12 and 24 months after graduation, suggesting stronger earning power in the long run.
  • Both fulltime and year-round employment status affect wage results. Individuals who worked fulltime for the whole year earned considerably more than those who worked part-time or for only part of the year.
  • Overall, only 42 percent of employed graduates managed to find a full-time job and keep it for the whole year. These results stand as evidence of under-employment, or under-utilization of skills in the economy.
  • Health Care and Social Assistance is the dominant employer of Minnesota’s new graduates, accounting for one fourth (24 percent) of students with jobs. This high concentration reveals strong employment demand in the state’s Health Care industry.


Table 1

Employment and Wage Outcomes of Minnesota Post-Secondary Program
Completers by Award Level, class of 2011

 

Percent
employed
12 months
after
graduation

Median
hrly wage
at 12 months

Hourly wage
increase
from
12 to 24
months

Top industry
of employment

2nd year
median
wages,
working
any hours

2nd year
fulltime year-round
employment

2nd year
fulltime year-round  
wages

All awards

67%

$ 16.51

+ $ 1.9

Health Care and Social Assistance (24%)

$28,518

42%

$41,475

Sub-baccalaureate Certificates

71%

$ 14.20

+ $ 1.48

Health Care and Social Assistance (28%)

$22,119

35%

$34,696

Associate Degree

72%

$ 14.63

+ $ 1.38

Health Care and Social Assistance (34%)

$23,240

36%

$36,946

Bachelor’s Degree

63%

$ 16.16

+ $2.41

Health Care and Social Assistance (18%)

$28,798

44%

$40,207

Graduate Degrees and Certificates

63%

$ 30.14

+ $2.22

Education (38%)

$51,924

50%

$ 64,354

Sources: MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED); Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE).




Glossary of Terms

Instructional Program

An instructional program is a training program as classified by the U.S. Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). In Minnesota, there are over 800 programs at postsecondary institutions. We include only those programs reported to the Minnesota Department of Higher Education which have at least 10 graduates. Top-level CIP codes are two digits, for example, “01” for Agriculture, agriculture operations, and related sciences. Within each top level classification there may be detailed classifications in 4- to 6-digit codes.

Graduates

Count of individuals who graduated in the given school year. Graduates who earned more than one degree in the same academic year are classified according to the highest degree obtained. Programs with fewer than ten graduates are not displayed.

Graduates With Reported Wages

Count of graduates with reported wages in Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records for the quarter starting 12 months after graduation. For a person graduating in April, May, or June 2010, this would be the quarter April, May, or June 2011. This is a count of individuals, not jobs.

Median Hourly Wage 12 Months After Graduation

Among all graduates with reported wages for the quarter starting 12 months after graduation, half earned more and half earned less than this median hourly wage. Hourly rates lower than $4.90 are excluded from the calculation because they represent training wages paid to employees under 20 years old.

Median Hourly Wage 24 Months After Graduation

Among all graduates with reported wages for the quarter starting 24 months after graduation, half earned more and half earned less than this median hourly wage.

Top Industry of Employment 24 Months After Graduation

We show the top 5 industries in which program graduates from the selected graduation year have found employment. These are limited to industries with 10 or more graduates. Industry is not equivalent to occupation. For example, the manufacturing industry employs persons in the occupations of machinist, manager, and administrative support. But industry is the best available indicator of alignment between a program of study and the types of business that employ graduates from that program. Industries were classified according to the North American Industry Classification (NAICS) system.

Percent Graduates Employed in MN During the Year

Share of graduates with reported wages in Minnesota during the second year after graduation. Individuals with reported earnings any time during the year are included, regardless of number of hours worked. This measure underestimates the employment rate because graduates employed at federal agencies, self-employed, or employed in other states are not included in Minnesota wage records.

Annual Median Wage

For someone graduating in Spring 2010, this figure represents median wages earned from Spring 2011 to Spring 2012. Individuals with reported earnings any time during the year are included regardless of number of hours worked. Hourly rates lower than $4.90 are excluded.

Percent Employed Year-Round

Percent of graduates who worked each quarter of the second year after graduation, regardless of hours and employer. This metric represents workforce attachment, not tenure with the same employer.

Percent Employed Full-Time Year-Round

Percent of graduates who worked each quarter of the second year after graduation for at least 1,820 hours, representing an average of 35 hours a week for a full year. This measure is based on a smaller subset of employed graduates. When there are fewer than 10 valid employment records the figure is suppressed for confidentiality and data quality reasons.

Full-Time Year-Round Median Wage

For someone graduating in Spring 2010, this figure represents median wages earned from Spring 2011 to Spring 2012 by individuals working each quarter of the year for at least 1,820 hours. This measure is based on a smaller subset of employed graduates. When there are fewer than 10 valid employment records the figure is suppressed for confidentiality and data quality reasons.

Methodology and Data Limitations

What the Tool Provides

The Graduate Employment Outcomes tool helps Minnesota’s students, job seekers, career counselors, educators, and policy makers better understand the connections between postsecondary education choices and job outcomes. The tool displays key aspects of employment, including:

Wages : What hourly pay can a graduate expect 12 and 24 months after graduation? 

Wage growth trends : How fast did wages grow over time?
Industries of employment: What types of businesses employed recent graduates?

Employment prospects : What share of graduates found jobs in the state? 

Year-round employment : What share of graduates were employed without interruption during the second year after graduation? This is an indicator of attachment to the workforce.

Full-time year-round employment and wages :  What share of graduates were employed full-time during the whole second year after graduation? What were their annual wages?

Data Sources and Methodology

Workforce and education data were collected through a collaboration of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE). Students with valid Social Security numbers were followed longitudinally through education into the workforce using Minnesota UI wage records

To protect confidentiality, results are aggregated and outcomes are only shown when there are 10 or more graduates with valid wage records. Reports will be updated with a new cohort of graduates each year.

Data Limitations

  • A degree or award has a value beyond employment and earnings. Personal interest and satisfaction with a major, or a job, are intangible benefits that cannot be measured through this tool’s data. 
  • The data cannot be used to evaluate the overall return on investment of postsecondary education compared to no postsecondary education because Minnesota does not have the ability to link high school graduate records to workforce records.
  • The job market varies across the state and over time. Past outcomes cannot predict the market success of future graduates in all locations.
  • Outcomes represent only the graduates who worked in Minnesota as identified in the state’s Unemployment Insurance wage records. Although about 95 percent of Minnesota businesses report wages, people employed by federal agencies, self-employed, or employed in other states are excluded.
  • Graduates who re-enrolled in school after completing a degree and chose not to seek work will not appear in wage records.
  • Work outcomes for programs with few graduates can fluctuate significantly over time.
  • Wages are based on initial earnings and may not reflect long-term prospects.