Where do your students end up after graduating from your institution? Are they ending up in good jobs?Who are they working for? Are the jobs they end up doing related to the degree they have gained? What skills are they using in the jobs they are doing?
In an environment where students, employers and Government alike have all become more concerned that universities work towards achieving better employment outcomes, these questions are crucial. Being able to answer them will give you a good idea not only of what kind of employment outcomes your university has been achieving in the past, but perhaps more importantly this can then feed into your portfolio planning to create better career pathways for future graduates. But how can they be answered?
For the last few years we have been answering these questions for universities in the United States, and we are now able to answer these questions for universities in Australia too. For the purposes of illustrating how this can be done, we’ll look in this Step at some anonymised data from a prestigious New York university (Note: the data below is based on nearly 27,000 alumni profiles).
Where do your students end up after graduating?
We can begin by looking at where the university’s alumni end up. The map below shows the Top 10 destination cities in America for its alumni:
The most obvious thing about the map is that almost half of the university’s students (47.07%) stay in the New York area to work after graduating. This is an important piece of insight for the institution; the fact that a significant number of people graduating stay in the area demonstrates that there is a real need for, and benefits to be had from, consistent engagement with employers in the region. In addition, the data is also useful in pinpointing other parts of the country that graduates end up in, and this could help form a part of a strategy for engaging industry outside the region.
What occupations are they employed in?
Having looked at where the university’s graduates are ending up, we can also look at the actual jobs they are doing. The graph below shows the Top 10 occupations from the university, and as you can see, with over 15% of their alumni ending up as Chief Executives, and significant numbers employed in other high profile occupations, the data would no doubt make pleasing reading for the institution:
What are their job titles?
In addition to looking at occupations, we can also look at insight on actual job titles. Again, in the case of this particular university it makes for impressive reading, but on a more general level, it is easy to see how this sort of data, along with the occupations insight above, could be highly useful for a university. Internally, it can be helpful in understanding whether courses are leading to good employment outcomes. Externally, one of the potential uses of it is in promoting courses to potential students:
Who are they working for?
According to the insight, the majority of the university’s alumni graduated in Business Administration, Management and Operations (76.43%), with Economics (8.49%) and Accounting and Related Services (5.26%) second and third. Graduating in subject areas such as these, and from a prestigious university, you would probably expect that many would be employed by some of the bigger and more well known financial companies. And you wouldn’t be wrong. As the data in the table below shows, many have ended up working for some of the biggest names in finance. Once again, this is highly useful information, particularly in terms of developing a more strategic approach to employer engagement:
What skills are they using?
We end this Step by looking at the skills that the former students say they are using in their employment. As you can see, the insight is highly revealing, not only in terms of feeding back to the university the kinds of skills that their past graduates are now using, but also in terms of being used by course planners to shape future skills content, in order to better meet the needs of employers. We’ll return to that theme in Step 3.
In Step 2, we’ll be looking at how you can improve your students’ career pathways. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss how the kind of insight shown above can be used by your institution to identify the destinations of your graduates, contact us now.