Minnesota Releases Outcomes Tool

by Michelle Massie
June 18, 2014

One of the tenets of WDQC’s policy agenda is to assess employment outcomes for all education and training programs. Minnesota is putting this principle to work with its new employment outcomes tool.

The Graduate Employment Outcomes tool enables students to determine employment and wage outcomes from numerous programs of study. The tool was released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), as part of a collaborative effort with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

Similar to other tools such as My Future TX, Graduate Employment Outcomes will help students to make informed decisions about which fields have the best opportunities for jobs and earning potential.

The tool links data across sectors and can appeal to a variety of users, including prospective students, policymakers, educators, parents and career counselors. For instance, policymakers can use the tool to estimate the undersupply or oversupply of workers in various sectors, while educators can shape their program offerings to fit employer needs.

Graduate Employment Outcomes was developed using data involving students who graduated from post-secondary programs in Minnesota between July 2009 and June 2011. Students with valid Social Security numbers were followed through education into the workforce (in the first and second years after graduation) using Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records already collected by the state from most employers.

The tool shows total numbers of graduates, and allows users to sort employment and wage outcomes by region, institution type, major field of study and degree awarded. The data will be updated each year with each new graduation class.

The tool does not show comparisons of employment outcomes for graduates of different schools, and it only has employment results for students working within the state.

Despite its limitations, the Graduate Employment Outcomes is a step in the right direction for tracking employment outcomes and appealing to the needs of different audiences.