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DEED Introduces Employment Outcomes Tool


Tool will help students determine which fields have the best opportunities for jobs and wages

Contact: Madeline Koch, 651-259-7236

ST. PAUL -- A new data tool that students can use to determine employment and wage outcomes from various programs of study was unveiled today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The Graduate Employment Outcomes tool is intended to help students make informed choices about which fields of study offer the best opportunities for jobs and wages. Other potential users include educators who want to align post-secondary program offerings with labor market demand and policymakers who want to identify which sectors of the economy have an oversupply or undersupply of workers.

"The Graduate Employment Outcomes tool will give students a clearer picture of the Minnesota labor market and what fields of study offer favorable career opportunities," said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. "At the same time, planners can use the tool to develop training and educational programs that fit employer needs."

"The Graduate Employment Outcomes tool is a result of a groundbreaking effort by state agencies to link data across sectors," said Larry Pogemiller, Commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "Students now have a much clearer picture of where the jobs are and what fields of study provide the best earning potential."

The tool, part of a collaborative effort with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, was developed using data involving students who graduated from post-secondary programs in Minnesota between July 2010 and June 2011. Those students were then tracked (using Minnesota unemployment insurance records) to find out how many were working and how much they were making in the first and second years after graduation.

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

As an example of what the data show, the tool indicates that of the 1,696 students who graduated from an engineering program in Minnesota in the 2010-2011 school year, 66 percent of them were employed in Minnesota (including part-timers) in the second year after graduation, earning an annual median wage of $60,459.

Access to the Graduate Employment Outcomes tool and summary information is available here on the DEED website.

DEED conducted its own analysis of the data and made the following findings:

  • Two-thirds of the graduates were employed in Minnesota a year after graduation.
  • Overall, wages increased with education level.
  • Hourly wages for students who completed bachelor's and graduate degrees rose at a faster rate than for others, suggesting stronger earning power in the long run.
  • Full-time status and year-round employment strongly affect wage results. People who worked full time for the whole year earned considerably more than those who worked for only part of the year.
  • Overall, 42 percent of 2011 graduates managed to find a full-time job in Minnesota and keep it for the whole year.
  • Health care and social assistance was the dominant hiring sector, employing one-fourth (24 percent) of new graduates with jobs.

In general, programs with an occupational or technical focus had stronger wage and employment outcomes than programs in creative or general disciplines, such as visual arts, journalism, leisure and hospitality, humanities and some social sciences.

More detailed findings from the DEED study, including degree programs with the highest employability, can be found here.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at

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