Reporting of post-graduation outcomes, including earnings of graduates, is increasingly expected of colleges and universities nationwide. There is interest on the part of current and future students and their families, legislators, policy makers, and the general public about understanding the value of a college education. UW-Madison is participating in multiple efforts to evaluate newer and more comprehensive sources of earnings and other outcome information. Other kinds of student achievement and outcomes data are also available. (See the October 2021 APIR webinar, Data Resources for Graduate Outcomes and Alumni.)
Steppingblocks is a tool that provides information about graduate employment, location, salaries and earnings, skills, and other information related to alumni in the workforce. School/College and departmental units who can utilize this data in their work may fill out this Google form to request login access to Steppingblocks.
For information about how to use Steppingblocks data:
-view the December 2020 APIR webinar, Data Resources for Graduate Outcomes and Alumni
-see the Steppingblocks blog post, The 7-Step Play Book for Putting Graduate Outcomes Data to Work
First Destination Survey
The First Destination Survey provides data on plans of graduating seniors based on a survey at the time of graduation. Information can be found here.
US Census Bureau PSEO Graduate Earnings
Use the links below to learn about the earnings of UW-Madison graduates 1, 5, and 10 years after graduation.
- April 24, 2019 UW-Madison press release
- Tableau visualization of earnings data for UW-Madison graduates
- Post-Secondary Educational Outcomes website (U.S. Census Bureau)
Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) Project
The Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) Project, within the U.S. Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program, provides participating colleges and universities with aggregate median earnings data for graduates 1, 5 and 10 years post graduation.
UW-Madison joined the PSEO project in 2017. Aggregate earnings of graduates first released in April 2019.
The earnings data in PSEO covers over 96% of employment in the United States and about 70% of UW-Madison graduates. Data are based on annual W-2 earnings from employment that is covered by state unemployment insurance programs. Graduates who are not included are those not working in the US, those not covered by state unemployment insurance, and those who do not have earnings in at least two quarters of the year or those whose earnings are below the minimum wage.
Aggregate earnings are available for graduates at all degree levels (bachelors, masters, research doctorate, clinical doctorate) and for different majors (though majors are often grouped together to maintain the privacy of earnings data when there are small numbers of graduates).
Examples of the types of reporting that is expected of colleges and universities nationwide and UW-Madison specifically, include:
- The Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities Executive Order of 3/26/2019 which requires the publication of median earnings for graduates at all degree levels, by program. See https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/26/2019-05934/improving-free-inquiry-transparency-and-accountability-at-colleges-and-universities
- Section 36.65, Wisconsin Statutes, requires UW institutions to report on “placement of graduates”, “the percentage of residents and nonresidents who reside in this state 10 years after graduation”, and “post-graduation success” among many other things. See http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/36/65
Post-Graduation Outcomes: Systematic and comprehensive data about alumni in the years after they graduate
At UW-Madison we are working on providing the University community with systematic and comprehensive data resources on the lives of graduates. Questions of interest include:
- Are graduates employed?
- How much are they earning?
- Where do they live? Do they stay in Wisconsin?
- Do bachelor’s graduates go to graduate or professional school?
- Is college a good investment?
- Does a UW-Madison education contribute to social mobility?
See also summary of Student Achievement Data.