Planning Academic Degrees through Pilot Linking Programs

Image source: Pixabay

Generally speaking, students that receive accreditation from postsecondary institutions are more likely to report higher income earnings than those without; however, a majority of colleges and universities do not have data available to describe the relationship between an academic degree and its employment outlooks reported in the workforce. In a recent article published in Campus Technology, the University of Texas (UT) provides their students with post-college statistics describing employment outcomes between academic degrees relative to its workforce counterpart [1]:

Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) data provides earnings and employment outcomes for college and university graduates from UT by degree level, degree major and post-secondary institution. The various statistics are generated by matching university transcript data with a national database.  

These pilot linking programs can—and likely will—have a direct impact on the student enrollment, retention, and success rates in undergraduate and graduate degrees. One concern is it may prevent or discourage students from selecting a degree they find interesting over a degree that is more lucrative [1]. For example, undergraduate students from the UT with a degree in Physical Education reported first-year median earnings of “$39,411” as opposed to a degree in Computer Science which reported first-year median earnings of “$85,334” [1]. The differences in median earnings of the two degrees are substantial—and it is unclear as to how these income earnings affect students’ motivation levels and their degree decisions. That is to ask, would students choose degrees they could care less for if the pay is significantly higher?

Ultimately, however, these pilot programs are still in its infancy phase, and its purpose and context-of-use are likely to grow and become potentially beneficial for students seeking motivation, inspiration, and encouragement in a variety of academic degree paths.

For more information, read the full article on Campus Technology.

References

[1] D. Schauffhauser, “Pilot Linking Degrees and Earnings Gets First Try at U Texas,” Campus Technology, April 10, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/04/10/pilot-linking-degrees-and-earnings-gets-first-try-at-u-texas.aspx [Accessed June 29, 2018].