Resources & Publications

Workforce Results Matter to Students

May 01, 2014

By Neil Ridley

A new brief from CLASP examines the hard questions that students and policymakers are asking about postsecondary education and training outcomes at a time of sustained unemployment and sluggish job growth. Do graduates find jobs? What are they paid? What will they earn in the future? Despite growing national interest in this information, good answers are not widely available for many programs.

Research shows that consumers of postsecondary education and training are keenly interested in workforce results, such as post-graduation employment and earnings levels. In the annual Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) survey at four-year institutions, first-year students consistently report that their prospects for employment and improved earnings are very important to them as they enter college. In fact, in the 2013 survey, three of the top five reasons students cited for going to college were related to anticipated employment and earnings results, including “to be able to get a better job” (86 percent), “to get training for a specific career” (77 percent), and “to be able to make more money” (73 percent).

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