Our previous post in this multi-part series on student outcomes introduced a relatively new data source from the US Census Bureau: Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO). These data provide outcome variables that include average earnings for bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates, as well as “flow” data that show in which industries graduates of different academic programs work. PSEO data are currently available for institutions from 10 partnership states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. States are at different levels of integration within the PSEO structure, as data are not available for all public institutions in each partner state. However, for the institutions included in the data, there is a high knowledge rate for graduates of those institutions. Data on the PSEO Explorer interactive website can be viewed for various degree levels (bachelors and masters), cohorts from 2001 through 2015, earnings percentiles, years post-graduation (1, 5, and 10), and academic programs. For further exploration, the PSEO Explorer is a great tool for drilling into the employment outcomes data for specific institutions.
Whereas the previous blog post explored PSEO data for Carnegie classified Doctoral institutions, this post looks at earnings data trends for public Master’s Colleges and Universities within the PSEO data. There are three Carnegie Classifications of Master’s institutions: Larger Programs, Medium Programs, and Smaller Programs. Based on the Carnegie Classification descriptions page, “Institutions were included in these categories if they awarded at least 50 master’s degrees in 2016-2017, but fewer than 20 research doctorates.” Program size is delineated based on the following: larger programs awarded at least 200 master’s degrees; medium programs awarded 100-199 master’s degrees; and smaller programs awarded 50-99 master’s degrees in 2016-2017.
As in the previous post, we will be concentrating on average earnings for bachelor’s degreeholders at the 50th percentile. Average earnings are for all cohorts across all instructional programs. The time-points measured in the PSEO data are for 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years post-graduation. The default view for each visualization below has the institutions sorted from highest to lowest in the first column that represents “Year 1 Average Earnings (50th Percentile)” as shown at the bottom of the column. The second and third columns are “Year 5” and “Year 10” earnings respectively, with the fourth column representing the “percentage (%) change from year 1 to year 10” at each institution. The overall averages are weighted averages based on the number of graduates employed in Year 1 of the data. The color-coding of the bars is based on the institution’s percentage change value in the fourth column, with darker colors representing less change than lighter colors with more change over time. The visualization can be sorted using any of the four columns by hovering over the column label at the bottom and clicking on the “filter” icon that pops-up.
The group of visualizations below shows each of the three Carnegie Classifications of Master’s institutions separately: Large Programs, Medium Programs, and Small Programs. The Master’s Institutions: Smaller Program group is included in the visualization set below, but there are no Texas institutions included in this group, so we will not be summarizing that smallest group of institutions.
Master’s Institutions: Larger Programs
Master’s Institutions: Medium Programs
NOTES: If you are unable to read the labels in the visualization below, we recommend clicking the “Full Screen” button on the lower right of the visualization window to enlarge the information. Hovering over each bar will provide a tooltip with additional information.
Another data point included in the PSEO data is the count of graduates who were employed within the state where they earned their bachelor’s degree. By dividing this in-state employment count by the total number of earners, we can determine an in-state employment rate. In the PSEO Technical Documentation, the researchers indicate that “mobility and higher wages are positively correlated” (p. 10), which would mean that the higher the percentage of in-state employment for a university, the lower the average earnings would be for their graduates. To examine whether this statement was supported by the data on Master’s-level institutions, we plotted each of the Master’s Colleges and Universities in the PSEO dataset using scatterplots with “Average Earnings” on the x-axis and “Percentage Employed In-State” on the y-axis, as shown in the visualizations below. The institutions are color-coded based on their state, and each time-point (Year 1, Year 5, and Year 10) are plotted in separate panels. The trend line through the data points is considered to be the “line of best fit.”
Master’s Institutions: Overall Trends
Master’s Institutions by Carnegie Classification
NOTES: If you are unable to read all of the labels in the visualization below, we recommend clicking the “Full Screen” button on the lower right of the visualization window to enlarge the information. Hovering over each point will provide a tooltip with additional information.
Having presented the Doctoral- and Master’s-level Carnegie groups separately in two blog posts, we wanted to provide a summary comparison of both groups combined. Shown below are the same data points as presented in the bar charts above, namely average earnings (50th percentile) for bachelor’s degreeholders over time, with the aggregation level being the Carnegie Classification. The default order is from highest-to-lowest in the first column (Year 1 Average Earnings), and the color scheme is based on the percentage change from Year 1 to Year 10 as shown in the legend on the right.