Universities Leveraging Labor Market Data to Impact Student Success

November 25, 2019
Author: ThinkWhy Analyst

Student career success usually depends on mastering the right field of study and then leveraging the knowledge and skills gained in the real world. However, for some students, selecting a major can require answers to questions that he or she may not even know to ask, such as:

  • What is the long-term growth outlook for the profession?
  • What is the earning potential today and in 5 years?
  • In what markets and industries are these jobs in highest demand?
University Student Success

Empowering universities and career centers to consult labor market data can help students better understand their career options, highlight the demands of the modern business landscape and provide insight on the future earning potential and advancement within an industry or job — even down to the best market to relocate to after graduation.

By studying labor intelligence, universities can set up students for success — and ensure their current academic offerings remain relevant.

Determining Field of Study

Labor market data frequently reveals a strong correlation between major and income. This should prompt university career centers to study job and industry wage and compensation data to reverse engineer their recommendations for students.

In addition, labor market data can validate a student’s desire to pursue a specific field of study by divulging job growth and compensation insights. For example, STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering, and math) are not only in high demand, but are forecasted to be high growth occupations for the next several years. By communicating forecasted job and wage growth information, universities can help students pinpoint their desired degree field and even determine the best markets to look for career opportunities.

Universities also benefit from leveraging labor intelligence. By fueling student knowledge with data-driven facts that bolster post-graduation success, universities benefit from strong graduation rates and alumni success. A higher graduation rate and successful career transitions are immensely beneficial for recruiting future students and showing competitive differentiation from other institutions.

Shaping Curriculum for Job Longevity

Labor market data is a mirror of the real world, exposing what employers are looking for – and how much they are willing to pay to get it. By identifying the in-demand skills and credentials, universities can better shape curriculum to help students refine their skills and land jobs.

Labor market data analyses should play a starring role in helping students define and build their educational experience and career trajectory. Understanding job growth, wages and demographic drivers can impact academic choice – and pave the way to a brighter future for both students and universities.