Academic Program Insights
Amanda Kallach avatar
Written by Amanda Kallach
Updated over a week ago

Acquiring knowledge about the destination of students after graduating from a specific program or major is an immensely potent tool. By gaining insights into the skills and salary outcomes of graduates through classroom, internship, or on-the-job experiences, department chairs and deans can mold their programs to optimize student success. Steppingblocks offers data that can guide academics by showcasing the skills that correspond with higher salaries, specific careers or industries, and even individual companies. Our user-friendly dashboard empowers faculty, staff, and students to identify the most valuable skills required for their respective areas of interest. To illustrate, consider the following examples:

  • Identifying the skills for a particular major or at a particular employer

    • We know that the nature of work is evolving. We have seen in recent years a skills gap in graduates as they enter the workforce. What has the impact been, and who is responsible? Is it students? Employers? Educators? All of the above? Click here to listen to a podcast episode with our CEO, Carlo Martinez, and learn more about what may be causing this skills gap, how higher education has being held more accountable than ever, and how you can begin to use data to support your University’s efforts in starting to close that gap.

    • Click here to hear our podcast episode all about Essential Skills, and learn more about how to help students identify and articulate their skills. You can also check out our Essential Skills guide for Faculty and Staff.

  • Exploring the top employers of recent graduates (or any other parameters)

    • You can utilize Steppingblocks platforms to analyze just what top employers are looking for when it comes to hiring graduates. You can look at trends with employers for all of your alumni, recent graduates, specific majors or degrees, amongst other filters. By looking at skills your graduates are leaving the university with, and benchmarking that with current hiring trends, you can begin to make informed decisions about certain course offerings, or skills you highlight in your program to make your students more marketable to the job market. Click here to learn how to start interacting with this data, and how you can use it in assessing and shifting your academic programs to better support your students and their futures.

  • Filtering data by salary to understand what skills correlate with the highest ROI

    • We know students are thinking about life post-college. What will make them the most money post grad? Will this degree really pay off? What will they gain in school that will make them successful once they graduate? How can you use graduate outcomes data to explore the success of your graduates? Things such as improving time to degree, increasing retention and enrollment numbers, strengthening alumni engagement and giving, and enhancing employer relationships are just a few examples of what universities are improving on by leveraging graduate outcomes data. Click here to read more about how these things are improved by investing in this data.

  • Exploring the industries where alumni are working

    • Knowing just what industries where your alumni are working, and thriving in is powerful information when it comes to assessing and building academic programs. Having insight on where your graduates are working, and which companies hire your graduates, can give you insight on just what to highlight and focus on when it comes to creating programs to support students in being successful post graduation. Click here to see an example of a workforce analysis, and for more information on how you can get a free consultation on how to do this for your own school or region. Additionally, Click here to read about how West Virginia University has utilized Graduate Insights to connect with alumni and their companies to support their students job search efforts.

  • Ascertaining ROI on research and other initiatives

    • The need and importance of research universities is of increased interest. According to Jason Owen-Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) the reason we need research universities is about the future and the public good. Click here to listen to a podcast with Jason Owen-Smith and the Steppingblocks team in an in depth discussion of Research Universities, data, and just how impactful these things are and will be to the future of our society.

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