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Emsi: Data Works

Labor market insight for higher education leaders

4 Fundamental Applications for Alumni Employment Data

January 2017

Every individual that has been through your institution carries valuable information with them. Where they work. What they do for work. Where they live. Where they continued their education. The skills and certifications they hold.

Until now, that wealth of information has been held captive by a lack of accessibility.

It’s a shame, because that level of information at a national scale could change the way higher education institutions understand—and interact with—the labor market.

Think about the software developers in your area. Who is hiring them? Where did they go to school? What are their job titles? What skills and certifications do they hold?

…What are their names?

Earlier this month, Emsi released Alumni Insight—employment outcome data to help colleges and universities answer these questions and many others. Armed with this unique new data, our hope is that schools will have a newfound ability to analyze their alumni and engage with relevant employers. Read the full release to learn more about how it works.

Here are the top 4 ways colleges and universities are using Alumni Insight data in 2017.

1. Analyzing Graduate Outcomes

Where alumni surveys and alternative sources leave broad gaps—in both sample size and employment detail—Alumni Insight makes it easy to drill down into the details of employment outcomes. Add (and stack) a few filters based on job title, certification, or employer to quickly narrow your results to answer specific workforce questions about your graduates.

How many of your alumni working in nursing are employed at the local hospital? Of your alumni currently working as registered nurses, how many of them also hold a CNA certification? Outside of registered nurses, what are the top job titles for graduates with nursing skills?

In the context of reviewing program offerings, insight from employment pathways can be leveraged to strengthen existing programs or identify opportunities for new programs.

Further, Alumni Insight can provide program-level outcome data of for institutions that provide past student records. That means simplified reporting for institutions relating to Perkins funding or reporting on outcomes for performance-based funding models. What percentage, by program, are your alumni employed in a field related to their program of study? How many graduates are in-state vs. out of state?

2. Building Employer Partnerships

With some quick searching of employers hiring your alumni, you can gather a robust list of potential businesses to expand or create partnerships with.

An employer hiring a significant number of graduates for a single occupation could be a perfect fit for a new internship program or source for feedback on how well your program is preparing graduates to enter the workforce.

3. Engaging With Alumni

Imagine if you could pull up a list of your alumni that are now CEOs—or any other occupation, for that matter—and you knew what companies they worked for, where they lived, and other key employment information.

Curriculum feedback, featured alumni marketing campaigns, mentorship programs, and fundraising efforts are just a few areas that could be bolstered with this level of alumni engagement capability.

4. Demonstrating Gainful Employment

According to recent research conducted by mStoner Inc. and Chegg, when asked “Which of the following sections of college websites are the most difficult to use?”, 46 percent of teens selected “what kind of jobs I can get as a graduate.”

Prospective students are doing serious research about the programs available to them and the career outcomes that could follow. Institutions are now being prompted to showcase that information for students to aid in their decision-making process.

One community college is using data from Alumni Insight paired with Career Coach to showcase 1) that its programs are training for quality occupations, and 2) that graduates are being hired for those occupations by quality employers. Talk about a compelling display of return on investment for students as they choose an education path.


Seeing colleges and universities innovate with our tools is one of our favorite parts of the work we do. As more leaders in the world of higher education adopt this data, new and exciting use cases will emerge. And, per usual, we’ll do our best to share them with you so that you can make the most of the data you have in the work you do.