Career Outcomes Methodology
University of Arkansas measures the career/post-graduation outcomes for its each graduating class through first-destination surveys (FDS). The post-graduation outcomes data collection is managed by the University Career Development Center (CDC) following the procedures outlined in the NACE Standards and Protocols for Undergraduate First Destination Surveys and the NACE Standards and Protocols for the Collection and Dissemination of Graduating Student Initial Career Outcome Information for Advanced Degree Candidates. College of Engineering (ENGR) and the School of Law (LAW) use their own surveys in addition to FDS and collected ENGR data is reported to the CDC.
Data collection on career outcomes takes place from the date of graduation until six months after the end of the class year. A few weeks prior to the graduation date all graduating students receive an invitation from the CDC to participate in the online FDS with a secure no-login required link. Graduating students are permitted to access the FDS on Handshake platform multiple times during the data collection period to ensure the most accurate, current data is captured. Students responding to FDS are the primary source of information for career outcomes report prepared by CDC. However, the NACE standards also allows for collecting information from a variety of alternative sources (the graduates' LinkedIn profiles, social media, parents, employers, faculty, staff and, etc.).
Career outcomes data informs the University whether its graduating students have secured employment, types and locations of employment secured, salaries offered, pursuing military service or volunteering, continuing their education or having other plans. This information serves as a as a resource for career planning for current and prospective students, used by colleges/schools, departments, employers and other stakeholders. These data are also reported to various organizations that rank colleges, such as US News and World Report, the College Portrait of Undergraduate Education/Voluntary System of Accountability, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), Princeton Review survey, Peterson's Undergraduate survey, College Board Survey, and a few others.
Several summary calculations were developed from the data, as follows:
KNOWLEDGE RATE-This is the percentage of the graduating class for whom an outcome destination is known. It includes the sum of all the employment categories plus service and military plus continuing education plus the number of students still seeking an outcome or not seeking an outcome. It excludes those students for whom no information is available. Mathematically, the knowledge rate can be expressed as:
(# employed + # service + # military + # continuing education + # still seeking employment and continuing education + # not seeking)/total graduates
CAREER OUTCOMES RATE-This is the number of graduates who have landed in any of the employment categories plus service and military plus continuing education divided by the number of students for whom an outcome is known minus those graduates identified as not seeking an outcome. Expressed mathematically, the career outcomes rate is:
(# employed + # service + # military + # continuing education)/(# employed + # service + # military + # continuing education + # still seeking employment and continuing education)
Additional rates, such as the percentage of graduates in standard full-time employment, were created by taking the number of graduates in a specific category and then dividing by the number of known graduates as identified in the knowledge rate above.