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New dashboard yields insight on postgraduate career paths

A new tool launched by Cornell Career Services provides current Cornell students, graduates and employers with key insights on career and postgraduate outcomes.

The Cornell Outcomes Dashboard allows users to view a wide variety of Cornell postgraduate activity, including employment status, sector, location, career paths by major and how jobs were found. Users can explore and answer targeted questions by narrowing searches to focus on criteria including alumni graduation year, college and major.

“We developed the dashboard to create a clearer picture of student outcomes.  We want students to see the myriad opportunities available,” said Jessamyn Perlus, interim senior associate director and career exploration unit manager. “From a career exploration standpoint, it can help students make informed decisions about their next steps. At the same time, it provides evidence to counteract myths that people from certain majors only go into certain fields.

The dashboard provides a customizable set of results, which shows more nuance and specificity than a static survey report. In the “Career Paths” section, users can view the first field of occupation or graduate study that alumni from their major have sought and how they found their positions.

In the "Postgraduate Activity” section, users can explore salary statistics, postgraduate activity, employer sectors, geographic distribution and employers.  However, to protect the privacy of survey respondents, the dashboard will not display salary information when the number of respondents is below a set threshold.

“The data tells a compelling story of student success at Cornell,” said Greg Foster, interim executive director for Cornell Career Services. “Many students are hired by industry leaders in finance, technology and consulting, while others gain admission to graduate and professional schools in a wide variety of fields including computer science, engineering, law and medicine.”

The interactive dashboard is powered by data from the comprehensive Postgraduate Survey, administered annually and kept open for six months following graduation. High levels of alumni survey participation have yielded a robust dataset; the survey response rate is consistently above 70%, with a 2020 response rate of 73% and 2019 rate of 74%.

The survey is administered by a Postgraduate Survey Committee comprising staff from Career Services; the College of Engineering; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the ILR School; The College of Architecture, Art and Planning; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Committee members meet regularly to discuss the latest employment trends and survey practices,” Foster said. “This robust knowledge-sharing by members of the campuswide career services community strengthens the survey and dashboard by incorporating a broad range of unique insights.”

In addition to providing valuable insights to students, the dashboard also will benefit employers looking to recruit Cornellians.

Employers can use the information to expand recruiting efforts at Cornell,” Perlus said, “for example, by accessing majors they might have overlooked before. Employers often ask for salary trends and now they can use this dashboard to help inform salary decisions and more competitive offers.

To explore the data, visit the  Cornell Outcomes Dashboard and select the year(s), degree level(s), college program(s) and major/field(s) of your choice.

Elizabeth Hartman is a writer for Student and Campus Life.

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Jeffrey Martin