Alumni Outcomes Project
In 2022, Boise State contracted with Lightcast (formerly EMSI) of Moscow, ID for their Alumni Insight service. Lightcast employs a detailed matching process that connects employment data to the list of graduates provided. The resulting employment information includes data from three categories: government sources, online job posting activity, and professional profiles and resumes. While the results from Lightcast’s matching provide a glimpse into the careers of alumni, these results are limited to alumni who had publicly available information on their employment/career. Importantly, these results do not provide calculated rates of employment/unemployment or data on all alumni (such as number of alumni employed by a particular organization or company).
All living alumni who earned a bachelor’s degree or above from Boise State up through December 2022 were included in the analysis. The overall match rate, or percentage of alumni for whom Lightcast found a match, was 43.6%. As might be expected, match rates were higher for more recent graduates and decline markedly for alumni who are further from graduation. See Table 1.
While Lightcast was able to match alumni from every academic college, some colleges had higher match rates than others. Table 2 below illustrates that regardless of degree level, the College of Engineering and the College of Business & Economics had the highest match rates of their alumni whereas the College of Health Sciences and the College of Education had the lowest match rates.
From these match rates we can infer that industries and professions have differing requirements and norms for job seekers. Professions in Health Sciences and Education, for example, may rely less on online profiles and more on necessary certifications. In contrast, alumni seeking careers in highly competitive professions, such as engineering and business, may rely more on networking through online profiles in order to gain a competitive edge over other job seekers. Match rates by degree award level and specific academic department are provided in Appendix A.
Employment Outcomes: Location
Through the analysis, Lightcast determined whether matched alumni were residing in or out of Idaho. Overall, 62% of matched alumni reside in Idaho. Moreover, Figure 1 illustrates that a higher proportion of alumni who graduated more recently live in Idaho compared to matched alumni who graduated several decades ago.
Employment Outcomes: Employed in Field
Lightcast matched occupational information with degree information to classify employment as being “In Field” or “Out of Field” matches were based on a Bureau of Labor Statistics crosswalk between the National Center for Education Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP codes) and the Standard Occupational Classification system (SOC codes). As illustrated in Figure 2, 66% of matched graduates were classified as employed in field, with 26% employed out of field, and 9% without a listing for current employment.
To further explore whether rates of employment in field differ based on the number of years since graduation, data for bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates were examined further. In other words, are graduates from earlier years more likely to work in field and more recent graduates less likely to do so? See Figures 3 and 4 below.
Figure 3 illustrates that baccalaureate graduates from the earliest years (1960s) and from the most recent years (2011 through Dec 2022) are employed “in field” at the lowest rates. This may reflect that graduates from the 1960s likely have reached retirement age and, thus, have progressed beyond their main years of employment. Conversely, newer graduates are at the entering stages of their careers and may be still determining their career paths and/or accumulating experiences to assist in their entre to the career of their choice. Even still, 64% of the matched recent undergraduate degree graduates are considered to be employed in field. Graduate-level degree graduates, on the other hand, are fairly stable in terms of employment in field regardless of the recency of their degree award. Overall, 71% of master’s degree graduates were classified as employed in field.
Alumni Career Insights Dashboard: This dashboard enables users to explore employment outcomes, employers, top skills reported, location, and in-field/out-of-field employment by degree level, department (representing field of study), and 5-year graduation bands.
Alumni Career Pathways Dashboard: The path that individuals take into careers can vary tremendously depending on major field of study, years of experience, and occupational standards, licensure, or requirements. This dashboard shows the career pathways, which enables deeper exploration based on degree level, major field of study, and career outcomes.
Career & employment data reflects information obtained in late 2022 and includes Boise State graduates up through spring 2022. Please visit our Alumni Outcomes Project Data analysis (link to analysis page on go live) page for more details on the project’s background, methods, and results.