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Alumni Outcomes Project

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In 2018, Boise State contracted with EMSI of Moscow, ID for their Alumni Insight service. EMSI 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.


All living alumni who earned a bachelor’s degree or above from Boise State up through December 2017 were included in the analysis. The overall match rate, or percentage of alumni for whom EMSI found a match, was 37.4%. 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.

Table 1. Match Rates by Degree and Decade of Graduation

 Bachelor'sMaster'sPost-Master's (Ed.S.)Doctorate
Decade of Graduation% MatchTotal #% Match#% Match#% Match#
2010–Dec. 201745.5%22,66151.8%5,66920.0%2551.0%155
Overall Match Rate37.1%41.0%20.0%46.8%

While EMSI 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 and 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.

Table 2. Match Rates by Degree and Academic College of the Major

 Bachelor'sMaster'sPost-Master's (Ed.S.)DoctoratePercent Overall Match
Academic College% Match#% Match#% Match#% Match#
Arts & Sciences36.7%22,35236.9%1,77050.0%3036.6%
Business & Econ45.5%16,13950.6%2,53645.9%
Health Sciences30.7%11,39942.2%1,97853.8%1331.9%
Public Service36.7%4,35047.7%70450.0%237.8%

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 and specific academic department are provided in Appendix A.

Employment Outcomes: Location

Boise State’s 10-county service region includes the following counties: Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley, and Washington. Through the analysis, EMSI determined whether matched alumni were residing in or out of the service region. Overall, nearly two-thirds of matched alumni (64%) reside in the 10-county region. Moreover, Figure 1 illustrates that a higher proportion of alumni who graduated more recently live in the region compared to matched alumni who graduated several decades ago.

Figure 1. Matched Alumni in Region

Employment Outcomes: Employed in Field

Using a crosswalk from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMSI matched occupational information with degree information to classify employment as being “In Field” or “Out of Field” of study (2-digit CIP to 2-digit SOC crosswalk). As illustrated in Figure 2, 78% of matched graduates were classified as employed in field, with 21% employed out of field, and 2% without a listing for current employment. Note that Post-Master’s degrees (Ed.S.) are excluded from the chart due to a small number of matches.

Figure 2. In-Field vs. Out-of-Field Employment

Years Since Graduation

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. Bachelor's Graduates Employed in Field and Figure 4. Master's Graduates Employed in Field

Figure 3 illustrates that baccalaureate graduates from the earliest years (1960s and 1970s) and from the most recent years (2010 through Dec 2017) are employed “in field” at the lowest rates. This may reflect that graduates from the 1960s and 1970s 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, 74% of the matched recent bachelor’s degree graduates are considered to be employed in field.

Master’s degree graduates, on the other hand, are fairly stable in terms of employment in field regardless of the recency of their degree award. Overall, 81% of master’s degree graduates were classified as employed in field.

More to Explore

Two interactive dashboards are available at and enable further exploration of the data.

Alumni Career Insights

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.

Explore the Alumni Career Insights Dashboard

Career Pathways

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. The dashboard below enables deeper exploration based on degree level, major field of study, and career outcomes.

Explore the Career Pathways Dashboard


The EMSI Alumni Insight service provides valuable information about the graduates of Boise State University. As may be expected, the data are more complete for recent graduates and for graduates in certain professions. On the whole, nearly 80% of all graduates who were matched are classified as employed in field. In addition, a higher proportion of more recent graduates are living in the region (over two-thirds) compared to graduates from decades ago. Because the match rates vary between and within academic colleges, the information produced for specific departments or fields of study will be more valuable to some areas over others.

Appendix A. Match Rates by Degree, College, and Academic Department

# = Number of alumni who were matched (not total number of alumni in the population)
% = Match Rate; percentage of alumni who were matched

(sorted by college and department)
  Bachelor DegreeMaster's DegreePost Master'sDoctorate Degree
COASBachelor of Applied Science17947.9%
COASBiological Sciences58430.2%7832.2%
COASBiomolecular Sciences240.0%685.7%
COASChemistry & Biochemistry13537.7%640.0%
COASCollege of Arts & Sciences2132.3%3328.0%
COASMultidisciplinary Studies24445.9%
COASPsychological Science1,04838.3%
COASTheatre, Film, & Creative Writ12933.7%
COASWorld Languages34839.7%
COBECollege of Business & Economic1,01048.5%
COBEIT & Supply Chain Mgmt97550.0%2147.7%
COBEMarketing & Finance8922.1%
COEDCounselor Education12341.3%
COEDCurr, Instr & Fndtnl Stds65014.6%29721.8%520.00%
COEDEarly and Special Education4519.9%10423.5%
COEDEducational Technology60644.9%1071.4%
COEDElem Ed & Spec Studies55.6%
COEDLiteracy, Language and Culture5717.5%14719.1%
COENCivil Engineering26351.6%6555.6%
COENComputer Science30752.2%6759.8%
COENConstruction Management40249.9%
COENElect & Computer Engr32758.3%12161.7%1050.0%
COENMaterials Sci & Engineering9871.0%5662.9%880.0%
COENMechanical & Biomedical Eng48462.1%5076.9%
COENOrganizational Performance47655.2%
COHSCommunity & Env Hlth96736.5%13457.0%
COHSRadiologic Sciences17326.5%
COHSRespiratory Care26830.7%
COHSSchool of Social Work48530.1%56240.8%
SPSCommunity & Regional Planning2076.9%
SPSCriminal Justice67030.0%4545.9%
SPSEnvironmental Studies7241.4%
SPSPolitical Science86043.9%956.3%
SPSPublic Policy & Admin26246.5%150.0%