New Data Tool Showcases Post-Credential Employment and Earning in Maine Bookmark and Share

October 17, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 17, 2017

CONTACT: Laura Hudson, MDOL, Laura.j.Hudson@maine.gov ; Helen Pelletier, MCCS, hpelletier@mccs.me.edu ; Dan Demeritt, UMS, dan.demeritt@maine.edu

Provides earning data for people completing education and training programs including all graduates of the Maine Community College and University of Maine Systems

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information has released the new data and a new search tool to the workforce data system originally launched as a pilot in 2014. Now called MaineEARNS, standing for the Maine Education and Attainment Research Navigation System, the data series provides the employment and earnings outcomes of people graduating from the University of Maine System and Maine Community College System.

Data from the education and training programs, including individuals graduating with credentials in such fields as electrical lineworker technology and plumbing, as well as associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, are matched with the unemployment insurance wage records available at the department. The published data is searchable by credential/degree, area of study, and school, but is not personally identifiable.

“The MaineEARNS website lets families and students see what real Mainers are earning after obtaining their degree or credential,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This helps students set realistic expectations about how much debt they will be able to afford to pay back after graduating. It also helps people who are considering going back to school know how much more they can expect to earn if they add that credential or complete a degree. We want to make sure people have the tools and information they need to be prosperous.”

Commissioner of Labor John Butera stated, “In addition to being an important tool for college-bound students, MaineEARNS provides feedback to our educational system, employers and policymakers about our pipeline of workers and which degrees are commanding top wages. But most of all, this tool can be used by anyone considering potential careers, whether it be in middle or high school or as an adult.”

The data is available by credential, area of study and school. The data system serves as a platform for understanding what happens to cohorts of college graduates once they leave school and as they progress through the workforce. It can be used to address such questions as:

  • Do students get jobs in Maine?
  • What do they earn?
  • How do the wage and employment outcomes for various credentials compare?
  • How many students are completing programs in specific areas of study, such as nursing, engineering or welding?

The value of an education includes factors beyond employment statistics. The data system does not measure intangible factors such as personal satisfaction with earning a credential and the intrinsic value of an education.

The system showed that more than 75 percent of the graduates in the cohort were employed in Maine post-graduation.

Overall, the data supports that higher levels of education tend to be accompanied by higher wages. In general, graduates with higher levels of education had higher first year wages.

At present, this tool measures first-, third- and fifth-year employment outcomes; longer term outcomes will be added as new graduate cohorts and new wage data becomes available.

As with any data set, there are limitations that are important for users to understand. Outcomes include only those with covered employment in Maine. Individuals might not appear in the data because they got a job outside the state of Maine, they are self-employed, they are employed by the federal government or are pursuing further education and are not employed. Employment outcomes will also vary with the economic cycle, industry and region of employment. For other important limitations, and more information on the tool, please visit http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/maineearns .

The system was developed in partnership with UMS, MCCS and the Maine Department of Education’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS). Grants from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Education and Training Administration and the SLDS provided the majority of funding for the project with additional state support.

CWRI develops and disseminates information on employment, unemployment and wages; analyzes outcomes of education and training programs to guide decision-making; and develops industry and occupational employment forecasts designed to guide career planning and curriculum development. They work with a wide range of customers to provide context to the dynamics of the economy and the implications those have for workforce development. CWRI publishes a variety of data on Maine’s economy, workforce and demographics at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri .

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