Wayne State University is a large urban research university located in Midtown Detroit. Masters and Doctoral students constitute one-fourth to one-third of the entire student body. Graduate students have a long tradition of contributing to economic development of Detroit, Michigan and communities across the United States. There is a national effort to understand the career trajectories of our doctoral alumni, to better understand the economic factors surrounding the role of PhDs in the workforce. In addition, understanding who is employing our doctoral alumni and in what capacity makes us better able to adapt programs for the changing work environment of the 21st century.
Wayne State has graduated approximately 3,000 Ph.D. students over the 15 year period from 1999-2014 (average 200 per year). This project attempted to find as many of these doctoral alumni as possible. Through a coordinated effort including conversations with faculty mentors, search of electronic records and an alumni census survey, we successfully identified employers and job titles for nearly 90% of these alumni. We followed that up with a census sent out to 642 of those alumni and received responses from 568 (88%), validating and updating information collected from the cyber search process.
The project is a collaboration between the WSU Graduate School and the Office of Institutional Research who developed this dashboard to disseminate the results of the project. This is an on-going process. Census surveys will be executed annually to monitor the career progression of our doctoral alumni through their careers, documenting the contribution of these alumni to the companies, organizations, and educational institutions with whom they work and contributing to the awareness nationally of the economic impact of graduate education to both the individuals as well as their employers.
If you scroll horizontally through the tabs, you will find a depth of information relevant to both the progression of students through their Doctoral programs across all fields at the university as well as the employment outcomes for aggregate data from the university as a whole, individual Colleges and Schools within the university or specific departments within those Colleges and Schools.
For more information about the PhD census project, see the article below: