New rankings measure economic impact of college
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Graduates of Florida Institute of Technology have a greater chance for better pay in the workplace. New data and analysis released recently by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program provides perspective on how well colleges prepare students for high-paying careers, and confirms Florida Tech as one of the top 100 four-year universities in the nation for boosting alumni earnings.
Florida Tech is already recognized as the top university in Florida and in the top 40 private schools nationally for mid-career return on investment, according to the 2015 PayScale College ROI Report. The Brookings analysis ranks Florida Tech at #94 nationally for four-year schools and #1 in Florida.
This new study, “Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two and Four-Year Schools,” offers insight for education leaders and workforce development decision makers. It also offers a new tool to help prospective college students make informed decisions on where to attend.
According to Brookings, based in Washington, D.C. and ranked the most influential think tank in the world, this report is the first to develop measures of “value added” for a broad array of two- and four-year colleges. To do so, it analyzes data on economic outcomes for graduates of these institutions, adjusting them for the characteristics of their students at the time they are admitted, and other factors. The resulting measures capture the contributions that the colleges themselves make to their graduates’ eventual economic success.
Using a blend of government and private data (from LinkedIn and Payscale), the report’s analysis shows that a college’s mix of majors and the skills it provides students are highly predictive of economic outcomes for its graduates. STEM-focused universities like Florida Tech, and other colleges where many students pursue degrees in fields like engineering, healthcare, computer science, and business, see higher earnings among their alumni.
Value-added is defined as the difference between a college’s predicted and actual student economic outcomes. Compared to popular college rankings, the value-added method focuses on how well colleges contribute to student economic success, rather than simply their ability to attract top students. According to Brookings, these value-added measures improve on conventional rankings and fill a demand for greater transparency and accountability in higher education. This report identifies those factors that colleges can influence to improve alumni economic outcomes.
“We’ve known for some time that a Florida Tech degree results in higher pay for graduates as their careers progress,” said Anthony J. Catanese, Florida Tech President and CEO. “Our ‘high tech with a human touch’ philosophy of education is focused on fostering student success. This latest validation of our approach is good news for Florida Tech, and even better news for our alumni.”
For full details on the Brookings report, visit http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports2/2015/04/29-beyond-college-rankings-rothwell-kulkarni.