Only three months after they had their diplomas in hand, 93 percent of the members of the 2014 Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) class were employed, and 98 percent of those graduates — the most in three years of surveys — had jobs at conventional educational institutions and other education-related organizations.
The annual survey conducted by Stanford GSE EdCareers revealed that the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and the GSE’s other Master’s and PhD programs are meeting the challenge of a growing, diversifying marketplace that favors candidates with educational expertise and technology and leadership skills. (The survey had a response rate of 97 percent, or 210 of the year’s 217 GSE graduates.)
Nereyda Salinas, director of the school’s career center, noted that pressure to change the status quo of traditional education and emerging educational technology shaped the employment landscape.
The report on the survey findings further revealed that 97 percent of the year’s responding PhD graduates seeking a job had accepted one, “a very strong PhD placement rate,” said Salinas. Fifty–four percent of the PhD graduates accepted an academic or postdoctoral position.
A few PhDs went to think-tanks and one, Kathayoon Khalil, is director of evaluation for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
“I focused my PhD at Stanford on evaluation of environmental education in informal environments, so I brought that experience with me to this position,” she said.
In 2014 the GSE awarded 33 doctoral degrees, 99 STEP master’s degrees and 85 master’s degrees in other programs.
Eighty-five percent of master’s graduates (excluding the STEP MA students) who were seeking employment obtained jobs within three months. Of those still seeking jobs, 62 percent had received at least one offer, a significant rise in the equivalent 25 percent figure for 2013 master’s grads. Salinas viewed this positively, noting that graduates are encouraged to accept employment only if it is a good match for their skills and goals.
The report shows that master’s grads took jobs as far away as Brazil and Singapore. The degrees were from seven different programs, including policy, organization and leadership; curriculum and teacher education; and international comparative education. After public education, the largest percentage (18 percent) was employed in education policy, followed by education technology at 16 percent.
Many graduates of the master’s programs use their degree to transition into a new industry, and internships are a key component in making this happen. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 60 percent of non-STEP master’s graduates completed at least one internship. Of those who participated and looked for a job, 40 percent said they felt that the internship directly or indirectly helped them get a foot in the door.
STEP graduates, all of whom receive master’s degrees, also fared well.
As occurred with 2013’s STEP graduates, 100 percent of last year’s respondents were employed in the field of education. Ninety-nine percent were PreK-12 classroom teachers.
The 2014 STEP graduates demonstrated a commitment to public education: 71 percent took jobs at public, non-charter schools and an additional 20 percent at publicly funded charter schools.
More than half of the STEP graduates (51 percent,) have assumed leadership roles in addition to their teaching responsibilities. These posts include coaching a sport to fundraising to serving on committees.
STEP is a 12-month course of study. Elementary school teachers receive a California preliminary multiple subject teaching credential; secondary graduates earn a California preliminary single subject teaching credential.
The list of 158 organizations, which employed 195 of all the responding GSE graduates, shows the education job market expanding in breadth and depth, said Salinas.
“There are new names (on the hiring organizations’ lists) every year,” Salinas said. “You’ll see that many of the new hiring organizations are at the cross section of education and technology. The Common Core State Standards have also set goals and learning objectives across much of the country, again creating a large market for learning tools and programs that help students and teachers achieve those standards.”
Among those employers appearing for the first time in 2014 were tech start-ups Zearn, which develops digital math lessons on the web; Clever, an educational software developer; and Zaption, a company that transforms video-based learning with interactive content. All three hired 2014 (non-STEP) master’s graduates.
One of those, Michelle Lin, signed on with Zearn as school support manager before she graduated. She said she chose Stanford in part because “tech was blowing up and (the field) was a hotbed of companies” she knew aligned with her interests.
Of the year’s master’s grads, 89 percent accepted a position in their desired geographic location. Among PhD graduates, 83 percent landed where they wanted to live.
Diego Roman, for example, signed on as an assistant professor at Southern Methodist University even before he officially received his PhD.
“I study bilingual education, so being in Dallas provides great access to many schools that follow dual-language models,” he said.
Joyce Gemperlein, a freelance writer in the Bay Area, wrote this story for Stanford Graduate School of Education.