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Stanford education graduates thrive in diverse job market, survey finds

Sonia Doshi, an MA graduate, is now an analyst with edtech startup. (Photo: Steve Castillo)
Sonia Doshi, an MA graduate, is now an analyst with edtech startup. (Photo: Steve Castillo)

Stanford education graduates thrive in diverse job market, survey finds

Annual report from Stanford EdCareers shows high employment rates for 2017 GSE graduates at home and abroad.

Ninety-one percent of the Stanford Graduate School of Education class of 2017 received one or more job offers within four months of earning their degrees, according to a new survey.

The GSE graduates held a variety of positions across the education sector and related industries — predominantly in California, but also nationwide and around the globe. The 136 hiring organizations ranged from traditional providers of education to startups to Fortune 500 companies to non-profits.

"Our graduates continue to attract a diverse range of employers with their skills, knowledge and commitment to achieving meaningful impact in education and elsewhere," said Nereyda Salinas, the executive director of Stanford EdCareers, the GSE's career resource center.

In 2017, GSE awarded 202 degrees: 24 doctoral, 89 master's from the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and 89 master's from other programs that include the study of educational management, educational technology, learning design and international comparative education. The school also offers joint master's in public policy or business administration.

Seventy-seven percent of the 2017 survey respondents landed jobs with an education-related organization, according to the report. The remaining 14 percent who received job offers chose to start their own companies, continued their studies or joined non-education-specific outfits like Genentech Inc., Facebook Inc. and McKinsey & Company Inc.

Alumni job titles included assistant or associate professor, teacher, academic dean, curriculum designer, managing partner, data and policy analyst, consultant and user experience researcher.

EdCareers has surveyed GSE graduates every year since 2011. Students are asked when they graduate whether they have a job; if a student is still looking at that time, the center follows up four months later. In 2017, the survey's total knowledge rate was 97 percent, or 196 graduates.

This year's results are notable for several reasons, according to Salinas. “We had the highest percentage of PhD and MA (non-STEP) graduates pursuing careers in research, 86% and 18% respectively. These alumni received their training by some of the best faculty in the field and they can now create their own impact in education through a variety of organizations both in academia and industry,” she said.

As in prior years, STEP graduates are especially sought-after. Every one of the program's 89 graduates who were seeking a job received a job offer, with 96 percent working primarily as classroom teachers in public/charter schools.

Other key findings from the 2017 report include:

  • Ninety-four percent of employed survey respondents work in their desired location. While the vast majority of graduates remained in California, others are spread around the country and the globe. The nine countries that attracted GSE alumni last year included Chile, Australia, China and Pakistan.
  • Education technology continued to be a big draw for master's students outside of STEP.
  • Eighty-six percent of 2017's PhDs work as faculty, postdoctoral fellows or researchers. Of the faculty positions, 38 percent are tenure-track.

In follow-up interviews, alumni credited GSE professors, classmates and alumni for their successful career searches.

"My network of faculty, peers and alumni were all critical," says Christopher Doss, who is now associate policy researcher at RAND Corporation in Washington D.C. He adds that informational interviews were especially key. "I was constantly thinking of questions that could only be answered by people who have been through the process, and each person I talked to was more than generous with their time."

Sonia Doshi, an MA graduate in the Learning, Design and Technology (LDT) program who is now an analyst with edtech startup Imbellus, says conversations with faculty helped her think about the kind of position she wanted and to identify her strengths and weaknesses. Mentors from internships she held "supported me in finding opportunities outside of their organizations, connected me to companies and professionals aligned with my interests, and guided me through the recruiting process." Peers, she adds, were "incredibly invaluable" when it came time to negotiate and decide on the offer.

Additional information about the composition of the 2017 class, types of jobs and salary ranges is available in the report. The EdCareers infographic provides a graphic snapshot of the results.

Fact sheets and full reports for the past seven years can be found at

Krysten Crawford is a freelance writer in the Bay Area and a contributor to the Stanford Graduate School of Education website.

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