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Survey reveals high employment rates for Stanford education graduates

May 4, 2017
By Joyce Gemperlein
Alumni from the Class of 2016 are working at 151 organizations in 20 states and seven countries, finds a report from EdCareers

Ninety-four percent of the members of the 2016 Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) class – PhD, Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and other MA students – were employed, continuing their educations, or had started businesses within four months of graduation, according to a new report.

The 2016 employment rate for GSE graduated was up one percent, from 93 percent for the class of 2015.

The data making up the Stanford EdCareers’ annual report, its sixth, provide a snapshot of how GSE graduates are fulfilling their aspirations while influencing education -- be it in or outside of a traditional classroom.  

Among the job titles for the 229 graduates are teacher, professor, research associate, senior product manager, literacy coordinator, software engineer, and academic dean. Six innovative education-related organizations were also founded by 2016 GSE graduates, who were working at 151 organizations in 20 states and seven countries.

Nereyda Salinas, director of the GSE’s EdCareers unit, said the recent geographic data shows GSE grads taking their newly acquired skills to more states and countries than in previous years.

The Class of 2016 Annual Report shows that 88 percent of the 229 graduates are working at education-related organizations.  Ninety-three percent of those reported that they found their jobs in their desired geographic location. A majority of the graduates settled in California. Those who went overseas are in Brazil, China, Morocco, Myanmar, and Singapore.

In 2016, the GSE awarded 31 doctoral degrees, 92 master’s in STEP and 108 master’s in other programs that include policy, organization and leadership studies; learning, design and technology; international education policy analysis; and international comparative education.

STEP is a 12-month course of study leading to a Master of Arts in Education and requires a 12-month teaching practicum. Elementary graduates received a California Preliminary multiple-subject teaching credential; secondary graduates earn a California Preliminary single-subject teaching credential. Three STEP graduates took jobs outside California – in Massachusetts, Illinois and Oregon.

The 2016 EdCareers report revealed that 97 percent of the STEP graduates were employed within four months of graduation – down one percent from 2015 – and all of the employed graduates had accepted a position in the field of education. Ninety six percent were employed as PreK-12 classroom teachers, with 79 percent of those teaching at a public, non-charter school.

Ninety-three percent – up three percent from 2015 – of the 2016 STEP graduates reported finding employment in their desired geographic locations.

A case in point is Alison Amberg. After her year in STEP, Amberg longed to return as a full-fledged teacher to the beautiful rural area in the Eastern Sierras of California where she had previously worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer.  She is in her first year teaching sixth grade in the Big Pine Unified School District.

She said her students for the most part have “rough home lives that challenge teachers to support their high need for social and emotional balance.”  She said her rigorous year in STEP prepared her for the challenges she is finding day-to-day at Big Pine.  She is regularly in touch with several of her Stanford mentors, she said, as she navigates her new role.

Charmaine Mangram, a 2016 PhD graduate, was among the 83 percent of last year’s PhD graduates – up from 75 percent in the 2015 EdCareers report -- who reported finding employment in their desired geographic location. The number is notable because academic job markets are so competitive that PhD graduates often do not find employment in the locale in which they wish to live, Salinas said.

Mangram needed a place where her family and her passion for mathematics and culture could thrive. As an assistant professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s College of Education, she is teaching and is helping to redesign the university’s teacher education program to integrate Native Hawai’ian culture into the pedagogy.

Salinas said Mangram is an example of how many 2016 GSE students began their studies with certain intentions – ideas of what they wanted to do after graduation – and completed their degrees to do exactly that. 

While completing her PhD, Mangram did extensive research and conducted programs with students and parents from various socioeconomic backgrounds to explore ways in which math education could be made more accessible to all parents.

Salinas noted that, like Mangram, the 2016 graduates who founded education-related companies came to the GSE with “an idea of, or looking for, what was missing” and is needed in education “and left Stanford to address that problem.”

Faculty, postdoctoral or research positions accounted for 59 percent of the employment for 2016 PhD graduates, according to the EdCareers report.  

Ashley Edwards and Alina Liao are among the 6 percent of the class who founded new education-related organizations. Both completed joint MA/MBA degrees and established MindRight, a 501c3 education nonprofit that provides personalized mental health coaching over text message to at-risk high school students who are recovering from trauma.

Ninety-one percent of the 2016 MA graduates were employed within four months of graduation, surpassing 2015’s all-time high of 89 percent in 2015.

The Stanford EdCareers survey was administered to the Class of 2016 graduates electronically via Qualtrics, at graduation. Those who indicated that they were “still seeking” a position at graduation received a follow-up survey four months post-graduation. The survey closed in December 2016 with a response rate of 86 percent.

In addition, a “knowledge rate” based on email, faculty contacts or LinkedIn profiles was calculated for 12 percent of graduates who either did not respond to the initial or follow-up surveys. The total knowledge and response rate is 99 percent.

For a graphic view of the results, please see the EdCareers infographic. That fact sheet and the full reports for the past six years are available on the Alumni Career Impact web page.