UW-Madison Graduate Outcomes: Earnings

Last Updated

Earnings are from a collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau's Post-Secondary Education Outcomes (PSEO) project and the Institute for Research on Innovation & Science (IRIS) at the University of Michigan. Earnings, in 2016 dollars, are verified through unemployment insurance tax records and are provided for several cohorts of graduates.

Report URL
Data Cookbook URL (requires authorization)
Data Domain(s)
Access Restrictions
Publicly Available
Data Source Information
Update Schedule
Data are not expected to be updated.
Responsible Office
Academic Planning and Institutional Research
Important Notes

Overview - Reporting of post-graduation outcomes, including earnings of graduates, is increasingly expected of colleges and universities nationwide. Until recently there were no comprehensive, consistent, and verified sources of earnings data beyond self-reported salary collected at graduation in 'first destination' surveys. UW-Madison is participating in multiple efforts to evaluate newer and more comprehensive sources of earnings information. This data visualization is the result of one of these efforts and results from a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Institute for Research on Innovation & Science (IRIS) at the University of Michigan. UW-Madison provided a file of graduates (all degree levels) between 2001 and 2015 to IRIS. IRIS coordinated with the U.S. Census Bureau's Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Program's to attach earnings to graduates. The U.S. Census Bureau provided UW-Madison with an aggregated file of earnings (25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles), by area of study and number of years since graduation (1, 5 and 10).

Other Considerations - While the U.S Census Bureau excluded some part-time workers from the earnings data, we observe that earnings for typical positions held by graduate assistants (teaching assistants, research assistants) likely pass the threshhold for inclusion and may reduce earnings for bachelors degree recipients, particularly at the 1-year post graduation point. Programs with below average 1-year post graduation earnings are correlated with a high percentages of graduates indicating an intention to further their education after graduation. For this reason, we have included the percentage of bachelors graduates intending further education (based on our most recent first destination survey) to provide additional context in the interpretation of earnings data.


Name Functional Definition Data Domains