Using EMSI’s Gap Analysis Report For Universities

March 13, 2014 by Emsi Burning Glass

image of Lightcast gradiant

In today’s economic climate, it’s increasingly important for our universities to know just how their programs integrate with the local economies. True, a four-year degree in itself is a valuable tool for students entering the workforce, and universities also give many intangible benefits that you can’t assign a dollar value to (which is a good thing). All the same, times are tough, and every penny counts. So it’s no surprise that a growing number of universities are realizing that they can provide their students with the best experience — and the best value — by ensuring their programs actually help students find jobs and homes in the regional or even the state or national economy. And for that, schools need hard data.

Universities should use labor market data to attack the issue from two sides. On the one hand, they need to use data to evaluate new (and even existing) programs from a demand-side perspective. Zooming in on this data shows the value of their degrees to the local economy. It also allows them to see where strong demand for particular degrees isn’t being met — gaps which the institution can take advantage of and fill.

Universities also need to look at the data from a supply-side perspective. How many degree-holders are actually entering the economy — both from their own programs and from their competitors? Is the market glutted with one degree, while it actually needs more of a different degree in order to flourish?

The problem with tapping into all this information is that institutions immediately confront an enormous amount of data — data covering years of trends in wages, job counts, and more. The list of questions gets out of hand quickly, and few institutions have the manpower to fully deal with them. And if the university uses inaccurate answers to guide its actions, the results could be disastrous.

All of this is why EMSI provides the Gap Analysis Report.

The EMSI Gap Analysis Report answers all the relevant questions. It digs into years’ worth of trend analysis to show the realities of your institution’s regional economy. It also creates a complete picture of your institution’s graduations with those of the entire region, revealing how the two sides of the equation match up. Best of all, the report provides an unbiased, professional perspective that you can’t get anywhere else: a data-based perspective that you can show to anyone who asks.

To demonstrate how well the EMSI Gap Analysis Report addresses the questions about employer demand and graduate supply that universities are beginning to ask, EMSI economist Brian Points will be leading a webinar on April 22 at 1 p.m. EDT. Points led the development of the report, and will discuss why its perspective is invaluable to America’s four-year institutions. Participation is free. To register, click here.

Student success isn’t just about dollars and cents. But for the parts that are, there’s the EMSI Gap Analysis Report.

To learn more about our data, or see examples for your region, contact Rob Sentz. Watch EMSI’s Brian Points discuss the benefits of the Gap Analysis here and read more here. Follow EMSI on Twitter here.