February 4, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2021

New workforce data highlights the ’s impact on preparing students for University of Alaska jobs & good wages;
200 UA programs directly linked to jobs in

An in-depth analysis of nine major University of Alaska industries captures the impact that university programs have in preparing its students for jobs in ’s workforce. The reports answer key questions related to the largest and fastest growing occupations that require some postsecondary education and highlights important employment indicators such as average wages earned, where UA grads work in , what industries they work in, and how they help boost the hire rate.

The workforce development and institutional research offices at the University of partnered with the Research and Analysis Section in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to create the reports, which demonstrate UA graduate outcomes in nine key fields -- administration and finance, aviation, construction, fisheries and marine science, health, information technology, mining, oil and gas, and teacher education. The reports can be found at /research/wd/reports.php.

“We are in the business of creating ’s workforce,” UA Interim President Pat Pitney told the Senate Education Committee on Feb. 3, adding that 70 to 90 percent of UA graduates stay in and find employment. 

The health report, for example, shows that of more than 2,300 nursing graduates in both 2-year and 4-year programs, 89 percent remain in after graduation and are employed at an average wage of $70,000.

Teri Cothren, Associate Vice President Workforce Development, said: “This data demonstrates the success of our core programs and how we are contributing to ’s high‐demand industries and economy.” 

In preparing the reports, the university analyzed labor market information to identify the largest and fastest-growing occupations in the nine industries, then linked related UA programs to those jobs. Detailed employment and wage information was extracted from employer quarterly reports filed with the Dept. of Labor. That means the numbers are based on a comprehensive match of all graduates who remain and work in .

“The economic value of training and education is abundantly clear in the data,” said Dan Robinson, Chief Labor Research & Analysis, Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “More education and training also correlate strongly with lower unemployment rates.”  

Median earnings, for example, jumped from $35,328 for high school graduates to $44,619 for University of Alaskans with an associate degree, $57,708 for those with a bachelor’s degree, and $77,402 for holders of graduate or professional degrees. 

“The university is in the business of providing a path for upward mobility for University of Alaskans,” Pitney said. “With more than 200 programs linked to jobs in the state, students have opportunities to earn everything from certifications to associate, bachelors, and graduate degrees. These programs are in high-demand fields and are needed to stabilize ’s economic recovery and future growth.”

Each workforce report features a table of available UA programs related to key occupations within each industry, and students can match UA programs to occupations in the highest demand industries. This provides students a fast track to employment and the opportunity to earn credits toward future degrees. 

UA will utilize these reports to:

  • inform program‐level decisions, 

  • expand industry partnerships to provide opportunities for current students and future graduates, 

  • enhance recruitment, advise students, and partner with school districts to develop or strengthen career pathways between secondary and postsecondary, and, 

  • demonstrate to donors and industry partners the impact of investment in UA’s workforce programs. 

“Working with our stakeholders, UA can expand partnerships to benefit these key workforce sectors and provide even more opportunities for current students and future graduates,” Cothren said.

Through its three separately accredited universities, thirteen community campuses, and distance delivered programs, UA works to ensure that ns have access to attain the knowledge and skills needed for employment and to advance their careers.

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For more information, contact Monique Musick, manager of marketing and communications, at 907-450-8103.