A new report from the Educational Testing Service and the Council of Graduate Schools says academic institutions ought to better track career outcomes and job placement information for their graduate students. "University leaders, including graduate deans, need to work at all levels to establish specific responsibility for collecting and using data on career outcomes for each graduate by program," the report says, adding that "graduate faculty need to be provided with this information so that they understand, value, and communicate to students about the full spectrum of career pathways."
Beyond tracking employment data, the ETS-CGS report, titled "The Path Forward: The Future of Graduate Education in the United States," suggests other ways universities might enhance their career counseling services. As The Chronicle of Higher Education notes, the report found that "only about one-third of graduate students received enough information about the full range of career options before entering graduate school … and many students relied on faculty to provide information about viable careers during their time in graduate school."
Ohio State University's Pat Osmer, who chairs the commission behind the report, tells the Chronicle that "graduate school is no longer about making clones of ourselves and training people with the same techniques to work on the same problems from decades ago." Rather, he adds, "It is about identifying the important research and solving problems of the 21st century. We need to make sure graduate students learn the right skills and techniques to do that."