KU Edwards Campus piloting new tool projecting value of a degree
In the midst of an unpredictable job market, a growing number of professionals are thinking about how a college degree can help them achieve their personal and career goals. Going back to school, however, requires a lot of time and money, and people should feel confident that what they get from their degree will match what they put into it. While the value and quality of a KU degree is well known, the KU Edwards Campus is piloting a new tool to help students know more specifically how this value translates into career success.
Using artificial intelligence, this tool shows how the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) degree – offered by KU’s School of Professional Studies at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park – has boosted its graduates’ careers and helped them land jobs at leading companies in Kansas and beyond. For example, if you have five years of experience in retail and are looking to change careers, you can explore how a BSIT degree helped someone with a similar background earn a job as a computer systems analyst earning $91,000 a year.
“We’re proud of the difference that the KU Edwards Campus and the BSIT degree program make in the lives of our students and graduates,” said Heather McCain, BSIT interim director and professor of the practice at the KU Edwards Campus. “Our alumni do incredible things, and we are excited to have a new way to share their success stories with those considering this career path. With the power of artificial intelligence, all of this information will be available to prospective students throughout the enrollment process, helping them decide if KU is right for them as they continue their higher education journey.”
Using the new tool, KU Edwards Campus staff and administrators can trace the career progression of the university’s BSIT alumni, gaining a better understanding of how specific classes and extracurricular experiences help prepare students like for success. Sophisticated data science models measure and reveal the specific skills they gained through the BSIT program that helped them become data engineers and sustainability specialists, for example. You will be able to actually follow BSIT alumni’s journeys from the KU Edwards Campus to leading companies such as Cerner and Garmin.
The new tool was created by AstrumU, an AI and data analytics start-up based out of Kansas City and Seattle. Founded and led by a KU alumnus and incubated out of KU, AstrumU is itself a reflection of the great work that KU alumni are doing in tech.
“As a KU alumnus, I know firsthand how the experiences that students have every day at campuses across Kansas are preparing them to succeed in the workplace,” said Adam Wray, founder and CEO of AstrumU. “With AI and data science, we have a new opportunity to better quantify that value and show prospective students exactly how higher education can help them get where they want to go. Our company grew out of the KU system, and we’re excited to give back to the community that has given us so much.”
The new tool can be accessed at https://ku.astrumu.io/BSIT.
AstrumU provided the following anonymized outcomes of KU BSIT graduates. While all students’ and graduates’ experiences are different, these represent what may be possible with a KU bachelor’s degree in information technology. Data like these power AstumU’s career outcome forecast tool.
- Starting job: Telecom sales rep
- Ending job: Computer systems analyst at large healthcare IT company
- Salary boost: $26,400
- Starting job: Production worker at a manufacturer
- Ending job: Database administrator at large software company
- Salary Boost: $45,390
- Starting job: Restaurant server
- Ending job: Database administrator at large healthcare IT company
- Salary boost: $58,390
- Starting job: Office manager for construction company
- Ending job: Database administrator for logistics and technology company
- Salary boost: $35,390
- Starting job: Bank teller
- Ending job: Network administrator at large bank
- Salary boost: $46,070
- Starting job: Data entry specialist
- Ending job: Network administrator at large health system
- Salary boost: $36,510
- Starting job: IS manager at school district
- Ending job: Network administrator at (different) school district
- Salary boost: $8,859
- Starting job: Insurance processing clerk
- Ending job: Computer user support specialist at large school district
- Salary boost: $33,901
- Starting job: Retail IT support specialist
- Ending job: Computer user support specialist at large hospital
- Salary boost: $37,000
- Starting job: Document management specialist
- Ending job: Computer user support specialist at global financial services company
- Salary boost: $35,000