About Lightcast

The University of Kansas has partnered with Lightcast, an economic modeling firm, to track career outcomes of our alumni, as well as education and workforce trends throughout the U.S.


We believe in reporting clear and honest career potential for KU alumni. That’s why we partnered with Lightcast to receive their data on KU graduates as well as educational attainment and workforce data not specific to KU. With this data, we’re able to show exploring students what the KU degree programs they’re interested in may lead to.


Our foremost goal is to provide meaningful career data for prospective and current KU students. We hope Lightcast helps students make informed, goal-oriented decisions about their future. Currently, we’re piloting our efforts with a selection of KU online programs. We plan to expand that reporting to many more programs moving forward.


To report career data, Lightcast cross-references their extensive labor database with KU’s catalog of academic programs and student records, while complying with all applicable data privacy laws and FERPA requirements. Lightcast’s data comes from approximately 100 public websites and amounts to more than 120 million unique profiles. They match those profiles with KU’s records, resulting in granular data about the career outcomes of KU alumni.

Data categories

Lightcast can report a large variety of data. For our purposes, we’ve narrowed that data down to the following core categories.

Lightcast tracks the top companies, organizations, and institutions that employ a given program’s alumni. Users can view the percentage of graduates who work for each employer.

Lightcast reports the top job titles held by a program’s alumni. The data is divided between positions within and outside of fields related to that program’s subject matter.

Earning metrics are divided into two categories: estimated and potential. Estimated earnings are based on the median wage for a person’s occupation in their county, and adjusted for age and degree level. Potential earnings report the average wage of all occupations held by that program’s set of matched alumni.

Users can view dozens of skillsets reported by alumni. Skills may range from general (e.g., writing) to specific (e.g., Microsoft Powerpoint). Lightcast reports the frequency of each skill and common pairings between skills.