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2015 Methodology

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Oklahoma State System degree recipients were identified using the State Regents’ Unitized Data System (UDS). The last degree earned was selected for students who earned multiple degrees, which is normally the highest degree earned. For example, a student who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2007-08 and a master’s degree in 2011-12 was reported only once in the 2011-12 academic year. 

The list of graduates was compared to data at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC). When a match was found, the industry code, based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (see Appendix A), and quarterly wage information were attached to the degree recipient’s record and returned to the State Regents without an identification number.  Average salary was calculated by multiplying the wages of the last quarter by four.

Because the OESC database only contains information about employees with unemployment insurance, the search was expanded to Oklahoma Tax Commission records. When no match was found by OESC, the degree recipients’ records were then compared to state tax returns. Summary information only was returned for these Tax Commission matches.

This report first analyzes the entire graduating classes of 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 regardless of residence. A snapshot of employment status five years after graduation is shown for the graduating classes of 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08. Additionally, an employment picture is taken one year after graduation for the classes of 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12.Next, the populations were divided into two groups: (1) Oklahoma residents and (2) non-Oklahoma residents. Graduates were considered Oklahoma residents if the original state of residence when entering an Oklahoma higher education institution was Oklahoma. If the original state of residence was anything other than Oklahoma, then the graduate was a non-Oklahoma resident.


The OESC database includes only employees who have Oklahoma unemployment insurance. The self-employed, employees of the federal government (e.g., military and postal service), and graduates working outside of Oklahoma are not included in the OESC database. The Tax Commission database includes couples filing joint returns; therefore, employment of the degree recipient is assumed, but may be that of a spouse. Also, Tax Commission data do not include industry codes; therefore, NAICS information is not available for graduates found through tax data matches. 


A data exchange agreement defines the procedures for protecting all data. All agencies protect the identity of individuals. Neither the OESC nor the Tax Commission provides social security numbers with their data. The State Regents’ Employment Outcomes Report includes only aggregate data and only when six or more individuals are being described.