Postsecondary Education and Employment Pathways of Minnesota Public High School Graduates: Investigating Opportunity Gaps

In Minnesota, as in many other states, not all students have access to the types of educational experiences in high school that are likely to lead to high-paying jobs. Members of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance collaborated with Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest to conduct a study that describes the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates, including the pathways graduates take within one year of high school graduation and their degree attainment and employment outcomes six years later. The study also examined differences in initial pathways, degree attainment, and employment outcomes for students with different characteristics.

Key Findings

  • Within one year of graduation, 92 percent of 2008–15 Minnesota public high school graduates were enrolled in college or employed. Graduates with disabilities, graduates with limited English proficiency, Hispanic graduates, and American Indian/Alaska Native graduates were the most likely to be neither employed nor enrolled in college.
  • Six years after graduation, 48 percent of 2008–10 Minnesota public high school graduates had not attained a college certificate or degree, 37 percent had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher, 11 percent had attained an associate’s degree, and 4 percent had attained a college certificate.
  • Six years after graduation, 71 percent of Minnesota public high school graduates were employed, and their median annual earnings were $22,717.