Seek UT. Future earnings, student loans and you. Planning for the future; informing decisions now.

About the Data

Where did the data come from?

seekUT was developed using data obtained through partnerships with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The data on earnings of UT bachelor’s degree recipients are the result of linking UT System data with the TWC’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage record data. Additionally, seekUT incorporates data from the National Student Clearinghouse, the Texas Workforce Commission’s Labor Market & Career Information, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How are actual, full-year  wages calculated for graduates of UT System institutions?

The wage data reflect actual earnings reported to the Texas Workforce Commission for students that graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a UT System institution (academic and health campuses) in academic years 2006-07 through 2010-11. First and fifth year earnings are based on a calendar year and aggregate median earnings are reported by major and type of institution.

First year median earnings include those graduating between 2006-07 through 2010-11 from a UT System campus. For example, first year earnings data represents a full calendar year’s earnings in 2012 for those graduating in 2010-11.

Fifth year median earnings reflect a full calendar year’s earnings in 2012 for those that graduated in academic year 2006-07 from a UT System campus.

Who are included/excluded in the wage data for UT System institutions?

Only those employed full-time, full-year are included

The goal of seekUT is to focus on those individuals with full-time, full-year employment.  Because the UI wage data does not indicate the number of hours worked, length, or type of employment, only graduates with earnings found in all four quarters of calendar year were included to serve as a proxy for full-year employment. Further, an annual wage of $13,195 was established as the minimum wage and served as a proxy for full-time employment, therefore graduates with annual earnings of less than the threshold were excluded.

Only those employed in the state of Texas (in most cases) are included

The majority of wage data come from the TWC Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records. For graduates finding employment outside of Texas, only those working as U.S. government employees with the U.S. Postal Service, Department of Defense military, or the U.S. Office of Personnel Management would be included. Wage for any other out-of-state/country employment as well as self-employment would not be included.

Only those students that graduated from a UT System institution are included

If an individual graduated from a UT System institution with a bachelor’s degree, his/her wage has been included (unless they worked less than full-time or for less than a calendar year). This would include students enrolling as first time in college as well as transfer students.  Note: One UT System health institution—UT Health Science Center at Tyler—did not begin enrolling students until fall 2012. Therefore, data are not yet available for this campus.

Only for those areas or major with five or more graduates

If an area of study or major had less than five graduates found working full-time, full-year in Texas, then the wage data is suppressed.

Do the wage data reflect earnings in students’ selected fields of study?

Not necessarily. Though industry codes are available in the TWC employment records, there are no occupational level classifications related to job titles or duties that would allow a determination of whether or not a student is employed in a field related to their major.

How is average student loan debt calculated for graduates of UT System institutions?

These data were calculated using the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Financial Aid Database (FADS) data. The average loan debt was calculated for UT System graduates that initially enrolled at the institution as first time in college students. The calculation only included those who borrowed.

Average loan debt reflects loan amounts incurred while attending UT System institutions only. If a student enrolled in a non-UT System institution at any time during his/her undergraduate education, that debt would not be included.

PLUS loans—unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students—were not included in the average loan amounts as this is a debt taken on by parents. Additionally, any Texas B-On-Time student loans that the students were forgiven for as a result of earning their degree in a timely manner have been excluded.

No loan debt figures are presented for the health institutions because of their low undergraduate first-time in college student counts.

How are UT institutions grouped together?

UT institutions are classified into four major groupings based on Carnegie classifications:

  • UT Austin:  Very High Research
  • UT Arlington, UT Dallas, UT El Paso and UT San Antonio: High Research/Emerging Research
  • UT Brownsville, UT Pan American, UT Permian Basin and UT Tyler: Master’s Universities
  • UT HSC Houston, UT HSC San Antonio, UT HSC Tyler, UT MD Anderson,  UT Medical Branch at Galveston, UT Southwestern Medical Center: Health institutions


Where did the areas of interest and majors come from?

Areas of interest and majors come from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). The 2-digit level CIP aligns with the “broad fields” presented in the reports while the more specific 6-digit level CIP aligns with the specific majors presented.  

Note: The CIP name does not necessarily reflect the institution’s name for the specific program.

The National Center for Education Statistics has updated the CIP over time—revisions most recently occurred in 2000 and 2010. So there are a few cases in seekUT where you may see similar majors that reflect CIPs from both the 2000 and 2010 CIP taxonomies. This would occur in instances where students in the graduating cohorts earned degrees under the old and new CIP designations. An example of this would be Rhetoric and Composition (2010 CIP) and Speech and Rhetorical Studies (CIP 2000).

How is the percent of graduates who continued their education determined?

The UT System exchanged data with the National Student Clearinghouse in order to calculate this information. For more information on the National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker, please see:

How are job growth and median earnings for Texas and the nation determined?

Employment projections for 2010-2020 for Texas and the 28 Workforce Development Areas (labeled “Regions” in seekUT) are based on the Texas Workforce Commission’s employment projections.  For more information, please see:

The Texas median annual wage data (displayed in the “Future Jobs in Texas” tab) are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics.  For more information, please see:

The national level data (displayed in the “Future Jobs in Texas” tab and the “Jobs-National View” tab) are also based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics.  For more information, please see:


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How seekUT Can Help

earnings toolIt can be hard to predict exactly how the choices you make today can impact your future. The UT System's new data tool seekUT can help you. It can't predict the future. But it can tell you what the loan amounts and earnings of past UT graduates have been and help you make the decisions about your education that are right for you and your family.

Launch the SAS® Mobile BI iPad App and connect to UT System Data

Using the App or Mobile Site

Mobile site: Now available! use seekUT on your smartphone.

App for Tablets: Explore seekUT on your tablet device with the SAS® Mobile BI app, a third-party app that allows you to connect to the UT System data. Available for iPad or Android tablet devices.

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More Infographics

The Top 5 most popular majors in the STEM fields for UT System graduates with a bachelor's degree. The Top 5 Most Popular STEM Majors


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