The University of Michigan has publicly released data on the industries in which their graduates work and the regions in which they live after leaving the university.  The data were released through an agreement between U-M and the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS). IRIS partners with the U.S. Census Bureau to link data from participating universities to the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) dataset to produce detailed employment and geographical information on alumni.

The data show, for all fields of study and all degree levels, the employment industry and location of graduates one, five, and 10 years after graduation. Jason Owen-Smith, IRIS Executive Director and a professor of sociology at U-M, said the data are important not only for students and their families, but for researchers studying the value of higher education. For example, the data reveal which fields of study and degree levels produce the highest numbers of graduates who stay in Michigan to pursue their careers.

“Releasing this data publicly will help students and families, as well as researchers from a number of fields, better understand the value of higher education for society,” he said. “IRIS member institutions, employers, and the nation as a whole will ultimately benefit from improved knowledge of public higher education.”

Earlier this year, U-M and the University of Wisconsin released data on alumni earnings through a similar partnership with IRIS and the U.S. Census Bureau. For more on that release, visit

Under a pilot project agreement with the Census Bureau, IRIS obtains, prepares and transfers data from member universities to the Census Bureau to enable linkage to LEHD data. For more information on IRIS, email or visit