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Using Workforce Information for Degree Program Planning in Texas

Using Workforce Information for Degree Program Planning in Texas

Charles A. Goldman
Lindsay Butterfield
Diana Lavery
Trey Miller
Lindsay Daugherty
Trinidad Beleche
Bing Han
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 64
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  • Book Info
    Using Workforce Information for Degree Program Planning in Texas
    Book Description:

    This report for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board describes current practices in using workforce information for degree program planning in Texas and elsewhere, analyzes options for using workforce information, recommends promising practices, describes new data tools, applies these tools, and describes findings.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8915-1
    Subjects: History, Education, Business, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. Preface
    (pp. [iii]-[iii])
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. 1-2)
  4. Summary
    (pp. 3-9)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 10-10)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. 11-11)
  7. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 12-13)

    In an effort to improve the alignment between workforce needs and higher education in Texas, the Texas Legislature approved House Bill 1296 on May 20, 2013, requiring a report on Texas’s future workforce needs to inform decisions to develop or expand postsecondary education programs to meet these needs. In support of this requirement, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) asked the RAND Corporation to conduct this study to:

    describe current practices in using workforce information for degree program planning in Texas and elsewhere;

    analyze options for using workforce information and recommend promising practices;

    develop data tools where feasible; and...

  8. 2 Approaches to Workforce Modeling and Data Sources
    (pp. 14-23)

    Appendix A provides some additional review of the literature in workforce modeling. Here, we offer a streamlined overview of the most relevant points.

    Workforce needs are often identified by comparing measures of demand for workers to measures of the supply of workers. This analysis can be done using stock modeling (i.e., comparing the total supply and demand of workers or jobs) or through flow modeling (i.e., comparing new supply of workers or jobs to new demand for them).

    Figure 2.1 shows the structure of a typical flow model. These models compare the annual requirement for occupational growth and replacement with...

  9. 3 Describing the Current Practices for Workforce Data Use
    (pp. 24-32)

    We used two different methods to assess the use of workforce data for strategic planning at the state and regional level. First, we spoke with key Texas state policymakers, including staff at the THECB and the TWC. Our interviews with THECB staff helped us to determine how they use workforce data to verify the information provided in program proposals, how workforce need figures in the approval process, and what other efforts THECB undertakes that use workforce data for planning. TWC staff participated in several meetings with the research team to discuss the state’s workforce data collection and analysis of state...

  10. 4 Modeling Statewide and Regional Supply and Demand
    (pp. 33-41)

    We begin by selecting the occupations that have postsecondary needs and group them into somewhat larger occupational groups.

    Our basic approach is to compare the growth rates in existing TWC demand projections for these occupational groups to the growth rates of supply derived from available ACS data. Because it is infeasible to compare the demand and supply growth rates directly, we classify annual rates of growth in demand into equal-sized groups of high-, medium-, and low-growing occupation groups. We also classify the annual growth rates in supply into three equal-sized groups.

    Because the estimates of supply growth are uncertain, we...

  11. 5 Main Findings, Recommendations, and Next Steps
    (pp. 42-44)

    While workforce analysis can provide important evidence for the planning process, none of the data sources we identified provide a complete picture of the workforce. Each data source has strengths and weaknesses. Decisionmakers therefore should consider data from a range of sources, including quantitative data and conversations with the business community, before making decisions to open and close new degree and certificate programs. Among the existing resources, we identified several gaps. We develop a new data tool to address some of those gaps. In this chapter, we provide recommendations on improving the set of data resources available for higher education...

  12. APPENDIX A Workforce Modeling Approches
    (pp. 45-49)
  13. APPENDIX B Computation of Standard Errors
    (pp. 50-50)
  14. References
    (pp. 51-59)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 60-60)