5 Ways to Avoid Falling Victim to Falsified Job Placement Statistics

For-profit schools have recently come under fire for presenting prospective students with falsified job placement statistics, making their degree programs seem like a better deal than they actually are. You can protect yourself against these false claims with some good research and reasonable thinking.

View popular schools

By Sarah Wright

job placement for-profit colleges law schools

1. Independent Research

There are a few ways you can find out whether the for-profit school you're applying to is legit. One is to check to make sure it's accredited, and in good standing with its accrediting body. This U.S. Department of Education database is a good source of information about accredited schools. Additionally, you can contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against a specific school. Also, performing a Web search to see if the school you're interested in has come under fire is a good step to take as well.

2. Check out Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are great sources of information for specific career fields. These organizations usually have websites that provide answers to those who aspire to work in that specific field. Often, an easy Web search can help you find answers regarding what kind of education and training is necessary for the field you're interested in. If the guidelines outlined by the organization are in line with what's offered by the program you're applying to, you can feel reasonably confident that you're taking a good step toward the career you want.

If your field is one that requires licensure or certification, professional organizations or certification and licensure boards can be a similarly excellent source of useful information. Finding out what's required for licensure or certification, and then comparing those requirements to what's offered by a degree program, can be a great way of finding out whether you'll actually be paying for something that's going to prepare you to go where you want to go.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Applied Math
  • Computational Math
  • Math for Computer Science
  • Mathematical Probability and Statistics
  • Statistics, General

3. Use School Resources

Though job-placement statistics can be falsified, it's more difficult to falsify information that comes straight from a program graduate. Ask the school you're applying to if they have an alumni network or a database of graduates who are willing to speak to prospective students. Reaching out to someone who's already gone through the program and come out with a great job can help you feel better about your decision to attend a specific program. Plus, making connections with already-successful graduates can lay a good networking foundation for you to use after graduation.

4. Talk to Local Professionals

Talking with established professionals in your field of interest, including those who didn't attend your school, is a great way to find out whether the steps you're going to take will be sufficient. If the professionals you talk to voice concern over the school you've chosen, you might want to see if the program you're interested in is available elsewhere. A school's reputation can have a big impact on how people see the value of your education.

5. Set Realistic Expectations

If you're risking everything in the hopes that a degree program will have a big payoff, you might not be making a very smart decision. The fact is that the job market is still quite competitive, and simply getting a degree is no guarantee that you'll get a job. Despite what admissions recruiters at a school are telling you, you shouldn't bet everything you have on a degree.

If the thought of for-profit education makes you nervous, you can take many of the same programs at a local community college.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Post-Master's Certificate in Sequence Analysis & Genomics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Data Science: Social Science Analytics
    • MS in Data Science
    • MS in Data Science: Business Analytics and Data Design
    • MBA - Data Analytics

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Computer Science - Big Data Analytics (Executive Format)
    • MS - Computer Science - Data Science

    What is your highest level of education?

    • PhD-TIM - Data Science
    • MSTIM - Data Science

    What is your highest level of education?

    • B.S. General Studies - Mathematics
    • A.S. General Studies - Mathematics
    • Graduate Mathematics Certificate

    What is your highest level of education?

    • DBA with an Emphasis in Data Analytics
    • Bridge (Doctor of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Data Analytics)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Data Science
    • MS in Data Science - Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
    • Graduate Certificate in Data Science
    • Graduate Certificate in Data Science in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your age?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?