Trends & Insights

As the higher education landscape changes, Optimal seeks to provide data-driven studies on important topics across our sites. Our studies use proprietary research and in-depth analysis.

AAPI College Choice: The Best Universities for Economic Mobility

By Taylor Nichols | Updated 5/3/2022

These AANAPISI schools offer a higher payoff without limiting access for students

Data show today's environmental science grads have more diverse job prospects

By Taylor Nichols | Updated 4/19/2022

We analyzed employment outcomes for 20,000+ environmental science graduates to find out where today's alumni are finding jobs.

Mental Health Counseling Degrees See Spike Along With Labor Demand

By Shadi Bushra | Updated 4/19/2022

Data shows mental health counseling degrees are seeing increased popularity as demand for more practitioners is projected to grow significantly

Older Generations See College As A Pursuit of Passion, While Younger Ones View It As a Path to the Paper

By Shadi Bushra | Updated 4/1/2022

New survey shows only 29% of Gen Z see college as a way to pursue their passions, while nearly half (49%) see it as a way to maximize earnings, a stark contrast to older generations

The 45 Colleges Where Women Earn More Than Men After Graduation

By Taylor Nichols | Updated 3/22/2022

A look at the four-year colleges whose female graduates are beating the gender pay gap

Looking to Land a Prestigious Job After Your MBA? Here's a Look at the Best Schools

By Taylor Nichols | Updated 3/14/2022

MBAs aren't one size fits all when it comes to outcomes. Using alumni LinkedIn data, we took a look at the MBAs that land graduates in the best jobs in consulting, investment banking, and tech.

Colleges with the Worst Gender Pay Gaps for Graduates

By Taylor Nichols | Updated 3/11/2022

A look at the 21 four-year universities where men earn at least $30,000 more than women after graduation.

Looking to Work at a Top Law Firm? Here are the best schools to get you there

By Jennifer King Logan | Updated 3/10/2022

A look at the 10 law schools with the highest rate of graduates working for America’s most prestigious firms.

Nurses With Master's Degrees See Salaries Spike and Opportunities Broaden

By Shadi Bushra | Updated 3/8/2022

Data from over 50,000 early-career BSN graduates and 11,000 MSN graduates shows stark differences in salaries and job opportunities between the two groups


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