Career Pathway Metrics

IDS Priority Area


A critical element of Illinois’ approach to the Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) is to demonstrate the capacity of the emerging system to link education and workforce data.

Producing quality information and reports for stakeholders will improve their ability to analyze the data and increase performance management. Ultimately, consumers will benefit from the availability of the complete and holistic information provided, and will have the ability to make more educated decisions about their future. 

Through the years, Illinois has engaged in a number of programs that compliment, bridge, and create better alignment between education and workforce systems.  In order to have a more cohesive approach to the WDQI and ILDS initiatives,  Illinois has conducted an analysis of the historic programs. This study is known as the Pipeline Performance Analysis. Individual agencies have collected, stored, and aggregated data for decades to improve internal procedures and processes. ILDS and WDQI seek to take the individual data sets, combine them where it makes sense to do so, and realize even larger external gains and efficiencies. Managing such large quantities of data requires first grouping it into areas that are the most logical. 

Illinois Pathways


Illinois Pathways Logo 

The employment landscape is shifting. Education needs to be more relevant to the real world, and resources and investments need to be coordinated in a way that makes sense to industry partners. In order to achieve this, we need complimentary community and state-level approaches for this work. Illinois Pathways was launched in 2012 to respond to these changing education to employment dynamics.

Key Strategies of Illinois Pathways are:

    1. Support local career pathway systems development that empower students to explore their academic and career interests in STEM fields through new and existing community and state networks

    2. Creation and support of new state-wide, public-private partnerships known as STEM Learning Exchanges that work to create partnerships between schools, industry, state-government, and non-profits which better coordinate investments, resources, and planning in a particular industry cluster.

Illinois Pathways builds off of the National Career Cluster Framework and supports career pathway systems in eight STEM application areas: 

WDQI: Pipeline Performance Analysis


The Pipeline Performance Analysis supports IL Pathways by documenting the cooperation across agencies to develop and analyze information key to understanding Career Pathway outcomes, providing the framework to understand key outcomes for students across all industry sectors, and informing decision-makers at the state and regional level of important education and employment outcomes.

Key questions asked when approaching each Pathway are:

    1. How many students in the State of Illinois are participants in the pathway?

    2. What are the demographic characteristics of students that are pathways participants and completers?

    3. What are the education outcomes for students who are considered pathway participants in high school?

    4. What are the education and employment outcomes for students who are considered pathway participants in community college?

    5. What are the education and employment outcomes for students who are considered pathway participants at public universities?