Gainful Employment and Career Information

Students walking down the hall.
Gainful Employment Background

In order to be eligible for funding under Title IV of the HEA, an educational program must lead to a degree (associate, bachelor’s, graduate, or professional) or prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” In addition, virtually all programs—degree and nondegree—offered by proprietary institutions must prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” Collectively, these programs are referred to as “GE Programs.” More than 5,000 out of approximately 6,000 institutions participating in Title IV programs have GE Programs.

Concerned about schools that provide no value for the money, the Department of Education in the summer of 2010 proposed new regulations which would define “gainful employment” for the first time and require schools to publicize information about programs required to lead to gainful employment.

Career Information

Career information is made available to students by using the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). O*NET is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. The database contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors.