What is the purpose of these tools?

The PIVOT tools are designed to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of postsecondary CTE programs in and around New York City. Check out the PIVOTintro page for more information.


Where did all of the information come from?

Data about different occupations and jobs in PIVOTinfo comes from offices of the Department of Labor and their affiliates. Direct links to these sources are at the bottom of each page if you want to check them out for yourself!

The information in the PIVOTfinder table comes from the College Navigator, a database maintained by the Department of Education that draws its data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For a detailed breakdown of how we used College Navigator to create this spreadsheet, please look at our Data Collection Process.


There are a lot of links to other sites--did you make those, too?

Not all of them! As a general rule of thumb, if a link opens up in a new tab or window, it is an external site that is not affiliated with PIVOT. 

All of the links within PIVOTinfo lead to government websites, which are generally reliable, and institutional pages in PIVOTfinder link to the websites of particular schools.


What is a "career and technical" program?

Career & Technical (CTE) education, also sometimes called vocational or occupational education, combines academic study with a focus around building specific skill or set of skills for a job. These programs are typically designed to prepare students for a career or profession immediately after completion.


What are sub-baccalaureate programs?

Sub-baccalaureate certificates are postsecondary awards given when you have completed a program of study below a bachelor’s degree. Usually, these programs of study take less amount of time compared to the traditional 3-5 year bachelor’s degree program.


What's the difference between a certificate and an associate degree?

While both are undergraduate awards, a certificate and associate can encompass a variety of differences that are difficult to generalize. A certificate program of study will sometimes solely focus on building a technical skill, while associate degrees can include broader sets of knowledge. In addition, certificate programs can range from a few months to a few years. Meanwhile, associate degrees are typically two years in length and designed to provide students a stepping stone into a bachelor’s degree. We suggest closely looking at the hour requirements for each program carefully before making your decision.


I heard about a certificate/associate program, but it isn't included here. Why?

There could be a few reasons for this. PIVOT only includes career and technical programs, so if the program you were looking for focuses on academics (like psychology, English, or political science), it would not be included here. For more information on programs like that, we encourage you to talk to your guidance counselor and take advantage of the many resources available online.

Another reason a program may not be included in PIVOT might be because it is not included in the College Navigator. Since there are so many programs out there, we wanted to make sure we had consistent and reliable information, so we only included information that institutions reported to the government. Another factor is the College Navigator's requirement that programs bear credit, although this can mean different things from institution to institution (see the next question for more details).

Check out the Resources page for PIVOT programs offered by the City University of New York system and the Department of Education that may also be of interest.


Can I transfer credits from these programs to other schools?

Not necessarily. If you are interested in transferring your sub-baccalaureate credits or hours into a four-year program, we strongly recommend first talking to the university admission specialist from the school you are interested in and a guidance counselor. Each institution will differ in their credit transfer policy.

One strategy you could use is calling your local CUNY school, or another four-year institution, and seeing if they accept transfer credits from the college program you are interested in enrolling in.


What do all of the categories in the PIVOTfinder table mean?

Institution: The name of the postsecondary institution.

Sector: There are three groups under this category--

Non-profit public: An institution that will receive a majority of its funding from local, state, and national government. In-state and local students will receive a discounted tuition compared to out-of-state students, since state and local taxes help support public universities. For example: CUNY and SUNY schools.

Non-profit private: An institution that will receive a majority of its funding from private sources, and so its policies are not regulated by the state or local government to the same extent as public universities. The non-profit status denotes that the the individuals or agencies overseeing the institution will usually not receive any compensation other than wages.

For-profit private: Also called proprietary institutions, these schools are managed by profit-seeking businesses. The business will benefit financially from student enrollment fees, though each university may differ in its exact operations.

Borough: All New York City (NYC) boroughs as well as Westchester and Long Island, due to the close proximity to the NYC region.

Awards: Sub-baccalaureate programs, which are formal awards of study that culminate in either a certificate or an associate.

Field of Study: Broad courses of study offered at the institution.

Full-time Annual Tuition: Tuition for full-time, first-time certificate or degree-seeking students. In order to check the costs for the specific program of study you are interested in, we strongly suggest personally researching the institution via their website and/or talking to their admissions counselors. Some institutions may have higher or lower tuition for different programs. This also does not include scholarships the institution may give.

Grad Rate: The graduation rate for full-time, first time certificate or degree seeking students that graduate within 150% of the normal program time. Please note: this does not take in account students who transfer into another university to graduate there.

Default Rate: The overall percent of students who failed to make a scheduled, required payment on their student loan during the first three years after completion of their program.

Types of Aid: There are three groups under this category--

Federal grants: Pell grants or other federal grants. Grants are usually financial awards that do not require students to eventually pay back the funds they’ve received.

Federal loans: Student loans that students borrow and eventually must pay back. More information here. Some institutions are not qualified to receive payment from federal student loans, due to not meeting various requirements.

Institutional grants: Grants or scholarships from the institution itself.

Program Info: A breakdown of certificate and associate programs according to the filed of study. The exact title of the program may differ from institution to institution. Check out the institution's website for more details on programs, like what classes are required.

Note: All category titles are derived from the College Navigator.


Why are some values labelled “N/A?”

Since the data from our spreadsheet comes from the College Navigator, we can only compile the data they have received. An institution may not have information about their financial aid and default rates for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, an institution was just created and has not collected enough information to report yet. As always, you should carefully examine all aspects of a postsecondary institution before deciding to invest your time and money.


How did you decide to categorize the different jobs?

Because PIVOTfinder relies on information from the Department of Education and PIVOTinfo focuses on employment info from the Department of Labor, there are sometimes discrepancies in how an occupation is categorized. For instance, the Department of Education places Accounting and Bookkeeping under “Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services,” but the Department of Labor places it in “Office and Administrative Support Occupations.” Since the purpose of these tools is to help students navigate postsecondary programs, the Department of Education’s classification system is used throughout PIVOT.

We used a report issued by the federal government (Choy & Horn, 1992) to determine which subjects and programs fell into each category; some exceptions were made to account for certain programs in the NYC area.


Some of the jobs highlighted in PIVOTinfo seem like they're going to have a lot of new job openings, but have a red/"slower than average" growth outlook--why is that?

Great point. Some jobs start out with a very large pool of employees; since growth is a percentage of the current employment levels, the outlook can seem low despite high projections for future openings. For example, according to the Department of Labor, nearly 1.1 million people were employed as security guards. For this occupation, there are almost 300,000 new job openings projected by 2022, but the projected job growth is just average. So even though there are expected to be a lot of new jobs, it's a small percentage because there are so many people employed as security guards currently.

Don't be discouraged if the projected growth or job openings for an occupation seem low--both categories are included to help provide a more accurate picture.


Does finishing a program listed here automatically qualify me for the jobs listed in PIVOTfinder?

Not necessarily. While we try to highlight jobs that do not require a BA or advanced degree, some might require further study or another credential prior to employment. All fields included in PIVOTfinder are included in PIVOTinfo, even if jobs in that field require further specialized training beyond the programs included in PIVOT.

If a job highlighted in PIVOTinfo does require more training, it is noted.


Can I download all of the information you provided?

We would be happy to provide you the data we have. Please submit your request and contact information via the suggestion box.


I have some comments--how can I let you know what I think?

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment in our suggestion box, accessible via the Contact page.


Do you have any lesson plans or activities for PIVOT I could use for my classroom?

Check out a lesson plan we developed here! Guided Lesson Activity for PIVOT.