Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the New Jersey Education to Earnings Data System?

The New Jersey Education to Earnings Data System (NJEEDS) is New Jersey’s state centralized longitudinal data system, developed in 2012 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It brings together data from New Jersey’s P-12 system into a more comprehensive statewide system that maintains information for K-12 students from their exit from high school through entry into higher education and the workforce in New Jersey. NJEEDS provides valuable information and data to state and local policymakers, the public, as well as practitioners in K-12 schools, higher education institutions, workforce programs, and career and technical training schools to help calculate the outcomes of New Jersey students as they progress from pre-K through postsecondary education and training and as they enter the workforce.

Why has NJEEDS been developed?

NJEEDS has been developed to help the public as well as educators, workforce program operators, and other stakeholders make data-informed decisions to improve student learning and labor market outcomes. This includes facilitating research, providing statistical data, and publishing reports about student achievements, postsecondary outcomes, and workforce success made available on the system’s website (www.njed2earndata.org).

What is a longitudinal data system and where does the data come from?

A longitudinal data system is a state-level data system that maintains information about individuals over a period of time. NJEEDS links data from three partnering state government agencies: Education, Higher Education, and Labor and Workforce Development. It includes de-identified, individual-level K-12 student demographics, program participation, assessments, performance, financial aid, and interventions; postsecondary enrollment, remediation, degrees, certificates, and completion; and information about students’ future wages, industry, employment location, among other data elements.

What is NJEED’s vision and mission?

The vision of NJEEDS is to build a comprehensive perspective on the performance of education and training on student outcomes in New Jersey through comprehensive, integrated longitudinal data and objective analysis. The mission of the effort is to create a single place where state education, postsecondary education, employment, and workforce longitudinal data are securely stored and information made available to education and training stakeholders and the public for analysis in order to improve governance efforts, policymaking, and the performance of education and workforce initiatives.

What are the short-term and long-term goals of NJEEDS?

The goals of NJEEDS are to:

  • Integrate independently developed and collected P-12, postsecondary education, workforce education and training, and labor market data at the individual level into a comprehensive, strategic, and secure integrated data warehouse system;
  • Improve the quality of data maintained and provided by the state data sources, and improve the capacity of the state to sustain, support, and expand a robust and integrated P20W state longitudinal data system;
  • Better measure the success and effectiveness of the education-workforce pipeline and improve education and labor market outcomes for New Jersey’s students, businesses, industries, and taxpayers by identifying critical research and policy questions and developing a purposeful research agenda that creates reports, dashboards, and other informational products that provide relevant and accurate information of value to decision makers; and
  • Develop a sustainable governance structure with knowledgeable state agency leaders supported and guided by the involvement of key data stakeholders and end users from the education, higher education, and workforce communities, as well as researchers, public officials, and the public at large.
How is NJEEDS managed and the system governed?

NJEEDS is a collaboration between the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the New Jersey Department of Education, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. NJEEDS functions under a multi-state agency governance structure through two standing governing bodies: the NJEEDS Data Advisory Council and the Data Stewards Work Group.

The NJEEDS Data Advisory Council is co-chaired by representatives from the three state agencies, with public members representing the P-12 community, higher education, and workforce development. The Data Advisory Council meets bi-monthly and provides overall guidance and strategic direction to the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of NJEEDS. The Data Advisory Council is also charged with developing an annual research agenda for the system and establishing and overseeing the system’s data access and use policies and practice.

NJEEDS activities are governed by an executive-level steering committee known as the NJEEDS Data Stewards Work Group, co-chaired by executive-level representatives from the three state agencies. Each state agency has four data stewards who represent different agency programs and/or technical areas of expertise. This work group, which meets monthly, is responsible for ensuring the quality, timeliness, and availability of the administrative data in the data warehouse.

NJEEDS is based at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University and is managed by a cross-agency partnership under a multi-state agency governance structure.

What data are available in NJEEDS?

NJEEDS includes de-identified, individual-level data from the P-12 education system, New Jersey colleges and universities, and programs overseen by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. It includes data about individuals’ early childhood, education, and workforce experiences and performance. The data are collected and linked from these existing state agency data systems and include, for example, the kinds of services they receive, programs in which they participate, and their academic performance and program and degree completion. It also includes a myriad of demographic data such as gender, race, and age. Personally identifiable information, such as names, social security numbers, addresses, and other data that can identify a person will not be part of the shared data system.

Specifically, state data sources in the NJEEDS data warehouse include, at a minimum:

P-12 Education

  • K-12 (NJ SMART) Enrollment Data
  • K-12 (NJ SMART) Completion Data
  • Career and Technical Education (Carl Perkins Act) Enrollment and Completion Data

Higher Education

  • Student Unit Record (SURE) Enrollment Data
  • Student Unit Record (SURE) Completion Data

Labor and Workforce Development

  • Unemployment Insurance Wage Data
  • Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) Case Data
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Program Case Data
  • Consumer Report Card Private Training Provider Data
Who can request NJEEDS data and how is it used?

Research conducted using NJEEDS data is primarily requested by New Jersey state agencies for federal and state reporting purposes, to evaluate the effectiveness of specific federal and state educational and workforce programs, and to compare and contrast student achievements at the state level as well as the district, postsecondary institution, and program levels. External researchers, who meet the authorized user criteria, may request aggregate-level reports and may access de-identified, individual-level data residing in NJEEDS through a formal data request process and an online application established by the Data Stewards Work Group and Data Advisory Council.

How does NJEEDS work?

NJEEDS is designed to bring together data from three state agency sources, match the data to the right individuals, and then eliminate any personally identifying information before an analysis is completed. However, like many states, New Jersey’s state agencies do not have a shared identifier for individuals in its K-12, postsecondary, and workforce data systems. Although the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development use the social security number (SSN) as the unique identifier, the New Jersey Department of Education’s Administrative Code prohibits schools from collecting student social security numbers. The New Jersey Department of Education’s NJ SMART system, therefore, uses its own unique identifier, the NJ SMART SID. Without a shared identifier (such as a social security number or NJ SMART SID), the data cannot be linked across all three agencies. Therefore, it became necessary for New Jersey to develop a data linkage strategy using data from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC). Under this strategy, the Heldrich Center research team assembled a list of individuals who had either worked in New Jersey or attended an institution of higher education in the state and securely transferred that list, along with a random digit identifier to NJMVC. NJMVC matched that list against its database and returned to the Heldrich Center the random digit identifier and the names and dates of births of the driver’s license and state identification card holder in the state for the matched individuals. Heldrich Center researchers then applied a series of algorithms developed by the U.S. Census to match the data it received from NJMVC with the K-12 exiter data (on individuals 18 or older) by name and birth date. Using these methods, Heldrich Center researchers matched 82% of all exiters from the classes of 2011 through 2015 to the NJMVC data, allowing for the construction of a robust longitudinal data system.

What checks and balances are in place to ensure the security and privacy of the NJEEDS data?

NJEEDS contains many data governance, privacy, and security-related checks and balances. Strict protocols regarding human subject research, confidentiality, and privacy of the data have been established and must be followed to request and conduct longitudinal research and data analysis using the NJEEDS data. There are also multiple levels of review and approval that define the approval of all data research requested and ultimately conducted. This includes a formal process for a requester to ask for data for research purposes, guidance on research priorities, as well as multiple review and decision points throughout the request process where state agency data owners can request more information from requesters. This also involves reviews by all state agency data owners that are necessary to determine if the purpose of the data analysis and research meets the criteria for an acceptable use of the data. In addition, it also includes the necessary controls and protocols that ensure requesters are in compliance with data security and privacy provisions, and whether they have in place adequate controls within their environment to safely manage and protect the NJEEDS data.

New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education

New Jersey OfficeDepartmentof Education

New Jersey Department of Labor and WorkforceDevelopment

© 2020 New Jersey’s Education to Earnings Data System


State Data Policy Internship Program

The State of New Jersey and its research partner, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, have multiple openings for its inaugural State Data Policy Internship Program. This program is designed to provide practical experiences to graduate students interested in policy research integrating principles of computer science, information science, inferential statistics, and public policy. The positions will have primary responsibilities for the continued development of the New Jersey Education to Earnings Data System (NJEEDS).  Interns will be assigned to work with one of three state agencies to answer research and policy questions relative to that agency using data in NJEEDS. There may be opportunities for the intern to author (or co-author), present, or publish using data from NJEEDS. Information about NJEEDS can be found at https://www.njeeds.org.


NJEEDS is the State of New Jersey’s centralized longitudinal data system and was developed in 2012 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Its core mission is to create a single place where de-identified state education, postsecondary education, employment, and workforce longitudinal data are safely made available to education and training stakeholders and the public for analysis to improve governance efforts, policymaking, and the performance of education and workforce initiatives. Four New Jersey agencies contribute data and resources to the data system. They include:

  • New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE),
  • New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA),
  • New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), and
  • New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE).

Since 2017, NJEEDS has been hosted at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. While the system has been operational, it has not yet been open to public researchers. In order to better understand how the data system can serve the community and to meet the demand for using the data, the data owners have authorized an internship and training program to higher education students to conduct research for the benefit of state agencies and educational and workforce programs. The grant program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences’ Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant (PR/Award #: R372A200035).

Job Responsibilities

Job responsibilities include:

  • Processing, cleaning, and verifying the integrity of data used for analysis;
  • Utilize predictive analytics, data mining, and/or inferential statistics using data science methods;
  • Produce timely and high-quality written, tabular, and visual materials for research reports and presentations under the supervision of senior research staff;
  • Assist in the execution of research activities, studies, and projects, including conducting and writing literature reviews, and undertaking data collection and analysis in the area of postsecondary education policy and workforce development;
  • Prepare print documents, web page content, and/or other products and graphics using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and/or other software packages.

This position is open to students at the graduate level attending any higher education institution that is authorized for operation in the State of New Jersey. The ideal candidate should have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Very strong writing and analytical skills;
  • Possess mature, articulate, and tactful communication skills;
  • Interest in workforce development or postsecondary education policy;
  • High personal motivation, self-management, and detail orientation, and the ability to take responsibility in meeting deadlines and making progress without frequent supervision;
  • Motivation to engage in and manage a wide array of intellectual and logistical work, ranging from preparing literature reviews to analyzing data and drafting research papers; and
  • Experience in a computer programming and/or a statistical programming (SPSS, Stata, SAS, R, SQL, Python, etc.) language.

In addition, applicants must be available to work between May 29, 2023 and August 25, 2023 and attend the Applied Data Analytics course as a part of their responsibilities. The training is provided for free to those who are hired as an intern (valued at up to $4,000). Students will be required to present the results of their internship during a stakeholder briefing in September 2023. Papers will be posted on the NJEEDS website.

Application Process

Students are asked to submit a cover letter, résumé, and graduate school transcript.

The hourly pay is commensurate with experience. These positions are anticipated to be around 30 hours per week. The successful candidate should be available to meet at the Heldrich Center located at 30 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Partial telework may be available depending on the applicant’s location within the state.

All offers at Rutgers University are subject to pre-employment conditions that must be met. For this position, you will need to successfully clear a background check investigation and provide proof that you are fully vaccinated and have received a booster (where eligible) against COVID-19 prior to beginning employment unless the University has granted you a medical or religious exemption.

Important Dates and Deadlines


Date Event
March 10, 2023 at 5pm ET Application deadline.
March 31, 2023 Intern notifications.
May 29, 2023 Internship begins.
May 29, 2023, 1pm-3pm ET Mandatory Orientation
May 29-June 16, 2023 Applied Data Analytics Training– Introduction to R (three days/week)
June 19 - August 18, 2023 Applied Data Analytics Course - Data Analysis (Wednesdays 2 - 4pm)
August 25, 2023 Internship ends.
September 22, 2023 Tentative Date for Stakeholder Briefing


Submission Form

Submit your application online.

Questions and Answers

Q1. If I am on a Visa can I apply for the internship program? I know that I may not earn money, but can I get the experience and the credit for the work.

If applicants are non-Rutgers F-1 students, contact the international office at your current institution. They can confirm eligibility and requirements to participate in the internship for pay. In general, Rutgers cannot sponsor most other visa statuses from another University to work for pay at Rutgers in this internship program. For students in other visa categories not eligible to work, we will work with your native institution to support the internship to meet academic requirements or professional development.

Q2. How many rounds of interviews will there be?

The application review will be followed by a screening call with an NJEEDS staff member, then one round of interviews with staff at state agency partners. If there are any changes due to feedback from our partner agencies, we will send an email to all candidates and post the information on the NJEEDS website.

Q3. Is there a preferred program for coding/data analysis i.e. R, Stata, SPSS, etc.?

We do not have any preference on coding or data analysis experience. We want candidates to have general interest in quantitative data. The selected interns will be trained in R and Structured Query Language.

Q4. The internship is listed as 20 hours per week. Will interns be allowed to work full-time/more hours over the summer?

The internship positions have been budgeted for 20 hours per week. If you are an active full- time student in the Rutgers system, you cannot work over 19.5 hours per week over the summer if you are taking classes.

Q5. How does the hiring procedure work?

Candidates are required to apply through the application link on the NJEEDS website. If for any reason you are unable to attach all of the supplemental information you would like, you can send those materials to njeeds@ejb.rutgers.edu. Next, there will be an application screening done by the NJEEDS staff and the partner agency data stewards. Candidates are asked to include in their cover letter their preference for which agency they would like to work with. Following the application screening, candidates will interview with agency staff. The application is currently posted on the Rutgers job posting website as well as on our NJEEDS website. Once an offer is made, the additional steps such as the vaccine requirements and background checks are started. We hope offers will be made by April 15, then the necessary paperwork will need to be completed in order to get the new interns into the system by June 1.

Q6. Upon completion of the internship, is there an opportunity for an extension or a full-time position?

There are always opportunities. The Heldrich Center will be posting Research Assistant positions that will work with NJEEDS data soon; the timing does not align for this internship, but there may be similar postings in the future. The Research Assistants will be participating in the Applied Data Analytics class and gaining experience and networking within state agencies. There are no guarantees, but interns may be able to get an extension and get involved in short term projects.

New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education

New Jersey Department of Education

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority

© 2021 New Jersey’s Education to Earnings Data System