Outcome – Quantitative Social Scientist

Overview

Outcome is an education company devoted to offering a new financing model for higher education that can increase transparency and de-risk the decision to pursue higher learning.

This new model provides funding for education that recipients are only obligated to repay as a defined percentage of post-graduation income, above a certain minimum and for a fixed period of time. By making payment obligation a function of post-graduation income, these outcome-based financing agreements — also known as Income Share Agreements (ISAs) — redistribute the risk of educational investment away from students while placing greater emphasis on student success for both schools and investors. 

The virtues of this model present a number of unique intellectual and operational challenges, particularly given Outcome’s commitment to social impact. Chief among them is devising a rigorous, reliable, scalable infrastructure for forecasting returns to an ISA for a given education institution and/or education program. Outcome is committed to building an approach to ISA underwriting that relies on institutional and programmatic outcome data, not on regressive measures of individual creditworthiness.  Like many necessary components of an effective and beneficial ISA, developing the capacity to predict earnings given attainment is an independently virtuous activity with widespread implications in education policy. 

Outcome is seeking a researcher who is interested in finding answers to some of the thorniest questions in higher education today — and applying those answers in an ambitious and practical setting.

Role

We are seeking a quantitative social scientist to assist us with the development of a robust outcome forecasting model that will be used to design and price financing programs for education institutions.  

Payment will be highly competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications. For qualified candidates short-term, consultative, or full-time engagement can be considered. We strongly encourage individuals from historically underrepresented groups to apply. 

Specific Responsibilities

  • Identify relevant education, labor market, and other data sets to be integrated into the model, structuring data where necessary and evaluating its quality and predictive value
  • Validate the assumptions of the chosen algorithm; develop/train model and evaluate model performance
  • Increase model flexibility to allow for the integration of new and/or additional ISA design elements and the ability to optimize for these elements in addition to a targeted IRR
  • Work with product head and data scientist to build and deploy model into production

Required Qualifications

  • Background in economics, sociology, public policy or a related field dealing with labor market and/or education research
  • Formal training in mathematics and statistical methods
  • Ability to work with highly unstructured datasets
  • Familiarity with quantitative methods for social science research 
  • Experience with projects that required the combination of statistical analysis with social science knowledge to create useful insights or outcomes
  • Ability to effectively communicate with team members with expertise outside social sciences

Desired Qualifications

  • Master's degree or Ph.D. in a social science field
  • Experience with data visualization and statistical analysis tools

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