Senior Researcher - California Competes

Founded in 2010, California Competes is an independent, non-partisan project aimed at bolstering the state’s postsecondary outcomes to foster robust regional economies, vibrant communities, and an engaged citizenry. California Competes is committed to advancing policies and practices that can vastly accelerate and promote degree attainment in our state. We pursue our goals by conducting timely research, developing policy options, and spotlighting promising practices that can improve California’s higher education system. We do this work with the ultimate beneficiaries at the forefront of our strategy: improving the educational, social and economic outcomes for low-income and underrepresented Californians. Read more about our policy priorities, staff, and esteemed Leadership Council at

Reporting to our Executive Director, the Senior Researcher will be our in-house research expert, compiling and analyzing data, preparing research reports, developing presentations, and collaborating with partner organizations. The role requires someone whose passion for digging into data is matched by a deep interest in higher education policy. To join our team the successful candidate will need to be wildly curious, self-directed, and a team player.


  • Collaborate with Executive Director to develop and implement the organization’s research agenda
  • Conduct quantitative analysis (statistical, econometric)
  • Develop, in partnership with the team, reports, briefs, presentations, and proposals
  • Conduct literature reviews and syntheses
  • Interact with collaborators and project partners to identify research opportunities and to evaluate the policy implications of findings
  • Develop strong working relationships with institutional researchers for the UC, CSU, and CCC systems
  • Maintain applicable websites and/or project inventories
  • Explain analyses to reporters and lay audiences
  • Develop data documentation manuals or other learning materials, as needed
  • Guide and work collaboratively with the team
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

  • At least a Master’s degree in Economics, Education, Statistics, Public Policy, or closely related field
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including presenting data to lay audiences
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current issues in higher education and workforce policy
  • Demonstrated expertise in designing and leading research projects
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting statistical analysis (including econometric skills, time series and cross-section data analysis, analysis of multivariate statistics, management of large-scale data sets, and/or survey analysis)
  • Demonstrated experienced in reporting analytic results and producing research reports
  • Demonstrated fluency in written and spoken English
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task as needed, meet deadlines, and manage time well
  • Demonstrated professional level of attention to detail and accuracy of work
  • Ability to work independently with initiative, as well as productively in a team setting

Additional Desired Qualifications
Ideal candidates will also have knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Higher education policy and reform efforts
  • Workforce development issues, particularly in employment and training efforts targeted towards underserved populations
  • Education data sets, including federal higher education data (i.e. IPEDS), California community college data (Datamart), and K-12 data (DataQuest).
  • State and federal labor data sets, such as the California Employment Development Department labor market information
  • Spanish fluency


  • Full-time, exempt position
  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Medical, dental and vision benefits; voluntary 403(b) plan

Application Process
To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Kris Wade at, with “Senior Researcher” in the subject line. Review of candidates will begin January 24, 2020. Position opened until filled.
California Competes, a project of Community Partners, is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. In addition, the organization will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.