College vs Major vs Earnings



  • In our study, we looked at about 7,300 college graduates 10 years after graduation. We divided their majors into several categories: business, engineering, science, social science, humanities, education and other. And we used three broad classifications for college type: selective, which covers elite schools and other highly competitive institutions; midtier; and less selective, which covers schools with open enrollment.

    What we found startled us. For STEM-related majors, average earnings don’t vary much among the college categories. For example, we find no statistically significant differences in average earnings for science majors between selective schools and either midtier or less-selective schools. Likewise, there’s no significant earnings difference between engineering graduates from selective and less-selective colleges, and only a marginally significant difference between selective and midtier colleges.



  • 10 years of professional experience trumps 5 years of whatever academic education you've got decade ago. Who would have thought?



  • Yeah, although I really wonder about those humanities salaries. Lots of lawyers I guess?



  • Don't forget to factor in selection bias. By definition, "highly selective" school should be enrolling people with more potential, so some of the pay difference comes from the degree that was earned and some from the fact that the individual was likely to advance in their career regardless of their degree.



  • But apparently that only matters in non-STEM majors, according to the study. And would of course be lumped in with the networking advantages, etc. The article includes a fair amount of caveats and analysis of the study, but the basic result is pretty interesting, I think.



  • I went to an Ivy but I majored in Biology.

    The fact that I went to an Ivy did help me get my first job in IT. They specifically recruited at the school and had a policy of hiring smart people they would train for technology. They even asked for my SAT scores at the interview.

    I worked with some very smart people there.

    I initially thought I couldn't get a job in IT without a Comp Sci degree but I had friend/boss who suggested I try because I was smart and computer savvy.

    I did write Basic on a TRS-80 in elementary school and learned Pascal in high school so it wasn't completely out of left field.



  • I'm not making enough money.



  • Me either, apparently. [note to self, fire publicist recruiter]


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Huh, I'm doing better than I thought



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'm not making enough money.

    Or you don't live in the right place. Did they adjust for the COL in the places where most Ivy majors end up living (Cali, NY, DC)?



  • That's a good question actually.


  • SockDev

    @NTW said:

    Cali

    OI! i told you people already! I don't sublet my body!

    shoo! shoo!

    i'll call the police if you don't shove off!


  • SockDev

    @accalia said:

    i'll call the police if you don't shove off!

    *looks at your avatar*
    You'd call yourself? 😛


  • SockDev

    @RaceProUK said:

    You'd call yourself?

    /me pulls her service tazer

    I'd certainly be first responder 🍊



  • By definition, "highly selective" school should be enrolling people who are more capable in handling exams.

    Have seen people who do good in school but have "next to none" self-initiative in doing further learning themselves. Some even denies tasks with reason "no one have taught me this before" rather than seek information on Google to "just do it". This attribute is career-limiting in technologies related sectors.

    Btw, higher academic qualification just mean the employers are more likely to select you if no other information is available, does not mean they're willing to spend more money to fill the position.

    And btw again, with 10+ years of working experience, if you're unable to present what you've done in these 10+ years to impress your new potential employer, your academic qualification is unlikely to help.



  • @cheong said:

    This attribute is career-limiting in technologies related sectors.

    And career advancing in the field of professional management (and politics). After all, knowing things is for the technical experts. Not for decision makers!

    Ministers are not experts. They are chosen expressedly because they know nothing.

    Also this.
    Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985) - Information Retrieval – [02:40..03:58] 03:58
    — pocodecine



  • Decision makers don't need to know the details, but DO need to know the basics, or they can't distinguish bad advices from good advices, and hence will make poor decisions all the time.

    If you say decision makers can rely on consultants or other professionals for advice, let me remind you that those people are also subject to manipulations from others, in other for other stakeholders to protect or increase their right and/or benefits.



  • I was being sarcastic. Best manufacturing COO i ever saw had a deep technical engineering background and called people out on their bullshit all the time. Worst are the MBAs.



  • Me either, but I work for government, have excellent time off and a 35 hour work week. I also get OT or comp time for any hours over 35.

    I also took a couple career detours where I switched from primarily QA work to development (and tried to be an entrepreneur in unrelated areas in between). I took a few lateral moves for other reasons.

    Since we are changing directions here I have been learning new technology, so I can't really complain.



  • @Karla said:

    I work for government

    Commiserations.



  • @loopback0 said:

    Commiserations.

    It isn't that bad.

    I like most of the people I work with and I do work with some knowledgeable and hard-working people (at least in IT--other areas--some are better than others).

    And as for when I was shifting directions it paid significantly better than the previous job and had better benefits. Technically speaking it was an improvement too.

    So meh.

    I really don't want to give up my 35 hour work week.



  • @Karla said:

    It isn't that bad.

    Facts undefined jokes 😉


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Karla said:

    I really don't want to give up my 35 hour work week.

    Not having to put in long hours is a gigantic benefit.



  • @dkf said:

    Not having to put in long hours is a gigantic benefit.

    Exactly, I have been putting in long hours this last month or so but I can choose overtime or comp time.

    I always choose comp time. They can't tax my time (yet).

    And really it has been my choice. I want to complete what I am doing. Plus the faster I clean up these older projects the faster I get to do new projects with new technology.



  • @Karla said:

    They can't tax my time (yet).

    @dkf said:

    @Karla said:
    I really don't want to give up my 35 hour work week.

    Not having to put in long hours is a gigantic benefit.

    Faux-contract hourly pay work arrangement I have is nice - I can generally fuck off home both early and late if I feel like it, as long as things are overall done on time. Lack of bonuses and PTO can be a bitch, though.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Faux-contract hourly pay work arrangement I have is nice - I can generally fuck off home both early and late if I feel like it, as long as things are overall done on time. Lack of bonuses and PTO can be a bitch, though.

    Yeah, I've done that too.

    I like PTO and I like not having to hustle for the next gig. I've never had bonuses, so I have no idea what that is like.

    I also like knowing where I am working for the long term. Planning for what gym I belong to, taking only one subway, how to bike to work, etc.

    When I move to an area that has a lower cost of living I am not against consulting remotely (that actually would be ideal).



  • @Karla said:

    not having to hustle for the next gig.

    Our company doesn't really have the tradition of letting people go, so unless I screw something up majorly, I'm fairly confident in my job security (although not to the point of being totally in the red if my employment suddenly ceased).

    The contract thing is pretty much optimization - since I'm a student, the company doesn't have to pay my healthcare and social insurance on the contract (the first I get anyway from my family, the other is a money black hole anyway), so we take that and share the difference.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Our company doesn't really have the tradition of letting people go, so unless I screw something up majorly, I'm fairly confident in my job security (although not to the point of being totally in the red if my employment suddenly ceased).

    My first job was like that. I was with them for almost 10 years. They assigned me, I had no hustle. As I was learning (above I said I majored in Biology) it was cool when I was younger.

    I like the pretend stability of a full time position now. And as it is government...it takes an awful lot to get rid of you (well until the municipality goes bankrupt or something).


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