If you have been following the progression of our blog posts, the US Census Bureau’s Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) data has served as the primary content driver in the the past four blog entries. The posts in May (05/01/2021 and 05/15/2021) introduced average earnings for bachelor’s degreeholders by Carnegie Classification (Doctoral Institutions and Master’s Institutions), while the posts in June (06/01/2021 and 06/15/2021) explored the degree to which bachelor’s degreeholders were classified as non-employed or marginally employed by Carnegie Classification within the PSEO data. This blog post continues the exploration of the PSEO data by examining average post-graduation earnings by academic discipline across all public institutions included in the PSEO data, providing us with broader trends across the 11 states in the PSEO data. As a reminder, there are several caveats in the PSEO data, such as the earnings data being based on Unemployment Insurance (UI) wages that exclude some segments of the workforce (e.g., workers among private sector employers that are independent contractors, unincorporated self-employed, some family employees of family-owned business, certain farm workers, etc.).
In order to see patterns across clusters of instructional programs, we have organized academic disciplines into 15 “Major Group” classifications based on the taxonomy developed by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (see page 39). As with the previous presentations of the PSEO data, three time-points are included across the data visualizations below: 1, 5, and 10 years after graduation. Different years can be accessed using the “Year After Graduation” filter on the right. The first visualization below (see tab: Differences from Highest (Overall)) shows weighted average earnings aggregated across all institution types in the data (Doctoral, Master’s, and Bachelor’s institutions) in order to determine the overall trends, regardless of institutional level. The second tab (Differences from Highest (Carnegie)) shows earnings data by major group as well, but is broken out by Carnegie Classification. Use the “Carnegie Group” filter to the right to change which institution level is visualized. In both visualizations, the labels at the end of the bars have three components: major group weighted average earnings, and how far (in dollars) and by what percentage that major group is below the highest group. Each of these values is separated by a vertical bar (|), except for the highest earning major group in each year that serves as our reference group.
Ranking of Average Earnings by Major Group: All Carnegie Classifications
In addition to gaining a better understanding about overall trends and trends within Carnegie Classifications, we also wanted to see which major group had the highest average earnings at each time point after graduation, regardless of Carnegie Classification.
As with most of our blog posts, the earnings by major group data create more questions worthy of further exploration:
We welcome your comments on any of these questions using the Comment feature at the bottom of this blog post.