Archive for April 30th, 2012

April 30, 2012

‘math skills are correlated to higher earnings’

by Grace

A study that looked at the correlation between college majors and earnings highlights the role of math skills in this relationship.

The economists examine the large differences in labor-market outcomes across college majors in several ways. In one section of their paper, they look at data on wages by college major obtained through the Census Bureau‘s 2009 American Community Survey. They find that among other things, math skills are correlated to higher earnings. “Wages tend to be high for engineers and low for elementary education majors, suggesting that perhaps much of the wage differences between majors are due to differences in mathematical ability and high school course work,” the authors write.

Apparently, innumeracy has a cost.
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Average wages for some of the most lucrative college majors

I’m surprised at how well a political science major pays, even without an advanced degree.
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Average wages for some of the lowest-paying college majors

Considering that the average salary for educators in Westchester County approaches six figures, it’s surprising to see such low wages for education majors.  I suspect that part-time workers included in this and other categories deflate the average wage.

American Community Survey – Questions on the form and why we ask

Related:  Two recent reports on college majors, salaries, and unemployment rates

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