Thursday, September 17, 2015

All who study STEM do not practice STEM and vice versa

This is excellent visualized information, from Where do college graduates work? A Special Focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math from the Census Bureau.

Click through to the website to surf around on an interactive basis. What they have done is to visually display the routes between college major and career choices. For example, about 50% of people who take an engineering degree actually pursue careers in non-engineering positions such as management, marketing, healthcare, law, education, etc.

This is a point that is missed in a lot of conversations about education and careers and income and disparate impacts, etc. Just because you major in engineering doesn't mean you will be an engineer. And not all engineering roles are filled just by engineers.

(Click to enlarge)

It illustrates why it is very hard to get to apples to apples comparisons when you are investigating disparate impacts. Do female engineer graduates earn more or less than male engineer graduates? Let's say they earn less at the aggregate degree level. You still don't know if there is discrimination going on, you have to dig deeper. Not only do more men major as engineers than women, but once they graduate, it looks like about 50% of men then pursue engineering careers whereas only about 40% of women do. So that's yet one more variable you have to control.

The more data, the more clarity AND the more speculation. But without data, it is all emotional estimation.

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