My latest NYT column! – this one is about major choice and STEM careers – 1/1
Social science and humanities majors earn less in their first job, but catch up over time. Technical skills become obsolete quickly. Critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration skills become more valuable. #SaturdayThoughts
Although liberal arts majors start slow, they catch up to the salary of their peers in STEM fields. This is by design. A liberal arts education fosters valuable long term skills like problem-solving, critical thinking & adaptability.
In the , argues that while science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors may receive higher salaries upon their college graduations, by age 40, many other majors catch up to their STEM counterparts in pay.
A liberal arts education trains you to do anything. In the modern labor market, it’s the best education to have.
This is interesting: STEM majors earn much higher starting salaries than social science majors, but some STEM skills expire and by mid career the salaries of social science majors catch up:
"we should be wary of the impulse to make college curriculums ever more technical and career focused. Rapid technological change makes the case for breadth even stronger."
In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure
Liberal arts education sets you up well for a successful and engaged life. It’s not all about the dollars, but the dollars work out well also. LibArts “builds a set of foundational capacities that will serve students well in a rapidly changing job market.”
Another nice column from my colleague and coauthor !
#stem is important, but liberal arts have staying power. Think of ways to combine the two and you’ll be better off in the long run. via
Also, this article (via ) is interesting for the easy breezy way it sets out that people who do liberal arts degrees end up earning more than people who do STEM degrees, despite the fact that this finding only applies to men #womenarepeopletoo
A thousand times yes -->> In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure
"We should be wary of the impulse to make college curriculums ever more technical & career focused. Rapid technological change makes the case for breadth even stronger." on the vocational case for liberal arts
"We should be wary of the impulse to make college curriculums ever more technical & career focused. Rapid technological change makes the case for breadth even stronger." on the vocational case for liberal arts
Engineers Sprint Ahead, but Don’t Underestimate the Poets
So maybe everyone shouldn't major in STEM; by my colleague David Deming: Engineers Sprint Ahead, but Don’t Underestimate the Poets
Liberal Arts vs STEM
In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure
as much as I'm sure STEM ppl misunderstand what one learns as a liberal arts students, this idea that STEM educations (skills?) become out of date betrays that the author clearly does not understand what STEM majors teach
Some research shows that this is good advice for the years immediately after graduation but that liberal arts majors catch up over time. Basically the claim is that liberal arts skills are more extensible as people become more senior in their careers.
SSH grads catch up to STEM's. SSH foster "Soft skills" like problem-solving, critical thinking and adaptability that are hard to quantify, and don't create clean pathways to high-paying first jobs. But they have long-run value in a wide variety of careers.
Conventional wisdom is that computer science and engineering majors have better employment prospects and higher earnings than peers who choose liberal arts. This is true for the first job, but the long-term story is more complicated (ht )