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.
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:
In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure
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.
"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."
Another nice column from my colleague and coauthor !
A thousand times yes -->> In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure
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
"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
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.
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
In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure
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 )
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