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STEM Trained Associates Out-Earning Liberal Arts Bachelors

February 28, 2012

The US Census Bureau released a report today entitled “What It’s Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status in 2009.” This  report shows that, while 30% of Americans have achieved a bachelor’s degree for the first time in history, those with associate’s degrees in STEM fields are actually out-earning those with bachelor-level training in other fields such as social science and education.

According to the report those with associate’s degrees in computing or engineering have mean monthly salaries of $4922 and $4813, respectively. Comparatively, those holding bachelor’s degrees in social science earn $4810 monthly, and those in education earn a, monthly mean of $3806.

This difference is even more pronounced when looking at median monthly incomes, where those with bachelor’s degrees in the liberal arts also have earnings that fall below associate level computing and engineering medians. Furthermore, those with advanced degrees in education have a median income that is exactly on par with those who have associate’s in computation or engineering fields.

Recently we blogged about the benefits of increasing attention and funding to community colleges, and how successful ties between these institutions and industry leaders can benefit students, the economy, and the STEM community as a whole. In light of the Census Bureau’s report on earnings, it would seem that continuing to emphasize these partnerships and the importance and legitimacy of community college programs in STEM should be a high priority area for growth and development.

For more information, see the full report on the United States Census Bureau website.


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