On STEM boosterism… “In the Salary Race, Engineers Sprint but English Majors Endure” (nytimes):
The [annual salary] advantage for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors fades steadily after their first jobs, and by age 40 the earnings of people who majored in fields like social science or history have caught up.
Men majoring in computer science or engineering roughly doubled their starting salaries by age 40, to an average of $124,458. Yet earnings growth is even faster in other majors, and some catch up completely. By age 40, the average salary of all male college graduates was $111,870, and social science and history majors earned $131,154 — an average that is lifted, in part, by high-paying jobs in management, business and law.
The story was similar for women. Those with applied STEM majors earned nearly 50 percent more than social science and history majors at ages 23 to 25, but only 10 percent more by ages 38 to 40.
The article doesn’t get into the brevity of the typical STEM career. I know plenty of sales guys who are still working and valued at age 70. Although I know more programmers than sales guys, I don’t know of any programmers who are still working (as programmers) and valued by employers at age 70.
So the lifetime earnings of a STEM graduate might be substantially lower than those of a history major!
- “Child Support Litigation without a Marriage” (how to obtain more spending power than someone earning $131,154/year without being married and without working at all…)