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Republicans Are Happier Than Democrats
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It’s nothing new. Since it’s inception, the General Social Survey has inquired about respondents’ self-reported personal happiness. In every single year, Republican happiness has averaged higher than Democrat happiness has:

It doesn’t seem to track much with which party controls the White House, one of the few things about the contemporary United States that would make the nation’s founders happy. During Republican presidential administrations, Republicans have a net happiness score averaging 14.1 points higher than Democrats. During Democrat presidential administrations, Republicans’ net happiness score averages 12.4 points higher than that of Democrats, a modest difference.

Looking at congressional control might reveal a stronger correlation. In 2012, during the heyday of the Tea Party, for example, Republican happiness shoots up while Democrat happiness dips a bit. Notably, TDS isn’t detectable in the 2018 iteration of the survey at all.

GSS variables used: HAPPY(1)(3), YEAR, PARTYID(0-1)(5-6)

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology • Tags: GSS, Happiness, History, Politics 
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  1. songbird says:

    I wonder what Amish people would like, or people who don’t consume news media.

    • Replies: @A123
  2. Republicans, White Republicans in particular,

    are as happy as a pig wallowing in mud, while

    waiting to be slaughtered.

    • Agree: Realist
  3. A123 says:
    @songbird

    The Amish are for Trump.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Wency
  4. dfordoom says: • Website

    I’m very very sceptical of surveys that claim to measure something like happiness. What the hell does happiness mean? I’m not sure that it’s something that can be quantified.

    I suspect that liberals are more likely to say they’re unhappy. To say you’re unhappy demonstrates your virtue. How you can be happy when systemic racism and sexism and homophobia still exist? Being happy might well be proof that you’re racist, sexist and homophobic.

  5. neutral says:
    @dfordoom

    It is more of a philosophical debate on what happiness is. But the types that rally around the rainbow flag, yearn for safe spaces, deny the reality of nature and the world, these people have much higher rates of coming from broken families, mental conditions, and just generally messed up lives.These people don’t seem the types that can be sincerely happy.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  6. dfordoom says: • Website
    @neutral

    It is more of a philosophical debate on what happiness is. But the types that rally around the rainbow flag, yearn for safe spaces, deny the reality of nature and the world, these people have much higher rates of coming from broken families, mental conditions, and just generally messed up lives.These people don’t seem the types that can be sincerely happy.

    I agree, but I suspect you’d find that in general the more politically engaged a person is the more likely it is that they have some serious life issues and mental issues. I’m sure you’d find very high rates of mental conditions among SJWs, among environmentalists, among people who identify as political activists, and among the dissident right.

    You only have to spend half an hour perusing a few comment threads on UR to encounter considerable numbers of people who really should be on medication. You don’t notice it quite so much on AE’s blog (AE seems to weed out the more obviously mentally ill commenters) but venture on to some of the other comment threads here and you’ll find some serious craziness. And you’ll find some very sad and very unhappy people.

    The problem with politics is that it attracts unstable people with bizarre obsessions. The more extreme the politics the more extreme the craziness.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    , @Jay Fink
  7. @dfordoom

    Hey! Commenting while being drunk off my ass and having a mental illness are not the same thing!!

    • Thanks: The Alarmist, nokangaroos
    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  8. A bit OT, but I wonder if Republicans who go to college and major in marketable subjects like business, economics and STEM do so because they know how to plan their lives better than Democrats who get useless degrees. Having a strategy to become employable right after you graduate would seem to show a low time preference and good judgment.

    • Agree: The Alarmist, Realist
    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @obwandiyag
  9. dfordoom:

    I agree, but I suspect you’d find that in general the more politically engaged a person is the more likely it is that they have some serious life issues and mental issues. I’m sure you’d find very high rates of mental conditions among SJWs, among environmentalists, among people who identify as political activists, and among the dissident right.

    Very true. Nietzsche considered ressentiment directed toward society’s rulers and elites an expression of underclass “slave morality,” but I think the great philosopher oversimplifies social psychology here. Disagreeableness and resentment are often apparent among high achievers, and contentment and complacency among the poor. A degree of ill-temperament productively managed may be seen as a marker of motivation toward that supreme social value of all human society, high status.

  10. In 2012, during the heyday of the Tea Party, for example, Republican happiness shoots up while Democrat happiness dips a bit.

    And then the Obama Administration released the Kraken IRS and MSM on the Tea Party, and it dropped sharply again, because it was becoming clear to R’s that he system was a tool to be used against them. It will be interesting to see the results for 2021, assuming we are still allowed to see such things in the gulag.

  11. unit472 says:

    Democrats have always tended to be malcontents. Even if their personal lives are fine they adopt the real or imagined grievances of others as their own. Republicans realize some people are just fucked up and nothing can be done for them.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  12. Rosie says:
    @advancedatheist

    A bit OT, but I wonder if Republicans who go to college and major in marketable subjects like business, economics and STEM do so because they know how to plan their lives better than Democrats who get useless degrees. Having a strategy to become employable right after you graduate would seem to show a low time preference and good judgment.

    What makes you think STEM and econ majors are employable?

    Seriously, this is idea that college grads would be fine if they picked the right major needs to die already.

    https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-130.html#:~:text=JULY%2010%2C%202014-,Census%20Bureau%20Reports%20Majority%20of%20STEM%20College,Not%20Work%20in%20STEM%20Occupations&text=The%20U.S.%20Census%20Bureau%20reported,not%20employed%20in%20STEM%20occupations.

  13. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    And business is no better. It doesn’t even signal intelligence, though perhaps it may signal that one is good corporate drone material. As far as career prospects, the curious student might as well major in humanities.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-general-undergrad-business-major-165310178.html

  14. Bill says:

    In 2012, during the heyday of the Tea Party, for example, Republican happiness shoots up while Democrat happiness dips a bit.

    I don’t see this effect in 1994. In fact it looks like the opposite, and 1994 was a much bigger deal than 2012.

  15. Bill says:
    @Rosie

    If you prefer systematic data to news stories Rosie finds congenial, you could look here.

    To cut to the chase, all of the highest paid majors are STEM, with business and economics following reasonably close behind.

    Petroleum engineers are ranked #1 for the umpteenth year in a row. Early childhood education is ranked last—you’re (much, much) better off becoming a dental hygienist.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  16. Bill says:
    @dfordoom

    There is a whole goofy, though thankfully not that large, pseudo-science studying happiness these days. For example, they have people carry around happiness-o-meters (not called that, but I don’t recall what they are called) which they are supposed to dial up or down minute-by-minute depending on how happy they are feeling.

    They find all sorts of fascinating stuff like most things don’t make you happy for very long and chronic, severe pain is a real bummer.

  17. Jay Fink says:
    @dfordoom

    “The more extreme the politics the more extreme the craziness”.

    I’m just one person but this isn’t true for me. I score near the bottom for all psychological disorders yet am attracted to extreme politics. My order of preference is far right, far left, center right and at the bottom center left.

    The center is where neoliberalism and globalism lives. It’s where the warmongering is and bailouts for the “too big to fail”. Centrists defend the status quo at all costs. The extremes are populist by nature which is why they are demonized.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  18. Jay Fink says:

    Physical attractiveness could be a factor, something that probably impacts happiness. There is a stereotype that unattractive women are staunch Democrats. From my observations this is a real thing with some individual exceptions of course. I saw it clearly on my Facebook. The hot girls were for Trump (and many surprised me, I assumed they would be Democrats because they are youngish women) and those with Trump derangement syndrome were unattractive women. They will also speak up for Woke causes in general. It’s like they are using Democrat politics as an equalizer for the bad hand they were dealt in their looks.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Rosie
  19. A123 says:
    @Jay Fink

    Typical Trump Supporter
     ____

    Typical Biden Supporter
     ____

    Pretty obvious who is happier.

    PEACE 😇

    • LOL: Jay Fink
  20. @Rosie

    One of my tests for interviewees fresh out of school is to ask how they feel about fetching coffee, etc. for the team. The ones who get the job never hesitate to say they’ll do it and shut up after that; the ones who don’t tend to prattle on about how they can add value doing things more important than fetching stuff. People fresh out of school who talk about running things or managing things are generally talking out of their asses. I’d gladly talk to a youngster who didn’t go to Uni but had smarts and drive, but the gatekeepers in HR don’t let them cross the threshold.

  21. Rosie says:
    @Jay Fink

    It’s like they are using Democrat politics as an equalizer for the bad hand they were dealt in their looks.

    To the extent that’s true, who can blame them?

  22. I am not sure if anyone ha made the simplistic observation

    if your happiness is derived soly from the existence of the now experience, then existence seems fairly bleak at the end

    but if you genuinely believe in something greater, something more powerful, enduring — then there’s plenty of reason to have hope.

    On could easily replace Christ’s remarks

    “My peace I give to you, but not as the world gives . . .”

    with

    My joy I give unto you, but not as the world gives even in the midst of war and pain and irritants and democrats.

  23. Realist says:
    @A123

    The Amish are for Trump.

    Wow…now there’s a power group

  24. iffen says:
    @Jay Fink

    I’m just one person

    What is your confidence level for this statement?

  25. Realist says:
    @Rosie

    What makes you think STEM and econ majors are employable?

    What majors are employable?

    Seriously, this is idea that college grads would be fine if they picked the right major needs to die already.

    Why?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  26. Franz says:

    During Republican presidential administrations, Republicans have a net happiness score averaging 14.1 points higher than Democrats. During Democrat presidential administrations, Republicans’ net happiness score averages 12.4 points higher than that of Democrats

    If anyone is “happy” while being dispossessed of centuries of culture, to what extent is such emotion just another skirt to hide behind? Happiness while on a sinking ship ain’t healthy.

    I ain’t trying to be defeatist, but read this guy here for another angle:

    https://gen.medium.com/i-lived-through-collapse-america-is-already-there-ba1e4b54c5fc

    His words have an accurate chill to some of us in the Rustbelt:

    If you’re waiting for a moment where you’re like “this is it,” I’m telling you, it never comes. Nobody comes on TV and says “things are officially bad.” There’s no launch party for decay. It’s just a pileup of outrages and atrocities in between friendships and weddings and perhaps an unusual amount of alcohol.

    It’s like normal life except for those who’s lives are over, forever. And it’s just sinking in. As the article says earlier:

    I was looking through some old photos for this article and the mix is shocking to me now. Almost offensive. There’s a burnt body in front of my office. Then I’m playing Scrabble with friends. There’s bomb smoke rising in front of the mall. Then I’m at a concert. There’s a long line for gas. Then I’m at a nightclub. This is all within two weeks.

    Like some parts of Detroit, Minneapolis, Portland… etc. Perspective: If you’re doing okay ignoring the collapse, keep on ignoring it. Enjoy life till till your number comes up and you can stay “happy” but I wonder if collapses happen because people naturally behave this way.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  27. Rosie says:
    @Realist

    What majors are employable?

    Very few. Nursing, engineering, and bean counting. That’s about it.

    Why?

    Because it’s not true.

    • Replies: @Realist
  28. Realist says:
    @Rosie

    Very few. Nursing, engineering, and bean counting. That’s about it.

    Most STEM degrees are very employable.

    Because it’s not true.

    That is a snarky answer with no explanation.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Rosie
  29. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Jay Fink

    “The more extreme the politics the more extreme the craziness”.

    I’m just one person but this isn’t true for me.

    It may not be true for you but it’s true for an awful lot of people.

    Go and have a conversation with a Rainbow Flag-waving SJW or a rabid environmentalist. Then go and read a few of the unmoderated comment threads on UR (in other words the comment threads on posters other than AE, Anatoly Karlin and Steve Sailer who seem to be the only ones who moderate their comments). You’ll find exactly the same sort of craziness, the same sort of irrationality, the same fondness for lunatic conspiracy theories, the same disordered thinking, the same unreasoning anger.

    You won’t find those symptoms among all the commenters but you will find plenty of commenters who clearly need to seek professional help.

    Just as you’ll find those same symptoms among SJWs, greenies, vegans, etc.

    I am not suggesting that everyone who tends towards extreme political views is crazy but I am suggesting that extreme political views attract a disproportionate number of crazies.

    The center is where neoliberalism and globalism lives. It’s where the warmongering is and bailouts for the “too big to fail”. Centrists defend the status quo at all costs.

    Even among people who might be described as centrists you’ll find that those who are most passionate and most zealous are more likely to display symptoms of mental illness. The most zealous warmongers are people who obviously have issues.

    Neocons are another example. Many are clearly unhinged. The more extreme their neocon views the nuttier they are.

    • Agree: John Achterhof
  30. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Franz

    If anyone is “happy” while being dispossessed of centuries of culture, to what extent is such emotion just another skirt to hide behind?

    The bad news is that most people have no awareness of being dispossessed of centuries of culture. They didn’t even know they had a cultural heritage.

  31. A123 says:
    @Realist

    Very few. Nursing, engineering, and bean counting. That’s about it.

    Most STEM degrees are very employable.

    There are significant shades of grey.

    As long as the College/University is grading on merit, STEM course show that the student can learn and process information logicially. There are business majors that are long on Mathematics, such as Finance, that are also in this bucket even though they are not officially STEM.

    There is a middle ground for serious subjects that are unlikely to be of interest to the SJW’s In various locales those looking at pre-law wind up on paths such as anthropology and sociology. You will only see a handful of people in “Library Information Arts/Sciences”, but they can have formidable research skills. Especially if you need “pre-internet” knowledge.

    There are unemployable degrees in gender studies and racial ethnic studies. Departments such as “Social and Cultural Analysis” are a huge warning sign. There may be some high quality students coming out of these programs, but there is high risk of getting a social activist or an obedient follower.
    ____

    Knowing the schools and systems are important. A top 10% graduate from a Cal State school could easily be better than a mid-pack graduate from a UC school. Talented Whites and Asians from low savings but not disadvantaged families can choose a ” lower band” to obtain scholarships and grants from theoretically “2nd Tier” Cal State schools.
    ____

    Kids with strong family ties or commitments often choose local schools and look for local jobs. These can be the most diligent employees you can find, if they are voluntarily giving up “max cash” for something that gives them more personal satisfaction.

    In parts of the country the typically 2-year Community Colleges have been empowered to provide 4-year degrees in difficult to fill fields. This option can provide students with significant proven work history and references. These may be just the people you want for jobs that require adherence to procedure around dangerous machinery.

    Here is a great example of a 2-year/4-year local best fit. Running a sample processing laboratory requires managing people, understanding how to recover from broken equipment in the middle of a run, not being sloppy with materials that need special handling, properly loading data from stations to the central databaser, etc. It requires knowledge and sufficient insight to detect something drifting out-of-spec. However, it may not actually require deep knowledge of Chemistry.

    PEACE 😇

  32. @advancedatheist

    Hardehar.

    Mike Judge said Beavis and Butthead are the kind of people who grow up to be engineers.

    Personal experience corroborates this.

  33. @Franz

    I pretty much agree with your comment, Franz, but I read your guy’s blog post, and he is an idiot. To (nit)wit:”In the last three months America has lost more people than Sri Lanka lost in 30 years of civil war.” WTF is he talking about? I read his previous post to this one. Moronic.

    • Replies: @Franz
  34. Franz says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Agree. I’m not sure in what sense he means “lost” unless he’s counting drug ODs, traffic deaths, and household accidents as part of a battle ratio.

    Apart from being innumerate, his basic point — the collapse will not be televised — is probably accurate.

  35. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Buzz Mohawk

    LOL. I’m sure John Lennon would agree!

  36. Rosie says:
    @Bill

    To cut to the chase, all of the highest paid majors are STEM,

    OK so if everyone becomes an engineer, we’ll all be wealthy. Do you see the problem with this logic? People see these data, and then everyone rushes in to these fields, causing a glut that leads to massive unemployment for recent grads. It’s no comfort that their older colleagues are making good money.

    Nothing here that I can see disproves that most STEM grads are not working in their field.

    with business and economics following reasonably close behind.

    That tells us nothing whatsoever about the value of the degree itself. Anyone who majors in business is going to be more, money-driven than your average philosophy graduate.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @V. K. Ovelund
    , @Bill
  37. Rosie says:
    @Realist

    Most STEM degrees are very employable.

    Evidently they are not, else most STEM grads wouldn’t be taking work outside their field.

    • Replies: @Realist
  38. Twinkie says:
    @unit472

    Democrats have always tended to be malcontents. Even if their personal lives are fine they adopt the real or imagined grievances of others as their own.

    Things are changing and Republicans are increasingly also people with grievances, but traditionally Democrats have been the ones unhappy with the world (hence wanting to use revolutionary means and ends mediated by state power to change the order of things).

    Republicans are much more likely to be “normal” – be married, have children, go to church, and have other organic ties of community – all the things that make people content. The state doesn’t and can’t make you happy. Neither does money beyond a certain point. But the regard, the respect, and the camaraderie of your peers do. We humans are social creatures and crave the warm embrace of kin and the like-minded.

    • Agree: Yahya K., John Achterhof
  39. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    What makes you think STEM and econ majors are employable?

    I am guessing you studied neither.

    Seriously, this is idea that college grads would be fine if they picked the right major needs to die already.

    One of your typical straw men. No one who majors in Africana Studies or communications did so, because he had a choice between that and electrical engineering and opted for the former. There are varying thresholds for aptitude and conscientiousness for the different majors, and STEM majors have, on average, higher such thresholds – and employers know that all too well. And I write that as someone who studied history (though I also studied econometrics as an undergrad and then chose it again to satisfy one of the two methodology requirements in my Ph.D. program).

    Studying a STEM field may or may not make you “fine” in employment, but it certainly increases the odds that you will be employable, by a great deal in most cases.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  40. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    OK so if everyone becomes an engineer, we’ll all be wealthy. Do you see the problem with this logic? People see these data, and then everyone rushes in to these fields, causing a glut that leads to massive unemployment for recent grads. It’s no comfort that their older colleagues are making good money.

    Except not everyone can become an engineer. People with the aptitude and conscientiousness to be able to become one are rather limited in number and as a percentage of the population.

    Evidently they are not, else most STEM grads wouldn’t be taking work outside their field.

    I know several physicists who work on Wall Street (so not STEM). I weep for them and their seven to eight figure salaries.

    STEM grads are in demand even outside their fields, because numeracy and analytical ability are prized in many ostensibly “non-” STEM industries. If you have high level numeracy and analytical ability, you will always be able to find a job (at that point, it’s a matter of the level of compensation you are willing to accept).

  41. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    You’re so pathetically predictable, Twinkles. I’m not surprised you like this narrative, as it gives you the opportunity to feel smug and self-satisfied while you look down on the less fortunate.

    In any event, the problem with this reasoning is that training more people to be engineers doesn’t magically bring well-paid jobs into existence. (Magic Paper Theory) The most you can say is that a STEM major is good advice for individuals, but it doesn’t scale up to solve the broader societal problem of a scarcity of middle-class jobs.

    Studying a STEM field may or may not make you “fine” in employment, but it certainly increases the odds that you will be employable, by a great deal in most cases.

    So you say. Meanwhile, here in the real world…

    https://alltogether.swe.org/2017/12/is-there-a-shortage-of-stem-jobs-to-stem-graduates-its-complicated/

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  42. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    I know several physicists who work on Wall Street (so not STEM). I weep for them and their seven to eight figure salaries.

    I’m not interested in your anecdotes about outliers, Twinkles. I’m worried about the struggling young people with 100K in debt for a major that they were told was in high demand but turned out to be a huge ripoff.

    STEM grads are in demand even outside their fields, because numeracy and analytical ability are prized in many ostensibly “non-” STEM industries. If you have high level numeracy and analytical ability, you will always be able to find a job (at that point, it’s a matter of the level of compensation you are willing to accept).

    Of course, this is equally true of rigorous humanities programs.

  43. nebulafox says:
    @Twinkie

    Heheh. The money is nice, but the real trick for the banks is the work itself. If they were being offered the same kind of cash to make PowerPoints, they would not do it. The banks are smart. They know they’ll get the right kind of person when they hand an applicant several pages of stochastic calculus or lob questions how you can extract the best bits of performance when covering exceptions thrown up by some God-awful low level language put in decades ago, and the guy looks *genuinely happy*, like the kind of happy a dog is when you chuck him a steak, rather than running out of the room screaming.

    More to the point, if you like math and computers, you can find a well paid job somewhere, provided you are not a complete basketcase (a small but non-trivial minority) in terms of work habits and connections. The only stumbling block tends to be social skills and networks for some people.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  44. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    In any event, the problem with this reasoning is that training more people to be engineers doesn’t magically bring well-paid jobs into existence… Meanwhile, here in the real world…

    Much of that has to do with immigration, H1B visas, the destruction of manufacturing in the U.S., etc. So I certainly I agree with you on this.

    The most you can say is that a STEM major is good advice for individuals, but it doesn’t scale up to solve the broader societal problem of a scarcity of middle-class jobs.

    I believe that first part is exactly what I was saying, and I never wrote anything about it solving any socio-economic problems that exist in the country today. You certainly seem to love punching hysterically at imaginary targets (which means you punch the air a lot).

    You’re so pathetically predictable, Twinkles. I’m not surprised you like this narrative, as it gives you the opportunity to feel smug and self-satisfied while you look down on the less fortunate.

    It’s a shame you had to ruin a rare moment of agreement with relentless and highly unintelligent personal attacks and false attributions. After you wipe the spittle off, would you like some Xanax or will Midol do? Perhaps some amphetamine-like substance given your past comments?

    Of course, this is equally true of rigorous humanities programs.

    Such as?

    As I wrote above, I studied history (military history, specifically). I have (or had) very good quantitative skills as I double-majored in college (history and economics) with a heavy emphasis on quantitative methodologies. I studied econometrics in college and later in grad school. Ph.D. programs have methodology requirements, and I chose econometrics and wargaming (no, not the video game kind, but rather highly mathematical probability and simulation studies that had me spend time with people at Carlisle Barracks).

    As someone who is not a materialist, study of humanities (esp. history) are near and dear to my heart, but the sad fact of the matter is that at the vast majority of undergraduate and even graduate institutions today, “rigor” is not really the apt word of description.

    Which humanities programs are rigorous? Where? And so much so as to warrant increased attention from job-providers? Do you speak from personal experience? What is your educational and employment background?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  45. @Twinkie

    Except not everyone can become an engineer. People with the aptitude and conscientiousness to be able to become one are rather limited in number and as a percentage of the population.

    You guys are honestly both out of touch.

    A lot of the engineering positions are actually saturated with applicants.

    Yes taking debt to get a degree in White guiltology is a bad idea.

    But the harsh truth is that you are better off coming from a family of plumbers than getting your sociology degree or your chemical engineering degree. I would pity someone with any type of chemistry degree. There is an overestimation of how many specialized jobs the economy can produce. Just because something requires high level math does not mean there are endless jobs available.

    The colleges are ran by fuzzy headed group thinking liberals that just jump on one trend to the next. Very few seem capable of thinking about sustainable economics.

    No one gets how many chemical engineering grads are churned out ever year. I’m sorry but most of the system is a lie and no one is taking a close look at it. Everyone has bought into this idea that higher education = always good and fixes inequality. Architects are a dime a dozen right now. Vets in rural areas make less than truck drivers because the market is saturated. I know someone with a chem degree that had to switch to tech and he has to beg for his livelihood. Meanwhile the construction contractors in my area are in such high demand that they can set their own schedules and tell people to f off if they don’t like it. So neither of you are accurately describing the current situation. The smart people often drop out of the system entirely and install countertops part time. Maybe they should be solving equations but that isn’t the reality we live in.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Rosie
    , @Hibernian
  46. Twinkie says:
    @nebulafox

    like the kind of happy a dog is when you chuck him a steak

    Or a frisbee. Some dogs love to work more than eat steak. Crazy, I know. But for certain breeds of dogs, work is the steak! Some humans are the same as you indicate above. Steak is just a bonus.

    More to the point, if you like math and computers, you can find a well paid job somewhere, provided you are not a complete basketcase (a small but non-trivial minority) in terms of work habits and connections. The only stumbling block tends to be social skills and networks for some people.

    Yes, indeed. And those “social skills and and networks” determine whether you make “decent” money or killer bank. But the employability is there, either way.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  47. Twinkie says:
    @John Johnson

    Everyone has bought into this idea that higher education = always good and fixes inequality… So neither of you are accurately describing the current situation.

    You clearly don’t read my comments. German-style three-tier secondary education system is my hobby horse around these parts and I tout it constantly.

    Under that system, there would be far fewer university graduates (STEM or otherwise) and many more pupils would be channeled into the middle-tier high schools and eventually to technical apprenticeships.

    I am also the same person who constantly mentions the shortage of technical workers – HVAC technicians, auto mechanics, pest-control specialist, master plumbers, etc., still very well-paid jobs precisely because of the very shortage – due to our distorted obsession with “sending everyone to college.”

    So try to understand and know what your interlocutor is about before you opine in broad brush strokes.

    The smart people often drop out of the system entirely and install countertops part time.

    But this is a hyperbole. What’s “smart” and “often” here?

    Maybe they should be solving equations but that isn’t the reality we live in.

    “smart” people don’t just “solve equations” sitting at some university (well, they sort of do elsewhere) – they work on Wall Street or work as a product manager for Raytheon or as a lead engineer for Google. Such people aren’t dropping out “entirely” and “install[ing] countertops.”

  48. @dfordoom

    I suspect that liberals are more likely to say they’re unhappy. To say you’re unhappy demonstrates your virtue. How you can be happy when systemic racism and sexism and homophobia still exist? Being happy might well be proof that you’re racist, sexist and homophobic.

    It’s perfectly understandable to be skeptical of any self-reporting study where people are asked to rate their own feelings.

    But I have no doubt that conservatives are on average happier than liberals.

    I have spent too much time around both groups.

    Too many liberals are about politics first and satisfaction second. That isn’t a recipe for happiness.

    Or in other words they have a harder time tuning out politics and doing what they enjoy.

    Conservatives can spend time with family or go and golf without thinking about politics.

    The happy liberals I have come across tend to be the free-spirited type that truly want what is best for everyone. They tend to be naïve but are well meaning and will consider your point of view. Most liberals however are bitter malcontents that hide behind a mask of equality and would lock us all up if they could.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    , @dfordoom
    , @Hibernian
  49. @Twinkie

    Fluency in Hindi ensures longevity. Or maybe just survivability ’til retirement.
    And Mandarin.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  50. @Jay Fink

    I score near the bottom for all psychological disorders yet am attracted to extreme politics.

    LOL. Since you have all psychological disorders, albeit at a low level, it’s no surprise you are attracted extreme politics!!

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  51. Twinkie says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    Fluency in Hindi ensures longevity.

    Hindi is not widely spoken in Bangalore or elsewhere in southern India.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  52. Realist says:
    @Rosie

    Evidently they are not, else most STEM grads wouldn’t be taking work outside their field.

    How about a citation?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  53. @Rosie

    [M]ost STEM grads are not working in their field.

    I am a U.S. STEM grad. I work in my field, but as far as I can tell you are right: the majority don’t.

    On the other hand, most of the ones that don’t still find their way to pretty good jobs. STEM curricula tend to filter out useless persons; but if you don’t earn a master’s degree in STEM, you’re probably drift away from a STEM career—or never start such a career in the first place.

    The United States does seem to be overproducing STEMs.

    • Replies: @Wency
    , @Twinkie
    , @Johann Ricke
  54. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    Much of that has to do with immigration, H1B visas,

    If you look at the horrific chart in the article I linked, you’ll see that there are too many STEM grads competing for too few job openings. The fact that foreigners are taking many of those scarce positions only aggravates the problem, but it is not the source of the problem.

    I believe that first part is exactly what I was saying, and I never wrote anything about it solving any socio-economic problems that exist in the country today. You certainly seem to love punching hysterically at imaginary targets (which means you punch the air a lot).

    I wasn’t talking to you, Twinkles. My post was a response to someone else.

    Which humanities programs are rigorous?

    The traditional humanities are all rigorous, but especially philosophy. Philosophy majors are the smartest.

    What is your educational and employment background?

    I’m not going to get into that.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @res
  55. Rosie says:
    @John Johnson

    Architects are a dime a dozen right now. Vets in rural areas make less than truck drivers because the market is saturated. I know someone with a chem degree that had to switch to tech and he has to beg for his livelihood.

    That’s so sad.

    Meanwhile the construction contractors in my area are in such high demand that they can set their own schedules and tell people to f off if they don’t like it.

    Good luck trying to get an electrician to return a damned phone call.

  56. nebulafox says:
    @Twinkie

    I have met highly educated South Indians who spoke Hindi fluently, but refused to speak it if strangers posed them questions in the language. I got the impression that English held the status it did among educated people not least because it was neutral territory that did not offend any one ethnic group.

    Re, the above, yeah: I am one of those people. But this attraction is much more akin to a drug addict than to being cold, calculating emotionless robot, though. Maybe another example would be an excited dog. But the point is it is nothing like being the smiling processing automaton that is envisioned. You get the same rush that other men might get from picking up a woman or fixing a ventilation system or scaling a mountain or killing somebody in combat… or screwing someone else over or lording power over others. Every man has their own area of obsessive, intense intensity. They need to hit it somewhat, or one of two things happen: they either get really nasty to be around or will turn to ways to turn that drive off, to smother it.

    This is something the modern managerial/HR class tends to really not understand or like, IMO. They fear it. And while you cannot let these passions get out of control, stifling them is worse. It is part of why America is less a culture that builds and more one where you get the boss to side with you these days. Work is increasingly encompassing more of life simultaneously, too, and is getting politicized, too. No wonder video games have become such a problem.

  57. nebulafox says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    I do, too, but I find extreme, overt politicization a turn off. I still cannot comprehend someone who would sacrifice friendships, lovers, and above all family to something most Americans have no say in, and on top of that, local actions are a lot more important in terms of broader solutions. Because everybody is obsessed with what goes on in Babylon On The Patomac, they do not pay attention to their local pols not doing their jobs.

    I have become more radicalized over the last year, granted, but that is a response to people who clearly loathe me and people I love more than anything else. Coupled with an aversion to the mix of preening, self-serving, effete moralizing and sheer, gross venality/incompetence that animates our ruling class. I could have gotten fired for being a minute late on my bathroom break. Fauci does not even get a reprimand for messing up during a pandemic, and the literati’s pandemic stances are memory holed. It is sick.

  58. Wency says:
    @A123

    I think this is extraordinarily stupid of the Amish. Historically they usually didn’t vote. It’s much better for their sake that they be a neutral group that no one really notices and everyone finds kind of odd and amusing. Even for my and my family’s sake, I’d much rather they continue making lots of babies and providing a possible demographic reserve and model of traditional living for core America rather than trying and failing to tip PA for the Republicans.

    My guess is that sooner or later, the left will move to break the Amish if it considers them a threat. Most likely they will accomplish this by forbidding them from attending their own schools and requiring them to have 12+ years of public education. Maybe social services will also step in and require that all homes with children be electrified and have Internet access.

    • Agree: Rosie
    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @dfordoom
  59. Wency says:
    @V. K. Ovelund

    For smart and ambitious engineers, you usually want to break out of engineering and ultimately get to management. So I wonder if working as an executive for a tech company counts as “not in their field”. The same could be said about investment bankers, consultants, and attorneys who work with technology companies but whose STEM background is still an asset. Really, large areas of finance could be considered working “in your field” as a STEM graduate.

    I don’t think I know any STEM graduates who don’t do any of these things, or who at least didn’t do any of those things as a key stepping stone in their career. I do know one guy who went back for his philosophy Ph.D. in middle age, but I viewed that as a semi-retirement for him. He built enough savings with his STEM career that he could still live comfortably while dicking around in the humanities for the rest of his life.

  60. Wency says:

    I’m curious how big a religious factor there is in these stats. It’s well known, I think especially in the US, that more religious people report greater happiness. I wonder what the stats look like for secular conservatives vs. secular liberals.

    For liberals, as others have noted, politics is so often their religion. It doesn’t have the tools for bringing happiness that a real religion does though. It doesn’t encourage tight-knit community, strong families, or happy marriages — it in fact undermines all those things. And it offers no prospects for optimism as you face old age and death — only bitterness at all those conservatives who kept your dreams from coming true. But the same might be at least somewhat true for extreme rightists who place politics on too high a pedestal.

  61. nebulafox says:
    @Wency

    >For smart and ambitious engineers, you usually want to break out of engineering and ultimately get to management.

    Not everybody wants to be a manager.

    If the tradeoff is between making 20K to do math/computer stuff and 1 million to make PowerPoints, I’ll take the million-if only to do that for a couple of years, save so much money that I never have to work another day in my life, and I can then do whatever I want without restriction. If the tradeoff is between making 200K to do math/computer stuff and 1 million to make PowerPoints, though, I’ll take the 200K-especially if a family’s coming and the model’s got to be more sustainable.

    • Replies: @Wency
  62. Wency says:
    @nebulafox

    Sure, I’ve seen it in engineers more than once. But hence my qualifier “ambitious”. The most ambitious people always want to be in charge of the people who make things with their hands — they’re not the ones that actually do the making. Usually the people who are best at making things are somewhat monomaniacally obsessed with doing that and only that.

    There’s also a tradeoff here between corporate gigs and entrepreneurialism. Sometimes ambitious people leave high-paying corporate gigs in order to start companies and become even bigger. When unambitious people start companies, it’s usually a lower-risk endeavor pursued mainly for lifestyle reasons, and to get out of the nastiness of corporate life. I’ve known people who start companies for both reasons, and I’m not saying one is necessarily better than the other.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  63. Rosie says:
    @Realist

    From the article I quoted in Comment #43.

    For example, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 33% of engineering graduates between the ages of 25-64 were working in engineering occupations in 2012, while the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reported in 2013 that 77.4% of engineering and engineering technology graduates were working in a job related to their major. This same report found that 73.2% of computer and information science (CIS) graduates were employed in a job related to their major, and noted that both CIS and engineering graduates had lower unemployment rates than the general college graduate population as a whole.

    I trust the USCB more than the “Information Technology and Innovation Foundation,” which appears to be some sort of interest group. But even if you accept their numbers, one would have to conclude that the job market for entering graduates is terrible. I suspect that part of the discrepancy has to do with jobs now requiring STEM degrees that didn’t in the recent past, simply because employers are trying to whittle the deluge of resumes they get for any decent job opening.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  64. Rosie says:
    @Wency

    My guess is that sooner or later, the left will move to break the Amish if it considers them a threat.

    They would be much better off flying below radar.

  65. nebulafox says:
    @Wency

    I’d label them a different kind of ambitious. It does take a bit of arrogance in your soul to create your own operating system as much as it does in science research. There’s actually a weird mix of humility and arrogance that you need to keep yourself sustainable. 😉

    But yeah, I’d agree that it comes down to personality in the end. I’ve known also known plenty of high-horsepower, Type-A guys who’d launch startups, but then hand over the keys to MBA types in exchange for a nice profit when things became too big and bureaucratic for their tastes. Sometimes the ambition is more satisfied in the chase than the maintenance of power.

    • Replies: @anon
  66. anon[232] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox

    It does take a bit of arrogance in your soul to create your own operating system

    Can you name a new operating system created in the last 40 years?

    Note: #define “New” in the “blank sheet” sense, not “took someone else’s work and dinked on it” sense.

    /tangent

  67. @Wency

    For smart and ambitious engineers, you usually want to break out of engineering and ultimately get to management. So I wonder if working as an executive for a tech company counts as “not in their field”.

    My observation is anecdotal. I lack hard figures in any case. I might be wrong.

    One just seems to meet remarkable proportion of reasonably successful men in the U.S. with STEM bachelor’s (though not master’s) degrees and yet with careers that have subsequently diverted onto a tangent, such as medicine, law, finance, building construction and occasionally sales. (Some diversions are more likely than others. STEM grads rarely switch to media, entertainment, politics, hospitality or law enforcement, for example, as far as I know.)

    It is not uncommon for a U.S. STEM grad to work two years after the bachelor’s degree and then to go to MBA school. I suppose that that isn’t really a career diversion. Maybe building construction is not precisely a career diversion, either. Your point is taken.

    A frequent diversion is to computer programming. That may not be the field for the STEM grad originally graduated but it’s still a STEM field, isn’t it? Upon reflection, my observation might not hold up.

    • Replies: @A123
  68. dfordoom says: • Website
    @John Johnson

    But I have no doubt that conservatives are on average happier than liberals.

    Another problem with these surveys is that it’s not at all clear which groups we’re talking about. Are they talking about Democrats, liberals or leftists? Those groups overlap but they’re not the same thing. Mao was a leftist but he was hardly a liberal. Hillary Clinton is a Democrat but describing her as a leftist is a bit of a stretch.

    And are we talking about Republicans, right-wingers or conservatives? Are we talking about social conservatives or “fiscal conservatives”? Are we differentiating between religious conservatives and secular conservatives? Trump is a Republican president but he’s a social liberal.

    Are we classifying libertarians as liberals or conservatives? Many vote Republican but they are in reality extreme liberals.

    To say anything meaningful on this subject you have to differentiate between all these different groups. Because they are very different groups of people.

  69. dfordoom says: • Website
    @John Johnson

    Too many liberals are about politics first and satisfaction second. That isn’t a recipe for happiness.

    Or in other words they have a harder time tuning out politics and doing what they enjoy.

    Conservatives can spend time with family or go and golf without thinking about politics.

    Isn’t it truer to say that people who are obsessed by politics (whatever their politics might be) are less happy than people who don’t care very much about politics?

    I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the least happy people today are SJWs and dissident rightists.

  70. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    I think this is extraordinarily stupid of the Amish. Historically they usually didn’t vote. It’s much better for their sake that they be a neutral group that no one really notices and everyone finds kind of odd and amusing.

    Yep. And conservative religious group (not just Christian sects) that wants to opt out of modern society is in the same position. Their only hope of survival is to have zero involvement in politics. If they try to play politics they will not be permitted to survive.

    My guess is that sooner or later, the left will move to break the Amish if it considers them a threat. Most likely they will accomplish this by forbidding them from attending their own schools and requiring them to have 12+ years of public education. Maybe social services will also step in and require that all homes with children be electrified and have Internet access.

    Agreed. Crushing groups like the Amish would be child’s play and if liberals decide to crush them they can do it very very easily by such methods.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  71. Hibernian says:
    @John Johnson

    Job prospects have always been better for chemical engineers than for chemists.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  72. Hibernian says:
    @John Johnson

    The happy liberals I have come across tend to be the free-spirited type that truly want what is best for everyone. They tend to be naïve but are well meaning and will consider your point of view. Most liberals however are bitter malcontents that hide behind a mask of equality and would lock us all up if they could.

    The former are a small portion of the followers of left wing movements. The later are not only most of the followers but all of the leaders.

  73. @Wency

    For smart and ambitious engineers, you usually want to break out of engineering and ultimately get to management.

    No you don’t unless you want to spend your life at the office.

    Everyone wants to be the manager until they realize you don’t just clock out at 5.

    Thank money worshiping politicians on both sides for allowing companies to overwork salaried positions.

    Salaried = serfdom with money you will never have time to spend.

  74. @Hibernian

    Job prospects have always been better for chemical engineers than for chemists.

    Yes but only because there is a surplus of chem majors.

    There are more jobs for chemical engineers but they have to move to a handful of states where the large chemical companies are based.

    It’s not like they can move to Boise or Redding and just pull up craiglist for a job.

  75. A123 says:
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Your summary is reasonable.

    STEM graduates cover a huge amount of ground by field. And, as you point out, PhD STEM degree holders are very different from Bachelors.

    Even for those with the same degree there are:
    — Very geeky personalities that are only comfortable around others like them selves. These folks tend to grow expertise in their University discipline.
    — Less eccentric personalities that share common interests with the rest of the population including non-degree holders. These people have more scope to look at other options.

    I made the jump from STEM work at STEM company to the Finance Department at that company. My Finance boss has never had me standing outside, in the rain, and the wind, at midnight, when it is 40°F trying to supervise multiple teams of maintenance contractors that have an uncanny ability to do something completely unexpected, and sometimes dangerously wrong, as soon as your back is turned. (1)

    Because STEM degrees teach “How to Think About Complex Systems”, the core mental disciplines that I acquired are actually quite useful. Multinational Financial Reporting is also a very complex combination of systems and manual tasks.
    ___

    One minor tweak to your description. Very few STEM degree holders convert all the way over to true programming / coding jobs. The gain there is more for Business Analyst, Project Management, and/or Relationship Management. Converting the specialized business jargon and requirements into something that coders can understand (and vice-versa) is a high value add.

    PEACE 😇

    [MORE]

    (1) Most common words spoken to Maintenance Contractors — Except I would start, “Dear God Why?”
     

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  76. @dfordoom

    Agreed. Crushing groups like the Amish would be child’s play and if liberals decide to crush them they can do it very very easily by such methods.

    If the US goes full big brother the liberals would have to eventually break up the Amish because they would be too far ahead in metrics like education and self-control.

    You can’t spend a trillion on government programs and theories only to have some 17th century tech farmers do a better job of civilizing people.

    I don’t think the US will get to that point however. Liberalism is based on egalitarian fraud and will eventually crack unless they find a way to control the internet within 10-15 years.

  77. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    The traditional humanities are all rigorous, but especially philosophy. Philosophy majors are the smartest.

    Your table seems to indicate that several of the STEM majors are the most selective while philosophy may be the most among non-STEM majors. Selectivity, of course, is not the same thing as rigor of an academic program; nor does it indicate superior vocational training or future employability. Moreover, while in that particular table, philosophy majors seem to have the highest combined verbal-quantitative score, it has lower average quantitative score than several other non-STEM majors, let alone STEM majors.

    Lastly, I’d like to know the source of this data since the actual data from the College Board seems to be different:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-average-sat-score-for-every-college-major-2014-10

    (I’ll append the tables below).

    I wasn’t talking to you, Twinkles. My post was a response to someone else.

    Then why did you put that in response to my comment and why did you write that after quoting me?

    there are too many STEM grads competing for too few job openings

    Nowhere does any of your comment contain any data relevant to that claim. Let me post some real numbers here that is indicative of the desirability of STEM degrees in the real world:

    Indeed, read the entire source article here: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/09/7-facts-about-the-stem-workforce/

    And read this research from the Bureau of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2017/science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-occupations-past-present-and-future/pdf/science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-occupations-past-present-and-future.pdf

    The report makes it quite clear that STEM jobs have had higher than average growth and have higher compensation. Indeed, they’d be much higher still if one discounts such occupations as biological, survey, forestry technicians and the like.

    Now the SAT scores for various college majors:

    Ranked by combined score:
    https://i.insider.com/5447f5406bb3f727408b4569?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    Ranked by critical reading:
    https://i.insider.com/5447f61969bedd6f0f758aa6?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    Ranked by math:
    https://i.insider.com/5447f6beeab8ea73768ac6ba?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    Ranked by reading:
    https://i.insider.com/5447f77169bedd5a0f758aae?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    Nowhere is philosophy close to top, even among non-STEM majors.

    The data seem to be from 2014.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @res
  78. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    But even if you accept their numbers, one would have to conclude that the job market for entering graduates is terrible.

    the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reported in 2013 that 77.4% of engineering and engineering technology graduates were working in a job related to their major. This same report found that 73.2% of computer and information science (CIS) graduates were employed in a job related to their major, and noted that both CIS and engineering graduates had lower unemployment rates than the general college graduate population as a whole.

    Those numbers are actually quite high. How many philosophy majors are working in their own fields? And the last sentence directly contradict your assertion.

  79. The problem with that type of employment data is that it doesn’t tell us as to how many of those STEM grads are using their degrees or would be more likely to be employed anyways.

    Meaning the person that got the comp sci degree would probably be more likely than average to find employment even as a high school graduate.

    People that have good logical or critical thinking skills are better at choosing paths based on what is available.

    So there is a giant politically incorrect aspect to all this.

  80. Twinkie says:
    @V. K. Ovelund

    The United States does seem to be overproducing STEMs.

    Compensation data contradict that assertion. And without immigration and H1B visas and such, it would be doubly untrue.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @V. K. Ovelund
  81. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    The IQ estimates (based on combined verbal and math scores) are from the educational testing service. It confirms previous estimates of average IQ by college major. Indeed, to normal people, the idea that philosophy majors would have an excellent combination of verbal/math aptitude would seem to be common sense.

    https://thetab.com/us/2017/04/10/which-major-has-highest-iq-64811

    Data about salaries are irrelevant to the question of how likely a graduate is to find employment in their field.

    On that point:

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  82. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    Compensation data contradict that assertion.

    This is so silly. Experienced workers who graduated at a different time have no relevance to the job prospects of students graduating now.

    • Replies: @iffen
  83. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    Indeed, to normal people, the idea that philosophy majors would have an excellent combination of verbal/math aptitude would seem to be common sense.

    2014 data from the College Board I linked contradicts your claim. Scores of the philosophy majors are above average, but are not top-tier, and certainly not top among non-STEM majors (multi-disciplinary, English/literature, foreign language, etc. all have higher scores, combined or otherwise).

    Again, whatever the scores may be, this measures cognitive selectivity – it has little to do with the rigor of the academic programs in question. I’m still waiting for evidence of philosophy undergraduate programs providing marketable skills equal to STEM degrees.

    Data about salaries are irrelevant to the question of how likely a graduate is to find employment in their field.

    Not directly, but high salaries indicate scarcity and scarcity lowers barrier to entry. You do know how the basic supply and demand curves work, right?

    Your last graph is rather useless without comparisons to non-STEM job openings. Moreover, STEM graduates have the option of working in ostensibly non-STEM fields (while on average getting paid more than their non-STEM major peers in the same fields, i.e. $70,885 vs. $60,000 – see the second set of graphs from my earlier comment). The reverse is not equally true.

    And the following have actual data, not projections:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6cPcZtAe7r0/TQ9OrsWkleI/AAAAAAAAAK8/pJEwSbYP2LU/s1600/jobsvgrads.bmp

    *Unsurprisingly “life sciences” is a category highly dominated by women and have relatively lowly paid jobs such as medical technicians (that are indeed oversupplied).

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Rosie
  84. Twinkie says:
    @Twinkie

    I found it amusing that this was posted in response to the question “Where can philosophy take me?” at a college philosophy department website.

    And the caption says:

    (From New York Times, Nov 3, 2017: the point here is to look at the spread. Many STEM majors make no more over a lifetime than some Humanities majors)

    Followed by:

    Career Opportunities
    Philosophy is the ultimate “transferable work skill.”

    I don’t know about all that, but the philosophy major who wrote this ought to improve his graph reading skills.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @JohnnyWalker123
  85. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    You’re an insufferable bore, Twinkles. Notice how everyone but you has abandoned this argument as lost?

    2014 data from the College Board I linked contradicts your claim. Scores of the philosophy majors are above average, but are not top-tier, and certainly not top among non-STEM majors (multi-disciplinary, English/literature, foreign language, etc. all have higher scores, combined or otherwise).

    No, it doesn’t, Twinkles. It’s the same data. Philosophy majors have the very highest verbal scores, and quantitative scores higher than any majors not directly related to math.

    Again, whatever the scores may be, this measures cognitive selectivity

    So what, Twinkles?

    it has little to do with the rigor of the academic programs in question.

    Twinkles, are you telling me that you think philosophy is not rigorous? If so, you are showing your total ignorance of Anglo-American philosophical method.

    I’m still waiting for evidence of philosophy undergraduate programs providing marketable skills equal to STEM degrees.

    Twinkles, noone declares a major in philosophy thinking they’re going to get a job directly related to their field. There is no full court press hyping a “philosophy shortage” leading people to think they’ll be in demand for lucrative jobs. If there were, I assure you I would be the first to object.

    That said, I would imagine that philosophy majors use their education every single day for the rest of their lives.

    Not directly, but high salaries indicate scarcity and scarcity lowers barrier to entry. You do know how the basic supply and demand curves work, right?

    No, Twinkles, high salaries do not indicate scarcity of the type you claim. Do you know what the average salary for lawyers is? It’s upwards of 100K a year. Nonetheless, law schools are closing because there are no jobs for new grads. Experienced trial attorneys and prestigious law firms will always command a premium, that has nothing to do with the prospects of new, inexperienced entrants.

    Your last graph is rather useless without comparisons to non-STEM job openings.

    Twinkles, you are lumping all STEM degrees together. Clearly, there are some STEM fields that are in high demand. Likewise, there are some STEM fields that are not, the chief benefit of these being the same sort of general analytical and communication abilities you can acquire as well by studying humanities. Everyone but you has taken this point and moved on.

    (while on average getting paid more than their non-STEM major peers in the same fields, i.e. $70,885 vs. $60,000 –

    Twinkles, this is the same fallacy of causation that has inflated this whole ridiculous degree-seeking higher ed bubble.

    Growth, projected or actual, only matters to the extent that supply doesn’t wildly exceed demand Twinkles.

    I would imagine that less growth is expected in elementary education, but then fewer people pursue this field, so these students have better prospects. See how that works?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  86. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    OK, Twinkles, if you want to talk about rigor, philosophy majors are absolutely dominant in BOTH the verbal and analytical writing portions of the graduate record exam. In quantitative reasoning, they are obviously beaten out by physical scientists and various species of bean counter. Of course, philosophy students don’t have to actually take much math in college, so that is to be expected.

    https://www.physicscentral.com/buzz/blog/index.cfm?postid=5112019841346388353

    • Replies: @Rosie
  87. iffen says:
    @Rosie

    So what was your field of study and did you complete the requirements for a degree?

  88. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Twinkles, the data the ETS relied on to extrapolate the average IQ of various majors was indeed based on the. GRE, not the SAT, so your objection that philosophy programs are more selective but not equally rigorous is totally unfounded. The ETS based their estimates on intended graduate major, not undergraduate major. Nonetheless, the usual path to a graduate degree in philosophy is an undergraduate degree in philosophy.

    It would appear that undergraduate philosophy programs are weeding out some of the untended philosophy majors who take the SAT.

  89. @Twinkie

    Compensation data contradict that assertion. And without immigration and H1B visas and such, it would be doubly untrue.

    My anecdotes have been met here with competing anecdotes and moreover, significantly, with countering data, including yours. I had merely been offering my impression, since I personally happen to know literally hundreds of STEM grads.

    It appears that my anecdotes and impression may have been incorrect this time. Thank you for the interesting data.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  90. what I don’t get is why the gap existed even in 1970.

  91. Bill says:
    @Rosie

    You claimed STEM graduates were not employable. Because you are stupid? Because you are dishonest? Who knows.

    Now you are babbling incoherently about general equilibrium effects and the difference between exchange value and use value. The great thing about incoherence is that at least it isn’t false.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  92. @V. K. Ovelund

    The United States does seem to be overproducing STEMs.

    I don’t think it’s physically possible. Not everyone’s cut for STEM. In fact, only a tiny minority are cut out for STEM. Certainly nowhere near the number of open positions.

    • LOL: Rosie
  93. res says:
    @Rosie

    So you use a chart sorted by verbal SAT to make a judgment about the overall intelligence of STEM majors relative to those in the humanities. LOL!

    If you have a moment you might skim down to “Physics and Astronomy” and “Mathematical Sciences” and then reconsider your comment.

    Philosophy majors are the smartest.

    No question philosophy majors tend to be smart, but you might want to pay a little attention to the quant SAT column as well. Perhaps after that we can talk about the ceiling of the math SAT relative to the averages we see for STEM majors. (that would be the kind of quantitative reasoning which I think is being discussed as valued here)

    • Replies: @Rosie
  94. res says:
    @Twinkie

    Moreover, while in that particular table, philosophy majors seem to have the highest combined verbal-quantitative score, it has lower average quantitative score than several other non-STEM majors, let alone STEM majors.

    Twinkie, you are better than that. Take another look at that chart and notice which column it is sorted on. Then look at the combined scores again.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  95. @Twinkie

  96. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    It’s the same data. Philosophy majors have the very highest verbal scores, and quantitative scores higher than any majors not directly related to math.

    Here are, again, the SAT “critical reading” scores by college majors: https://i.insider.com/5447f61969bedd6f0f758aa6?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    Philosophy is 8th behind multi/interdisciplinary studies, English, social sciences, library science, physical sciences, foreign languages, and liberal arts.

    Now ranked by “writing”: https://i.insider.com/5447f77169bedd5a0f758aae?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    Philosophy is 10th behind multi/interdisciplinary studies, English, social sciences, foreign languages, physical sciences, liberal arts, mathematics, biological sciences, and undecideds.

    And ranked by “mathematics”: https://i.insider.com/5447f6beeab8ea73768ac6ba?width=1300&format=jpeg&auto=webp

    Philosphy is ranked 13th behind mathematics, multi/interdisciplinary studies, physical sciences, engineering, computer science, biological sciences, social sciences, undecideds, foreign languages, liberal arts, architecture, and engineering techs.

    Twinkles, are you telling me that you think philosophy is not rigorous? If so, you are showing your total ignorance of Anglo-American philosophical method.

    This is simply a non sequitur and an assertion without evidence. And, no, in today’s American academia, I don’t believe that philosophy undergraduate programs are as rigorous as, say, physics or electrical engineering. Nor do I think the former provides marketable skills as the latter. Certainly the projected income figures seem to bear that out.

    By the way, what is “Anglo-American philosophical method”? One of my wife’s friends married a philosophy Ph.D. (who couldn’t find a job in academia and ended up teaching English in high school), and I recall him going on about how superior philosophy was at German universities.

    Twinkles, noone declares a major in philosophy thinking they’re going to get a job directly related to their field. There is no full court press hyping a “philosophy shortage” leading people to think they’ll be in demand for lucrative jobs.

    No, there isn’t. In fact, only a tiny fraction of people study philosophy and end up working in the field – as I alluded above, even Ph.D.’s in philosophy have to compete for a minuscule number of teaching jobs at universities, the vast majority end up doing other things (some even end up working retail). That doesn’t exactly communicate “marketable skills,” does it? It’s a field with virtually no job market (hence the very limited number of students who major in it).

    That said, I would imagine that philosophy majors use their education every single day for the rest of their lives.

    By that logic, everyone should major in English – we’ll all end up “using our education for the rest of our lives.” Here back in reality, knowledge in, and ability to utilize, say, regression analysis is far more valued in the job market than being able to explicate forth about Benthamism.

    No, Twinkles, high salaries do not indicate scarcity of the type you claim. Do you know what the average salary for lawyers is? It’s upwards of 100K a year. Nonetheless, law schools are closing because there are no jobs for new grads. Experienced trial attorneys and prestigious law firms will always command a premium, that has nothing to do with the prospects of new, inexperienced entrants.

    Because I have basic numeracy, I like to use median salary figures rather than mean salaries since the median is less subject to the distorting effects of extremely low or high salaries of a few (in fact, median vs. mean differences give you very good clue about distribution). And, indeed, I have been reading and hearing that the legal market is oversaturated with lawyers recently. I suppose that explains why being a lawyer is only ranked 50th out of 100 “best jobs”: https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/the-100-best-jobs

    Moreover, despite having a doctorate (3 years of post-graduate education), the median salary for lawyers is $120,910 while a financial manager (#27) with a bachelor’s degree commands a median salary of $127,990 (ah, numeracy strikes again!). Forget about the actual doctors whose median earnings far exceed both (which should give you a rather clear indication about the respective scarcity in the job market). So the job market seems to be operating normally and is determining compensation appropriately as the demand-supply curves dictate.

    But all is not lost for J.D.’s – to my surprise, the unemployment rate for lawyers is a shockingly low 0.9% and the prospective future openings are over 50,000.

    Clearly, there are some STEM fields that are in high demand. Likewise, there are some STEM fields that are not, the chief benefit of these being the same sort of general analytical and communication abilities you can acquire as well by studying humanities.

    Yes, clearly STEM educated workers are higher in demand than non-STEM educated workers. But it isn’t because of “general analytical abilities” – it’s because of numeracy. In today’s job market in which virtually all the growth is occurring in high-tech/information technology/healthcare, quantitative and scientific skills are in high demand, the very skills and knowledge that “studying humanities” does not provide. And I write that, regrettably, as a product of that humanities education.

    Growth, projected or actual, only matters to the extent that supply doesn’t wildly exceed demand Twinkles.

    Show us the respective growth and supply curves of STEM-related and humanities-related jobs and tertiary education students that lend evidence to your assertion. Currently, the unemployed vs. job number is significantly higher among non-STEM graduates than STEM graduates as one of the graphs I embedded in an earlier comment shows (which you ignored – but that’s par for the course with you).

    this whole ridiculous degree-seeking higher ed bubble.

    Yes, there is a high ed bubble, but it’s coming from degrees with low marketable skills, not from students flocking to electrical engineering and applied mathematics.

    if you want to talk about rigor, philosophy majors are absolutely dominant in BOTH the verbal and analytical writing portions of the graduate record exam. In quantitative reasoning, they are obviously beaten out by physical scientists and various species of bean counter.

    You keep confusing aptitude selectivity with academic rigor (compare the curriculum for philosophy and theoretical physics and tell me that they are of similar academic rigor with a straight face – we can run a simply test by giving you excerpts from each and see if you understand both equally).

    Yes, you are correct that philosophy majors seem to have the highest verbal and writing scores on the GRE. I wouldn’t use the term “absolutely dominant,” however. In verbal, the mean for philosophy is 159, and is closely followed by other majors such as physics (156), political science (157), arts-history/theory (157), English (157), foreign languages (156), history (156), other humanities (157), and religion (158).

    In GRE writing, philosophy majors have a mean of 4.3 and are followed by political science (4.2), arts-history/theory (4.1), English (4.2), history (4.1), other humanities (4.1), and religion (4.2).

    In GRE quantitative, philosophy has a mean of 154, and is exceeded by almost all life and physical science majors (12 majors), the highest three being mathematics (163), physics (162), and materials engineering (162). In non-STEM majors, it is exceeded by economics (160), banking & finance (161), and architecture (155).

    To summarize, the average GRE scores seem to indicate that philosophy majors have a modest aptitude advantage in verbal and writing compared to other non-STEM majors and are behind STEM (and econ/banking) majors in quantitative by a wide margin. But there is a caveat – see below.*

    It would appear that undergraduate philosophy programs are weeding out some of the untended philosophy majors who take the SAT.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the number of philosophy test takers for GRE is 3088 while that for SAT is 3189, so there doesn’t seem to be much “weeding out” (there are many more SAT takers than GRE takers in general, so there is that factor to consider – see below*). And also notable is that the number of philosophy GRE test takers is quite small compared to other STEM and non-STEM majors. For example, despite the rigor of the physics curriculum, nearly 14,000 took the GRE. Other majors are comparatively large in the number of test takers: biology (74,500), health sciences (over 127,000), computer science (nearly 70,000), electrical engineering (almost 50,000), mechanical engineering (over 34,000), economics (over 18,000), political science (over 19,000), psychology (almost 70,000), English (over 13,000), business administration (almost 25,000), architecture (over 13,000), and communications (over 11,000).

    In all, GRE test takers in the larger categories were: life sciences (258,000), physical sciences (136,000), engineering (142,000), social and behavioral sciences (125,000), humanities & arts (37,600, including philosophy), education (37,500), business (56,000), law (701*), other fields (168,000).

    *Now the caveat – keep in mind that law schools require a separate test, the LSAT, as do medical schools (the MCAT) and business schools (the GMAT). Even accounting for some cross-over test takers, presumably these tests siphon away substantial numbers of high achieving college students who do not take the GRE (but took the SAT), so the GRE is a somewhat incomplete measure of average aptitude for majors (there are over 100,000 LSAT takers and another 100,000 MCAT takers as well as over 200,000 who take the GMAT annually).

    Twinkles

    I remember the first political science class I took. The professor had us analyze the frequency of certain words in the Melian Dialogue to intuit their salience to that time and place. In that one comment, you wrote “Twinkles” eight times! I wonder what salience this has and what it says about your comment output here. 😉

    • Replies: @Rosie
  97. Twinkie says:
    @res

    Take another look at that chart and notice which column it is sorted on.

    Yes, I made a mistake earlier – mathematics and physics majors have higher combined scores than philosophy majors in the chart Rosie provided. The latter have the highest mean verbal score and lag considerably in quantitative score in comparison to several STEM majors, especially mathematics and physics (again).

    I didn’t correct it, because I was skeptical of the table without any attribution and was able to track down and post a more solid set of tables from the College Board that showed that philosophy majors, while above average, don’t have top tier scores in the component sections of the SAT, hence my retort to Rosie:

    Philosophy is 8th [in average reading SAT score] behind multi/interdisciplinary studies, English, social sciences, library science, physical sciences, foreign languages, and liberal arts.

    Philosophy is 10th [in average writing score] behind multi/interdisciplinary studies, English, social sciences, foreign languages, physical sciences, liberal arts, mathematics, biological sciences, and undecideds.

    Philosphy is ranked 13th behind mathematics, multi/interdisciplinary studies, physical sciences, engineering, computer science, biological sciences, social sciences, undecideds, foreign languages, liberal arts, architecture, and engineering techs.

  98. Twinkie says:
    @V. K. Ovelund

    It appears that my anecdotes and impression may have been incorrect this time. Thank you for the interesting data.

    No, you were right on about STEM graduates being able to find jobs even in non-STEM fields (and get paid more than non-STEM graduates). The only thing you were off about was suggesting that the U.S. might be overproducing STEM graduates. We aren’t. That’s a part of the reason why foreign STEM graduates are filling a substantial portion of American STEM jobs (20-40% by education tiers). That goes double when you include medicine in STEM. We have considerable shortages in physicians and higher-tier and -trained nurses* (not the lower-tier produced by community colleges), and that’s why the health industry keeps pushing for more and more FMGs (foreign medical graduates), a field totally dominated by Indians in recent years.

    *Highly trained nurses such as nurse anesthetists now earn income on par with (and often exceeding) primary care physicians, because of cost-cutting measures, such as increasing the number of such nurses supervised by each (M.D.) anesthesiologist. In a few states, such nurses agitated for and obtained the ability to practice medicine without M.D. supervision, as well as the right to call themselves “doctors” in the clinical setting by obtaining doctorates in nursing.

  99. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    By the way, what is “Anglo-American philosophical method”? One of my wife’s friends married a philosophy Ph.D. (who couldn’t find a job in academia and ended up teaching English in high school), and I recall him going on about how superior philosophy was at German universities.

    Lol.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_philosophy

    By that logic, everyone should major in English – we’ll all end up “using our education for the rest of our lives.”

    Why yes, Twinkles. If you’re going to get a useless degree, you might as well pick something you enjoy. If that’s chemistry, knock yourself out.

    But all is not lost for J.D.’s – to my surprise, the unemployment rate for lawyers is a shockingly low 0.9% and the prospective future openings are over 50,000.

    Lol my achin’ dudes. You’re even dumber than I thought, Twinkles. Working at Hooters to pay that $1500/month student loan bill from law school? Why, all is not lost! You’re employed!

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Twinkie
  100. Rosie says:
    @res

    So you use a chart sorted by verbal SAT to make a judgment about the overall intelligence of STEM majors relative to those in the humanities. LOL!

    No question philosophy majors tend to be smart, but you might want to pay a little attention to the quant SAT column as well. Perhaps after that we can talk about the ceiling of the math SAT relative to the averages we see for STEM majors. (that would be the kind of quantitative reasoning which I think is being discussed as valued here)

    Good grief. There’s no need to be an a$$hole. I expect it from Twinkles, but not from you.

    First of all, if you look at the bottom of that chart, you’ll see that these are actually GRE scores, not SAT scores. And you are correct, there are exactly two groups with higher combined scores: mathematicians and cosmologists (i.e. Einstein types). Color me shocked!

    Although I didn’t intend to say that philosophy majors are the smartest of all rather than just the smartest humanities majors, the more I think about it, that may well be the case. Philosophy majors don’t have to take any math beyond the general requirement for any bachelor’s degree, so of course they’re going to lag. Some philosophers believe more math should be required for a philosophy degree, as Pythagoras no doubt would if he were alive today. In that case, I suspect you’d see a smaller gap or none at all. On the other hand, reading and writing are pervasive in college.

    So you use a chart sorted by verbal SAT to make a judgment about the overall intelligence of STEM majors relative to those in the humanities. LOL!

    I made no such claim. Of course, not having studied philosophy, you’re prone to jumping to illogical (and somewhat hysterical) conclusions about someone else’s point of view. (You asked for it!)

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Twinkie
  101. Rosie says:
    @Bill

    You claimed STEM graduates were not employable. Because you are stupid? Because you are dishonest? Who knows.

    A third option: I was only half-serious. Of course, STEM grads are employable, and so are humanities majors. The whole idea of employability rests on the sense of entitlement employers have to employees who have paid for their own training and are ready to hit the ground running.

    By that standard, most STEM graduates outside a handful of in-demand specialties are in fact hardly more employable than a humanities major. STEM majors have to go through exactly the same cost/benefit analysis as anyone about their degree. In most cases, that is going to mean that incurring significant debt for the degree is a risky if not reckless proposition. Indeed, after Disney got away with firing all those American tech workers and made them train their Indian replacements, one might wonder if it’s worth it at all.

    Hostile globalist elites are waging a war of extermination on the middle class, and all the exaggerated STEM hype is a distraction from that, a transparent attempt to blame the victim.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  102. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    I made no such claim.

    But now that you mention it…

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  103. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Here’s a handy infographic on the differences between analytic and continental philosophy.

    The diplomatic version:

    https://images.app.goo.gl/HCFxuphwFpqPuLUZ7

    The brutally honest version:

    View post on imgur.com

  104. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    If you’re going to get a useless degree, you might as well pick something you enjoy. If that’s chemistry, knock yourself out.

    Why would you make such a ridiculous remark equating all degrees as “useless”? Are you intentionally trying to damage your own credibility?

    This single chart alone shows clear differences in “marketability” among majors:

    The 10th percentile chemical engineering majors earn more than median philosophy majors.

    You’re even dumber than I thought, Twinkles. Working at Hooters to pay that $1500/month student loan bill from law school? Why, all is not lost! You’re employed!

    The median annual salary for lawyers is over $120,000. Now, given that the profession requires an advanced degree, that is not a very good number and seems to lend evidence to the idea that there is an oversupply of lawyers. Nonetheless, the last time I did arithmetic, $1500 x 12 ($18,000) does not equal $120,000. But since you are not as dumb as I am, perhaps your math is different.

    Unless, of course, you suddenly like unusual anecdotes as “evidence” for your assertions.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  105. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    Although I didn’t intend to say that philosophy majors are the smartest of all rather than just the smartest humanities majors, the more I think about it, that may well be the case.

    Nope. I checked the source data for the link posted for the GRE scores:

    https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide_table4.pdf

    To repeat: In GRE quantitative, philosophy has a mean of 154, and is exceeded by almost all life and physical science majors (12 majors), the highest three being mathematics (163), physics (162), and materials engineering (162). In non-STEM majors, it is exceeded by economics (160), banking & finance (161), and architecture (155).

    Philosophy majors don’t have to take any math beyond the general requirement for any bachelor’s degree, so of course they’re going to lag. Some philosophers believe more math should be required for a philosophy degree, as Pythagoras no doubt would if he were alive today. In that case, I suspect you’d see a smaller gap or none at all.

    This is what is known as an unwarranted assertion.

    First of all, the mean SAT scores of those intending to major philosophy show that they already lag in math scores coming into college. Incoming philosophy majors have the 8th and the 10th highest critical reading and writing scores, respectively, among all the majors, but have 13th highest math scores. In other words, this is a pool of students who are already above average in verbal aptitude but have mathematical aptitude below STEM majors, a pattern that the GRE replicates with greater bifurcation between reading and writing on one hand and quantitative on the other (philosophy 1st in reading and writing on average, but 16th in quantitative among majors).

    Second, I get the sense that you never took the GRE, because GRE does not test college-level math. It does not even test some high school level math (e.g. calculus). It is basically the same exam as the SAT and tests basic mathematical aptitude. So taking more advanced math courses as an undergraduate has no bearing on GRE quantitative scores.

    Third, although philosophy majors have the highest mean verbal and writing GRE scores, you should keep in mind the sampling size. Philosophy is a very niche major with a small number of students. It only accounts for 3,000 or so GRE test takers – in other words, they are highly selected in statistical terms (physics is not exactly a popular major either, but close to 14,000 physics majors took the GRE, let alone something like engineering with over 142,000 test takers).

    So, for example, while philosophy majors may have the highest average verbal GRE score among those who took the GRE, their number among those who scored the perfect 170 is smaller than that among physics majors (167 test takers vs. 252 for physics). Likewise, in writing, philosophy accounts for 352 of those who scored 5.5 and 6 while physics produced 503. In quantitative, 77 philosophy majors scored the perfect 170 while among physics majors 1,804 test takers achieved the same score.

    Finally, the GRE is an incomplete measure of respective undergraduate aptitudes, because (not factoring in cross-test takers) something like 400,000 test takers take the LSAT, the MCAT, and the GMAT. And that’s on top of the fact that of over 3.7 million college graduates only under 600,000 take the GRE. So the GRE test takers are hardly representative of all college graduates and average scores for the various majors are not as meaningful unless we know the percentages of each major two take the tests.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  106. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    A third option: I was only half-serious. Of course, STEM grads are employable, and so are humanities majors.

    Yes, we all know that you are not a serious commenter. So you’ve been just trolling.

    There are obviously employable people in both STEM and non-STEM, but the comparative patterns are pretty clear:

    That you can’t be bothered to acknowledge this basic and transparent fact says much.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  107. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    Why would you make such a ridiculous remark equating all degrees as “useless”? Are you intentionally trying to damage your own credibility?

    Twinkles, how exactly did you deduce from my statement that I think all degrees are useless? I said if you’re going to get a useless degree, get one in something you like.

    The median annual salary for lawyers is over $120,000. Now, given that the profession requires an advanced degree, that is not a very good number and seems to lend evidence to the idea that there is an oversupply of lawyers. Nonetheless, the last time I did arithmetic, $1500 x 12 ($18,000) does not equal $120,000. But since you are not as dumb as I am, perhaps your math is different.

    Unless, of course, you suddenly like unusual anecdotes as “evidence” for your assertions.

    Seriously, Twinkles, many bar admittees never, ever get a legal job. WTF is your problem in recognizing that? The data do not account for washouts. Nor do they account for the sticky wage phenomenon. High salaries for established professionals have nothing to do with job prospects for inexperienced new entrants.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  108. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    Finally, the GRE is an incomplete measure of respective undergraduate aptitudes, because (not factoring in cross-test takers) something like 400,000 test takers take the LSAT, the MCAT, and the GMAT. And that’s on top of the fact that of over 3.7 million college graduates only under 600,000 take the GRE. So the GRE test takers are hardly representative of all college graduates and average scores for the various majors are not as meaningful unless we know the percentages of each major two take the tests.

    “Incomplete measure” lol. The last refuge of a sore loser. Look, Twinkles, philosophy majors are on top in reading and writing. STEM is on top in math. Don’t take it so hard. One of three ain’t bad.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  109. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    High salaries for established professionals have nothing to do with job prospects for inexperienced new entrants.

    While very high salaries of a few at the top would raise the mean salary, it would not affect the median salary much, if at all.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  110. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    That you can’t be bothered to acknowledge this basic and transparent fact says much.

    No, Twinkles, the fact that you continue to refuse to acknowledge that many if not most STEM degrees are useless is is what speaks volumes. BTW, how many of those STEM jobs are temporary? From what I hear, it’s common to hire coders for temp gigs right out of college, after which these grads never get another job in their field as everything they learned in college is now “outdated.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  111. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    “Incomplete measure” lol.

    “lol” is not a very scientific or mathematical argument. Of roughly 3.7 million college graduates, only 600,000 take the GRE. Additional 400,000 take the LSAT, the MCAT, and the GMAT (not there there may be some cross test takers). In other words, using the GRE to evaluate the mean aptitudes of college majors suffers from a serious selection bias (something you would have learned, had you taken statistics). Put another way, it only measures the aptitudes of those college graduates who intend to go on to graduate programs not in law, medicine, or business.

    And that was only one of four criticisms I had of your unwarranted assertion.

    philosophy majors are on top in reading and writing. STEM is on top in math.

    That is EXACTLY what I wrote earlier. Where is the vaunted verbal aptitude?

    One of three ain’t bad.

    Sadly for you and me (well, more you), that one aptitude component is in far greater demand in today’s high tech economy.

    As I mentioned in the past, I am a lover of the traditional liberal arts education. I happen to believe that a well-balanced, learned ladies and gentleman should acquire a broad education in all the foundational subjects. But the world is not as I would have it. People these days use universities as vocational credentialing centers and the job market is pretty clear about wanting numeracy and quantitative analytical skills, even if at the expense of other foundational elements of education. On the other hand, I’d rather live in a society where engineers build bridges and explicate forth (perhaps) on Heidegger than in one, in which philosophy majors do.

  112. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    many if not most STEM degrees are useless

    This is a most vacuous and nebulous statement. What do you mean by “many” here? 10%, 50%, 90%?

    Are you suggesting that most STEM degrees are useless, but humanities degrees are rigorous and in high demand in the job market?

    From what I hear

    From what I hear, most philosophy majors can’t find jobs and end up doing retail and sundry other low-compensation jobs. That must be terribly psychically painful. Oh, wait, I have a chart for that.

    So what you heard was nothing but an anecdote, but what I heard is supported by statistical evidence.

    Funny enough, that was posted by a university philosophy department to demonstrate that “some” philosophy majors earn more money than “many” with other majors (“so there!”). Rather amusing, given that the bottom 10% of those with chemical engineering degrees make more money than about 75% of the philosophy majors. Again, numeracy.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  113. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    While very high salaries of a few at the top would raise the mean salary, it would not affect the median salary much, if at all.

    Twinkles, given your inability to comprehend English prose, I’m starting to think you are lying about your education and career.

    Seriously, I never said anything about exceptionally high salaries. High salaries for previous generations of law students are not the exception. They are the norm.

    As for new grads and their prospects, there are lies, damned lies, and law school statistics.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/87251/law-school-employment-harvard-yale-georgetown

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  114. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    I don’t know, Twinkles. Nor do I need to know. Here’s what I know: Only a quarter of STEM degree holders work in STEM, so evidently many STEM degrees are not marketable.

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/stem-crisis-or-stem-surplus-yes-and-yes.htm

    Unlike you, I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from majoring in this or that. I’m just saying that the fact that a degree is a STEM degree does not, by that fact alone, guarantee that the degree is a good bet. Further inquiry is needed in any case.

    Moreover, I seriously doubt your claim that non-STEM employers care about “numeracy” beyond advanced arithmetic. Higher mathematics, like the humanities, is of value primarily because it is interesting and brings joy. Yes, engineers use advanced math, but there just aren’t that many jobs for engineers as I have already documented above.

    Now, it is becoming increasingly obvious that you are being petulant and obtuse out of a desire to harass and demean me, Twinkles. I’m disinclined to engage further with you and would very much appreciate you leaving me alone. Perhaps someone else can chime in and provide some perspective on just exactly WTF your problem is, because Imhabe taken a very moderate position here, whereas you are dug in to an absolutist and indefensible position.

    That must be terribly psychically painful.

    No, that’s just you projecting your obsession with wealth and status onto others whom you do not understand.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  115. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    High salaries for previous generations of law students are not the exception. They are the norm.

    The legal profession has always had high variance in income due to the fact that most lawyers worked “normal” jobs (corporate legal counsel, etc.) and very high incomes were limited to the relatively few who made to partnership positions at law firms (after enormous grueling billable hour schedules) or were very “entrepreneurial” (e.g. personal injury lawyers).

    But by alluding that the present generation of lawyers are paid relatively less compared to the past, you seem to be agreeing with what I wrote earlier… which demonstrates that, in general, scarcity increases salary while oversupply reduces it.

    Twinkles, given your inability to comprehend English prose, I’m starting to think you are lying about your education and career.

    Are you ever capable of making a (badly constructed) argument without resorting to a logical fallacy (usually ad hominem or straw man)?

    I surely hope that you didn’t study “Anglo-American” philosophy. I’d hate to think that discipline provides such poor logical reasoning ability.

  116. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    Only a quarter of STEM degree holders work in STEM, so evidently many STEM degrees are not marketable.

    Lots of STEM degree holders work in non-STEM, yes, and, on average, they get paid more than non-STEM degree holders in those fields. I know physicists who are quants at hedge funds. I know engineers who are investment bankers. I know biologists and chemists who went on to medical schools.

    Whether such degrees are marketable or not are reflected in the incomes they earn and STEM holders consistently earn (whether or not they work in STEM) more than similarly-educated non-STEM holders.

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/stem-crisis-or-stem-surplus-yes-and-yes.htm

    That study says that there is an oversupply of STEM Ph.D.’s in comparison to the availability of academic jobs (which is par for the course; how many philosophy professor openings are there for Ph.D.’s in philosophy? A miniscule fraction). What it actually says about “postsecondary” STEM educated workforce is:

    Our findings are supported by the National Center for Education Statistics’ longitudinal study of baccalaureate holders, a survey which found that 69.7% of graduates who had not enrolled in advanced-degree studies after they completed their bachelor’s degrees in the 2007–2008 academic year were employed in a full-time job with an annualized median salary of $46,000 between graduation and 2012.53 For STEM majors, the full-time employment rate increased to 77.2 percent and the median salary was $60,000.

    You should read what you link.

    Unlike you, I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from majoring in this or that.

    Show me where I did this. Pointing out that STEM education is, in general, more marketable than humanities education is telling the truth. If young people are “dissuaded” by that into one major or another, that’s the exercise of their own free will and intellect. I have repeated several times that I don’t agree with the current education system’s university degree bubble or its vocational orientation (rather than education in the traditional sense).

    I’m just saying that the fact that a degree is a STEM degree does not, by that fact alone, guarantee that the degree is a good bet.

    There is no “guarantee” in a “bet.” However, if you had simply stated that “a STEM degree does not guarantee employment or high salary,” it would have been a very modest and reasonable claim, to which no serious person (including I) would object. But you wrote more than that – A LOT more.

    I seriously doubt your claim that non-STEM employers care about “numeracy” beyond advanced arithmetic.

    I don’t know what you mean by “advanced arithmetic,” but I can tell you that many employers require numeracy beyond what the GRE quantitative section tests (in which I might add, the humanities majors do relatively poorly). As I wrote before, the ability to, say, run regression analyses is in demand in many fields, in and out of STEM.

    Now, it is becoming increasingly obvious that you are being petulant and obtuse out of a desire to harass and demean me, Twinkles… Imhabe taken a very moderate position here, whereas you are dug in to an absolutist and indefensible position.

    This is typical of your inversion.

    I have categorically and, point-by-point, refuted or critiqued your wildly unwarranted assertions with logical reasoning and numerical evidences. You have engaged in repeated personal disparagement and attacks, teenage girl-like distractions as arguments (e.g. “lol”), and straw man, as well as constant revisions of your earlier statements without admitting what you were wrong. Now you have the audacity to accuse me of “harassment” when I poke holes in your weak arguments. Any imagined “demeaning” you have suffered is of your own making. It’s now rather transparent to me that you seem to know – deep in your heart – that you are incorrect, and now are simply using the emotional language (“I’m a victim!”) to “win” the internet.

    I’m disinclined to engage further with you and would very much appreciate you leaving me alone.

    Oh, I would be happy to “leave you alone” – but I would also “very much appreciate” if you’d refrain from the following:

    – Constant personal attacks and disparagement (“Twinkles,” “liar,” “douchebag,” “pompous,” “self-righteous,” ad nauseam).

    – Making unwarranted and unsupported assertions and then resorting to the above when others critique such assertion.

    – Diverting the argument into side topics when your main arguments have been falsified.

    – Playing the victim card when your argument is lost.

    If you stuck to modest arguments or otherwise put forth well-reasoned and well-supported assertions instead of emoting from your own intuition and expecting others to swallow it whole without opposition, you would face far fewer objections.

    that’s just you projecting your obsession with wealth and status onto others whom you do not understand.

    You should listen to your own words. People who “obsess with wealth and status” don’t spend most of their time on homeschooling their children so that they grow up to “know, love, and serve God in this world” and be patriots to their own country.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Rosie
  117. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    I have categorically and, point-by-point, refuted or critiqued your wildly unwarranted assertions with logical reasoning and numerical evidences.

    Twinkles, as I have attempted to explain to you before, declaring yourself the winner of a debate does not make it so.

    In fact, it is you who have been decisively refuted. The evidence is clear. There is a massive glut of STEM graduates in the market and the overwhelming majority wash out, accepting jobs in non-STEM fields, which, as you admit, tend to pay more than non-STEM positions, extreme investment banker outliers notwithstanding. Hence, it’s reasonable to suppose that they are being shutout of the STEM job market against their own preferences.

    You insist that STEM majors earn more money than non-STEM majors even in unrelated fields, providing no evidence whatsoever of any causal relationship between the degree and the wage premium, indulging in precisely the same fallacious post hoc ergo prompter hoc that has driven the higher ed bubble that is ruining millions of young lives throughout the country.

    Pointing out that STEM education is, in general, more marketable than humanities education is telling the truth.

    Hmmm. Let’s assume FSA that this is true. It doesn’t even refute what I originally said (half in jest) about STEM grads, which is that they are “not marketable.” Humanities majors being less marketable than STEM majors would not make STEM majors marketable. It would make them less unmarketable than humanities majors. This is not a distinction without a difference, because if you are unlikely to find a job in your field, or at least command a wage premium sufficient to justify an investment of time and money in getting a degree, you’re much better off skipping college altogether. You have repeatedly attempted to boil the argument down to a simple STEM or humanities choice, when in fact it is more complicated than that.

    Now, let’s see, is your generalization about STEM degrees being more marketable true? I don’t know. There appears to be significant evidence that STEM provides an early fast-track to a decent job. Over time, any such wage premium fades, with philosophy majors outearning chemistry and accounting majors and Literature majors outearning biology and business majors by mid-career. Your claims about STEM degrees are not a reasonable generalization, but rather a classic part-to-whole fallacy.

    as well as constant revisions of your earlier statements without admitting what you were wrong.

    And here, despite yourself, you admit your real motivation in your constant harassment of me. Again, let’s assume FSA that your claim about me is true. Among well-meaning people genuinely seeking understanding, “constant revisions” are part and parcel of the clarification and refinement that is to be expected and desired in a discussion. This is particularly true in an informal venue, such as a comment thread, where statements are often made in jest and without a great deal of reflection.

    Nonetheless, your obsession is with getting me to “admit I was wrong.” That is the crux of the matter: your desire to discredit me. Or rather, your demand that I discredit myself, despite your failure to refute the basic proposition that started this whole discussion.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Twinkie
  118. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Over time, any such wage premium fades, with philosophy majors outearning chemistry and accounting majors and Literature majors outearning biology and business majors by mid-career.

    And why might this be so? Here’s a graph on employer priorities for college learning outcomes:

    Conspicuously absent: “numeracy” and the “ability to run a regression analysis.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  119. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    There is a massive glut of STEM graduates in the market and the overwhelming majority wash out

    You are beyond help. I have shown you that there are far more unemployed among non-STEM than in STEM. What you write is exactly the opposite of reality. The study that you linked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics says so.

    non-STEM fields, which, as you admit, tend to pay more than non-STEM positions

    Yet another dishonest distortion. I never wrote such a thing. STEM positions pay more than non-STEM positions in general. What I wrote was that even when STEM majors take non-STEM jobs, they get paid more than non-STEM majors of the same education level. Please stop making things up and attributing them to others.

    There appears to be significant evidence that STEM provides an early fast-track to a decent job. Over time, any such wage premium fades, with philosophy majors outearning chemistry

    Oh, poor, Rosie. The graph you linked seemed suspicious to me (for one thing, it doesn’t have several significant STEM majors such as engineering, you know, that E in STEM, so it struck me as oddly selective), so I took a look at the actual source of the data cited: https://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/majors-that-pay-you-back/bachelors

    Take a look. Top 100 are almost all STEM and econ/accounting/business. In fact, I couldn’t even find philosophy in the first five pages of the ranking, so I had to search by a term and got this:

    Rank Major Early Career Mid-Career
    282 philosophy $48,700 $89,400
    391 philosophy and religion $41,800 $81,900
    730 psychology and philosophy $45,400 $60,800

    Chemistry?

    134 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology $50,500 $103,300
    155 Organic Chemistry $46,000 $100,700
    210 Biochemistry (BCH) $47,500 $95,100
    232 Chemistry $49,200 $93,000
    237 Analytical Chemistry $54,800 $92,800
    261 Chemistry & Environmental Science $46,000 $91,000
    380 Biology & Chemistry $46,700 $82,500

    Just a helpful suggestion, Rosie. Don’t fall for graphs made by people who seemingly have an axe to grind or lack numeracy. Always go to the source data for greater reliability.

    Among well-meaning people genuinely seeking understanding, “constant revisions” are part and parcel of the clarification and refinement that is to be expected and desired in a discussion. This is particularly true in an informal venue, such as a comment thread, where statements are often made in jest and without a great deal of reflection.

    Indeed, I think people should learn and grow – and alter their views as confronted by better evidence. But that’s not what you are doing by “revisions.” You pretend like you never claimed certain things. And present a revised view as if that were your position all along. That is simply deception. We have an easy example right here in this thread. After claiming, preposterously, that “most STEM degrees are worthless” (and many other wild assertions with contrary evidence), you later switch to “All I said was… modest… position.”

    Even now, you are engaging in such a revision by suddenly claiming this was all in “jest.” You are right, however, that you make assertions “without a great deal of reflection.” That’s why I wrote earlier that “If you stuck to modest arguments or otherwise put forth well-reasoned and well-supported assertions instead of emoting from your own intuition and expecting others to swallow it whole without opposition, you would face far fewer objections.”

    That is the crux of the matter: your desire to discredit me.

    Easy solution for you here – don’t write so many things that are so easily discreditable. This might be an “informal” setting, but it’s also a blog with many intelligent and perceptive readers and commenters. If you write bullshit and try to get away with it, you won’t… and not just because of me.

    You say I “demean” you by demonstrating that you make up things and writing things that are easily falsifiable. That’s not I demeaning you – that’s you demeaning yourself. So take a long, hard look at yourself instead of spewing unending stream of personal invectives at me (and others who disagree with you, e.g. “res”… “asshole”).

  120. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    Conspicuously absent: “numeracy” and the “ability to run a regression analysis.”

    This is sad.

    First of all, “Analytical reasoning,” “knowledge/skills applied to real world settings,” “analyze/solve complex problems,” “concepts/developments in science/technology” all require numeracy and quantitative analytical skills.

    Secondly, employers say all sorts of things, including politically correct pieties (“We want to hire more NAMs in STEM!”). These are what are known as “stated preferences.” As I mention repeatedly, I don’t trust stated preferences, I trust revealed preferences – and these are all crystal clear in the employment and compensation data.

    Here is the first page of the pay scale by majors site that your graph cited as the source:

    1 Petroleum Engineering Bachelors $92,300 $182,000 69%
    2 Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) Bachelors $101,200 $152,300 46%
    3 Applied Economics and Management Bachelors $60,900 $139,600 67%
    3 Operations Research Bachelors $78,400 $139,600 52%
    5 Public Accounting Bachelors $60,000 $138,800 49%
    6 Chemical Engineering/Materials Science & Engineering Bachelors $74,500 $137,800 60%
    7 Quantitative Business Analysis Bachelors $67,900 $136,200 55%
    8 Pharmacy Bachelors $66,300 $133,200 79%
    9 Aeronautics & Astronautics Bachelors $74,000 $133,100 60%
    10 Systems Engineering Bachelors $74,000 $132,900 54%
    11 Electrical Power Engineering Bachelors $73,100 $130,700 67%
    12 Actuarial Mathematics Bachelors $61,900 $130,500 50%
    13 Aerospace Studies Bachelors $50,300 $130,300 –
    14 Chemical Engineering Bachelors $73,500 $128,900 56%
    15 Actuarial Science Bachelors $64,700 $128,700 42%
    16 Information & Computer Science Bachelors $70,300 $127,600 60%
    17 Aeronautical Engineering Bachelors $71,600 $125,900 64%
    18 Operations & Information Systems Management Bachelors $63,800 $125,100 31%
    18 Political Economy Bachelors $58,200 $125,100 34%
    20 Marine Engineering Bachelors $74,700 $125,000 64%
    21 Computer Systems Engineering Bachelors $74,600 $124,800 49%
    22 Nuclear Engineering Bachelors $73,100 $124,500 63%
    23 Computer Science (CS) & Engineering Bachelors $74,000 $124,000 44%
    24 Corporate Accounting & Finance Bachelors $61,200 $123,600 57%
    25 Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) Bachelors $73,900 $123,300 49%

    I think it’s pretty clear what kind of skills employers demand and reward.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  121. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    Ah, Twinkles. All you’ve done is separate out different engineering degrees rather than consolidating them into one. I’ve never said that engineers don’t make a good living, but one has to not only consider the results if it pays off, but the downside if it doesn’t. This you consistently refuse to do, pretending that the hordes of underemployed STEM grads who will never get a job in their field don’t exist.

    Not only that, you continue to ignore cohort effects. You won’t fool anyone with that, Twinkles. The question is not what the average or median X makes. The question is what new entrants can expect to make. You attempt to pretend you can determine the latter from the former, which is patently false as I have demonstrated from law school statistics.

    . If you write bullshit and try to get away with it, you won’t… and not just because of me.

    Evidently it is just you, Twinkles, because you’re the only one still here harassing me. And I can honestly say that I have never, online or in person, had a person badger me to “admit I was wrong” as you have done at such length here. Indeed, Twinkles, to do so is to reveal either a basic lack of civility or a deep hostility to your interlocutor. In your case, I’m sure it’s the latter. You don’t like that I don’t accept your basic b!tch conservatism while my people are being dispossessed. I’m not even sure what you’re doing here, Twinkles. Your politics are no more edgy than your typical Newsmax reader. Actually, I do know exactly why you’re here: to distract from White dispossession.

    I’ll tell you what, Twinkles, in the spirit of goodwill, I’ll go ahead and offer the following:

    It is slightly less stupid and potentially catastrophic to get an expensive STEM degree than a humanities degree without a clear plan of what sort of job you will be able to get.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Twinkie
  122. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Right, your link proves my point precisely. There are all manner of very practical-sounding STEM degrees that in fact come in with lower salaries than a philosophy major (#284) to wit (from the 300s):

    Construction Engineering Technolog
    Applied Science
    Accounting Information Systems
    Environmental Health
    Biosystems Engineering
    Professional Pilot Education
    Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound
    General Business
    Computer Graphics Technology (CGT)
    Agricultural Systems Technology

    • Replies: @Rosie
  123. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Wait WTF?

    673Forensic Accounting
    Early Career Pay:
    $44,200
    Mid-Career Pay:
    $65,100
    % High Meaning:
    39%

    Do forensic accounting majors not have to take math? Are they not “numerate”? Why do they earn less than philosophy grads?

    • Replies: @Rosie
  124. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Tech guy: Engineering is a sh!tty, unsustainable career that chews people up and spits them out just as they’re nearing an age to want to start a family. Sounds like BIGLAW, only less money.

    https://techcrunch.com/2010/08/28/silicon-valley%E2%80%99s-dark-secret-it%E2%80%99s-all-about-age/

  125. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    separate out different engineering degrees

    Because many of those Engineering sub-fields have more students than philosophy. Something like 120,000+ engineering majors took the GRE. Only 3,000 philosophy majors did.

    Moreover, there are numerous non-engineering degrees in even just the top 25, such as:

    3 Applied Economics and Management Bachelors $60,900 $139,600 67%
    3 Operations Research Bachelors $78,400 $139,600 52%
    5 Public Accounting Bachelors $60,000 $138,800 49%
    7 Quantitative Business Analysis Bachelors $67,900 $136,200 55%
    8 Pharmacy Bachelors $66,300 $133,200 79%
    9 Aeronautics & Astronautics Bachelors $74,000 $133,100 60%
    12 Actuarial Mathematics Bachelors $61,900 $130,500 50%
    13 Aerospace Studies Bachelors $50,300 $130,300 –
    15 Actuarial Science Bachelors $64,700 $128,700 42%
    16 Information & Computer Science Bachelors $70,300 $127,600 60%
    18 Operations & Information Systems Management Bachelors $63,800 $125,100 31%
    18 Political Economy Bachelors $58,200 $125,100 34%
    24 Corporate Accounting & Finance Bachelors $61,200 $123,600 57%

    All require a high degree of numeracy. And I can go on like this for 12 pages until I run into “philosophy.”

    The question is what new entrants can expect to make.

    This seems a direct contradiction of what you wrote earlier:

    There appears to be significant evidence that STEM provides an early fast-track to a decent job. Over time, any such wage premium fades, with philosophy majors outearning chemistry

    Are you going to keep making things up until something “sticks”?

    Of course new entrants make less than established mid-career professionals. In what field is it NOT like this? That doesn’t change the comparative levels of compensations between STEM and non-STEM.

    harassing… basic lack of civility or a deep hostility… your basic b!tch conservatism while my people are being dispossessed…to distract from White dispossession.

    Oh, my dear woman. I hope you weren’t going to run out of arguments and resort again to personal insults, diversions, etc.

    Your politics are no more edgy than your typical Newsmax reader.

    What made you think that I cared about being “edgy”? Do you think I am some sort of a teenager? I am a middle-aged father! And I don’t know anything about “Newsmax” as I have never read that site.

    About “my people.” I realize you are some sort of a cartoon Nazi. Nonetheless, you are my fellow American, so I consider you “my people” as well… Even though you appear to be unhinged and consider me your enemy of some sort. So I wish you and your family well – both out of principle (I care about my fellow Americans) and practicality (if families like yours do poorly, we all suffer sooner or later).

    Right, your link proves my point precisely. There are all manner of very practical-sounding STEM degrees that in fact come in with lower salaries than a philosophy major (#284) to wit (from the 300s)

    250+ > 10. Numeracy – try it.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  126. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    This seems a direct contradiction of what you wrote earlier:

    Here again your deficiency in logical reasoning is showing, Twinkles. You can’t wrap your little mind around the fact that all of these states of affairs can coexist.

    The following things can all be true:

    1. New engineers will probably never get a job in their field.
    2. If they do, they won’t start at anywhere near the salary of established professionals, and
    many will wash out and wind up unemployed at 50.

    All require a high degree of numeracy. And I can go on like this for 12 pages until I run into “philosophy.”

    It doesn’t matter how many pages it takes to list these various occupations, Twinkles. What matters is what percentage of jobs in the economy they account for. How many do you think it is, Twinkles? It appears that only about 5% of jobs require advanced math. Yes, these jobs pay well, but that doesn’t matter if you never land one. Nineteen out of 20 people are going to have to figure something else out.

    https://www.livescience.com/29017-which-jobs-actually-use-math.html#:~:text=And%20highly%20skilled%20blue-collar,percent%20of%20jobs%20required%20calculus.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  127. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    The following things can all be true:

    1. New engineers will probably never get a job in their field.
    2. If they do, they won’t start at anywhere near the salary of established professionals, and
    many will wash out and wind up unemployed at 50.

    Sure, a lot of improbable things can be true. But what you write are assertions without evidence (except the established professional part – obviously those with actual experience will be paid more, which is the case in every profession).

    You are more likely to be paid less, work outside your field or be unemployed with a philosophy degree than an engineering degree. You should still study philosophy if that is your passion, but should do so knowing the full facts about the employment and compensation prospects as they are, not as you want them to be.

    It doesn’t matter how many pages it takes to list these various occupations

    Of course it does, because we are talking comparatively here. How many philosophy jobs do you think there are? Far fewer than electrical engineering jobs. Again, supply and demand curves will largely determine compensation, and compensation data are pretty clear on what the market demands and what is being supplied.

    There is a reason immigrants with STEM degrees are flocking to the U.S. (so that 20-40% of STEM jobs are being filled by foreigners). You don’t see the same with foreign humanities majors – because there is comparatively less demand for jobs in such fields.

    It appears that only about 5% of jobs require advanced math. Yes, these jobs pay well, but that doesn’t matter if you never land one. Nineteen out of 20 people are going to have to figure something else out.

    You really should – again – read your own links.

    About 86 percent of jobs require simple addition and subtraction, but only 5 percent of jobs required calculus. Of course, before people toss out their math books, it’s important to note that the best blue-collar jobs do require high-level math such as algebra, while more than a fifth of white-collar jobs require statistics

    That’d be 5% of all jobs, not those for people with college degrees and up. In other words, the best paid blue collar and white collar jobs still require numeracy – which, for the umpteenth time, is confirmed by employment and compensation data.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  128. Twinkie says:
    @Twinkie

    more than a fifth of white-collar jobs require statistics

    In case Rosie didn’t get the salience of this… this means more than 20% of ALL white-collar jobs require statistics (and I’d suggest – from the compensation data – that they are probably some of the better paying white-collar jobs).

    And see what a typical introductory-level statistics (101) class curriculum is: https://courses.mscs.uic.edu/stat/stat101/

    Let me help:

    Chapter 5 Regression

  129. Rosie says:

    Sure, a lot of improbable things can be true. But what you write are assertions without evidence (except the established professional part – obviously those with actual experience will be paid more, which is the case in every profession).

    Your chances of getting a job as an engineer:

    This guy is more bullish on software development, but that will be totally glutted and miserable in a few years, too. Why is that? Because there is no Invisible Hand.

    In case Rosie didn’t get the salience of this… this means more than 20% of ALL white-collar jobs require statistics (and I’d suggest – from the compensation data – that they are probably some of the better paying white-collar jobs).

    And see what a typical introductory-level statistics (101) class curriculum is: https://courses.mscs.uic.edu/stat/stat101/

    Let me help:

    Whatever, Twinkles. Tne fact that many jobs need statistics doesn’t mean they need statistics beyond what you would learn in high school. If you have evidence to the contrary, let’s see it.

    If your surmise about advanced math were correct, we should see biology majors, who have to take more math than humanities majors, earning more money, but that isn’t the case.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  130. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    Whatever, Twinkles.

    Very numerate and convincing argument, this.

    Tne fact that many jobs need statistics doesn’t mean they need statistics beyond what you would learn in high school.

    Did you learn about regression in high school? I did, but I went to a math and science specialized high school, and even took a couple of courses at Columbia University my senior year.

    If your surmise about advanced math were correct, we should see biology majors

    Lower level (or general) biology has little to no advanced math, and is a very feminine major now. It is, indeed, oversupplied with workers (as I already mentioned in an earlier comment) and thus has low compensation.

    Higher-level and specialized biology, such as biochemistry and molecular biology, still command higher compensation that the vast majority of humanities majors, including, yes, philosophy:

    https://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/majors-that-pay-you-back/bachelors?search=Biology

    • Replies: @Rosie
  131. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    Lower level (or general) biology has little to no advanced math, and is a very feminine major now. It is, indeed, oversupplied with workers (as I already mentioned in an earlier comment) and thus has low compensation.

    Not true.

    https://education.seattlepi.com/biology-involve-math-5711.html

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  132. Twinkie says:
    @Rosie

    Intro calculus and stat aren’t “advanced math” in STEM and as the article states only very high tier universities (e.g. Cornell) require advanced math for the biology major.

    Columbia, though, despite being an Ivy only requires one calculus and one statistics class each (or two calculus classes), which can be satisfied by good AP scores in high school: https://www.biology.columbia.edu/pages/biology-major-requirements

    And due to the huge influx of women, quantitative aptitude of biology majors is the lowest in STEM:

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @V. K. Ovelund
  133. Rosie says:
    @Twinkie

    Intro calculus and stat aren’t “advanced math” in STEM and as the article states only very high tier universities (e.g. Cornell) require advanced math for the biology major.

    False. Any university is going to require calculus or statistics for a biology major. Go look. Their requirements are usually public.

    The more you raise the bar for what kind of “numeracy” is desired, the more you are narrowing the number of jobs it applies to, Twinkles. Are you claiming that 22% of jobs require not just statistics but advanced statistics, now? You haven’t even proven that that many need to know how to do a regression. BTW, how long would it take an employer to train a person to do that? A couple weeks?

    In any event, we know that 100% of workers use English every single day.

  134. @Twinkie

    Intro calculus and stat aren’t “advanced math” in STEM….

    My particular area of engineering practice is not especially analytically intense, but I am still surprised at how seldom engineers (including me) find cause to use any mathematics more advanced than 9th-grade algebra, 11th-grade trigonometry, and college-sophomore statistics.

    I really like the more advanced applied mathematics, which is one reason I diverted ten years to be a college instructor; but, anecdotally, the one and only time I got to work a vector-calculus problem in an actual industrial setting was so exciting, I wasted more time working the problem on paper than I would have if I’d just gone out in the stockyard, taken a few measurements, and moved on.

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