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November 26, 2014

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Issues in Science and Technology Looks at Whether College Pays Off

ISSUES Magazine Fall 2013 cover

Issues in Science and Technology is the award-winning journal of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, The University of Texas at Dallas and Arizona State University.

A wage study analysis that sought to determine whether higher education pays off in the job market reveals some surprising answers in the fall edition of Issues in Science and Technology.

“It depends on what, where and how long one studies,” said Mark Schneider, president of College Measures and a vice president at the American Institutes for Research. “But the outcomes do not align with conventional wisdom.”

In four of the five states, graduates with two-year degrees earn more in the first year after graduation than those with four-year degrees. Graduates of several regional four-year colleges earn more in the first year than graduates of the state flagship universities. In several states, people who complete long-term certificate programs of one to two years in many technical or health-related fields earn more on average than the typical two-year degree graduate.

Among the findings:

  • Some short-term credentials are worth as much as long-term ones.
     
  • The school one attends is less important than the public perceives.
     
  • The field of study is more important than the place of study.
     
  • Study in technical fields is more financially rewarding than pure scientific training.

Schneider’s purpose in collecting and publishing this information is to enable young people to make better-informed decisions about what they want to study. First-year salary should not be the only criterion for choosing where and what to study; but, with total student loan debt reaching $1 trillion, Schneider argues that it is information that students and families should have.

Also in the fall edition, Carolyn Mattick and Dr. Brad Allenby of Arizona State University explore the implications of the technology that just produced the first laboratory-grown hamburger. The coming reality of factory-produced meat could transform the food system, the environment and even our culture.

In another article, MIT’s Dr. Sebastian Pfotenhauer reveals how the current round of trade negotiations between the United States and Europe hinge on scientific and technological concerns over health, safety and the environment.

This edition of Issues also welcomes Arizona State University as a new co-publisher.

Issues in Science and Technology is the award-winning journal of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, The University of Texas at Dallas and Arizona State University.  

Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu


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