Graduate Degree Job Survey: Debt and Earnings




Former professor and blogger Karen L. Kelsey (she blogs at The Professor Is In) has conducted a survey of graduates from various professions and their experience in the job market after graduation. She asks respondents about their undergraduate and graduate debt, the field they studied, reasons for the loans, payback plans, and whether they are employed among other things. Her data is raw and it doesn’t appear that she’s done much analysis on it but you can still get a sense of the type of financial situation in which her respondents find themselves. The work aligns to what Philosophy News has been working on with our Placement Reports. Our reports focus on the data compiled by institutions while Kelsey’s data attempts to gather information from the graduates themselves. She currently has compiled over 1300 responses.

Since anyone can take the survey and the data does not appear to be scrubbed, the survey should be correlated with other reports and background information to validate it’s integrity. The responses are uneven in places, and the survey methodology leaves many open questions (for example, how are single students identified in the data? Was the debt incurred total educational debt or debt just from a single program? Can respondents fill out the survey more than once and how does that affect debt totals? Are the respondents biased towards bad post-graduate experiences? and the like) Still, it’s an interesting view into the what the debt/earnings ratio has been for people getting a higher education, and, when correlated with other data and some analysis, could prove helpful.

Survey results are here (spreadsheet format). The data on for respondents that studied philosophy ranges from row 970 to row 1008.

You can take the survey here.

Read more at The Professor Is In.

Thanks to Stan Dokupil for the links