Are They Worth it?: Master’s Degrees and Labor Market Outcomes in the STEM Workforce
Utilizing the 2013 National Survey of College Graduates (Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System, National Science Foundation, 2015), this study examined three measures of labor market outcomes: annual earning potentials; primary work activity; and education-job match for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) bachelor’s degree holders by their master’s degree attainment. Whereas the study found earning differentials across master’s degrees, the results suggest that one’s earnings are explained by other factors, specifically gender. Results reflect a discernible and concerning pay gap between men and women with the same level of degree attainment in the STEM workforce. Also, implications for policy and practice are addressed.
KeywordsEarnings Education-job match Gender pay gap master’s degree Primary work activity STEM
This article is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1538769. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the Council of Graduate Schools.
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