Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Education Examined

So everyone is agog over some new reports.  PG: Two surveys rank Pittsburgh among "smartest populations" in country, Trib:Pittsburgh’s smart; survey says so.

Some of the original work generating this all is via Rich Florida. Atlantic:  Are these America's Brainiest Cities.

None of it should not be any surprise to readers here. The lack of belief in how we compared to the nation with regards to educational attainment is why I once wrote this: Pittsburgh's Young Workforce Among Top 5 Most Educated in U.S.; Almost Half Hold a Bachelor's Degree or Higher. When the focus was narrowed to graduate degrees, Pittsburgh tied for the top with Washington,DC in that past calculation of educational attainment in the local labor force.


Why it matters?  If you want to see Pittsburgh's transformation in a slide, this may be it. We all use this slide a lot:




But the real importance is what it means to individuals.  Hard to get past the difference in lifetime earning potential of a college degree, though I know many dispute the value given the cost. Here is just a recent snapshot of the earnings disparities by both educational attainment and gender.

 
 That chart actually understates the value of advanced education. By definition these are earnings of those who have jobs. What most overlook is that degrees give a lifetime of flexibility that decreases the unemployment rate for those with advanced degrees. The unemployment rate for those with a bachelors degree is well below even those with an associate's degree, and even lower for graduate education. (ref) When you factor that in, the difference in earnings between those with higher education and those without is even greater.
 
 
 
 

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A blogging index might be a good measure of local intelligence--number of blogs, subject matter, readership, etc.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Yep. Of course we also score well in some of these rankings because of our disproportionately large number of colleges/universities. Some people sometimes seem to suggest that considering the number of local colleges/universities is cheating or otherwise somehow shouldn't count in our favor when it comes to talking about the local population, but as Chris's statistics show, there is a very real and related affect in terms of the overall mix of people in the local population.

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