Monday, April 6, 2015

STEM is TE: salary edition

Interesting graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that Matt Yglesias has highlighted. I've annotated it. Fairly obvious that, in terms of salaries, STEM is TE (and a little M.) 


  1. Who are these people in Life, Physical, and Social Sciences making $50K - $100K?

  2. Have you ever seen the STEAM grouping ? Read an article on 60th Anniversary of Salk Polio vaccine declaration:
    Goes on to mention in last pargraph
    " the contest is asking young people to create 2- to 5-minute movies about a person, place or thing (past or present) with a focus in one of the areas in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)"

    Not sure would really equate beyond overlap of requirements for creativity. I would think except for rare cases the "A" people struggle much more vocation-wise that even the S & M people.

    1. Yes and no. There are definitely fewer jobs for creatives than Art school graduates. People with BFAs who actually need a job in their specialty have a very hard time competing for a few openings available and the jobs don't pay a lot. Just like in chemistry it is relatively easy to off-shore illustration and industrial design.

      At the same time there is a significant focus on going independent and making it as an artist. These guys may hold a part time job and just scrape by to be free to create. Their internal need to create is very high and denying it can have severe personality costs.

      My third observation is that there are a few highly paid artists who are both very creative and very successful financially with earnings tens or hundreds time higher than the median. I have not seen a corresponding bracket in STEM with the possible exception of quants. I am not sure how many process chemists are flying that high, although the median pay is still better than in the A group.

      I happen to have a front row seat to watch this development as I have two artists at home at various stages of aspiration.