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Just the Facts, Ma’am: Postsecondary Education and Labor Market Outcomes in the US. Harry J. Holzer Erin Dunlop American Institutes for Research January 2013. Purpose of the Analysis.

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Just the facts ma am postsecondary education and labor market outcomes in the us

Just the Facts, Ma’am: Postsecondary Education and Labor Market Outcomes in the US

Harry J. Holzer

Erin Dunlop

American Institutes for Research

January 2013


Purpose of the analysis
Purpose of the Analysis

  • Seeking descriptive evidence to set stage for CALDER analysis of postsecondary education and labor market outcomes using state administrative data

  • Comprehensive, up-to-date snapshot of recent trends and variation across groups


The issues
The Issues

  • Most recent trends in postsecondary education attainment in the US

  • Differences by race, gender, family background

  • Effects on labor market outcomes

  • Role of achievement gaps and other causes

  • Sub-BA as well as BA and above


Data sipp and nels
Data: SIPP and NELS

SIPP

  • Multiple Years: 1990, 2000/01, 2007, 2010

  • Secular trends and cyclical changes

  • Large Samples by Age, Race/Gender

    NELS

  • One cohort analyzed in depth

  • Achievement measures

  • Family background also


Data cont d
Data (Cont’d)

Outcomes

  • Education: Attainment and Completion of Certificate, AA, BA and Above

  • Education: Field of Study

  • Employment and Wages, Annual Earnings

    For All Adults v. Ages 25-29


Findings trends in postsecondary attainments
Findings: Trends in Postsecondary Attainments

  • 1990s: Growth of BAs

  • 2000s: Growth of sub-BAs

  • During the Great Recession: Rising attainment (sub-BA and BA)

  • Emergence of gender gap in higher ed. attainment

  • Racial Gaps: Less at sub-BA, more at BA Levels


Completion rates
Completion Rates

  • At 2-yr. Schools: Generally low (.34 for AA, .55 for AA or Certificate)

  • At 4-Yr. Schools: Generally higher (.63) but wide gaps by race and family background


Achievement gaps
Achievement Gaps

  • Measured by Grades, Courses Taken and Test Scores

  • Remain across Race and Family Background

  • More mixed by gender: Favor females but Math/Science v. Reading/English


Fields of study
Fields of Study

  • More males in engineering/technical and natural sciences

  • More females in health, education

  • Business: More females at sub-BA and more males at BA and above

  • Engineering/Technical: Affected by Math/Science achievement

  • Male concentration where labor market rewards are strongest!


Labor market returns
Labor Market Returns

  • Employment, wage gains for each credential – including Certificates and AA

  • Differences across Fields of Study


Gaps in employment outcomes
Gaps in Employment Outcomes

  • Male-Female Gap - despite higher educational attainment among young women

  • Male-Female Gap – Related to Children, Field of Study interacted with Degree

  • Race, Family Background Gaps – Somewhat accounted for by Education/Achievement


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