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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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