In the Spotlight: Higher Ed Degree Output by Field and Metro

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It might stem from the dot-com crash, the increased popularity of certifications and onsite employer training, or various other reasons. Regardless, the key finding from EMSI and CareerBuilder’s analysis of higher education degree output over the last decade is still eye-opening: Computer and IT degrees completed in the U.S. have declined 11% since 2003.

The decrease in computer-related degrees comes at a time when the number of related computer and IT jobs grew 13% nationally, and while the number of degrees in other major fields — health, business, liberal arts and humanities, and engineering — has soared.

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Our analysis looked at the output of associate’s degrees and above nationally and for the nation’s largest 150 metro areas. Education completion data comes from the National Center of Education Statistics, via EMSI’s Analyst tool, and we matched the degrees to our jobs data using a customized program-to-occupation mapping. You can find a summary of the analysis in CareerBuilder’s release, and we’ve included more findings by field and metro below.

Note: The NCES data comes from its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and accounts for all colleges and universities that participate or are applicants for any federal financial assistance program authorized by the Higher Education Act (HEA), which includes most of the well-known federal loans (e.g., Pell Grants, Stafford Loans). All public colleges and universities and a number of private postsecondary schools accept federal assistance loans and therefore are included in this analysis. We excluded Phoenix, Davenport, Iowa, and other cities whose higher ed output is dominated by large for-profit universities. 

Computer and IT

Computer-related degree output at U.S. universities and colleges flatlined from 2006 to 2009 and have steadily increased in the years since. But the fact remains: Total degree production (associate’s and above) was lower by almost 14,000 degrees in 2012 than in 2003. The biggest overall decreases came in three programs — computer science, computer and information sciences, general, and computer and information sciences and support services, other.

This might reflect the surge in certifications and employer training programs, or the fact that some programmers can get jobs (or work independently) without a degree or formal training because their skills are in-demand.

Of the 15 metros with the most computer and IT degrees in 2012, 10 saw decreases from their 2003 totals. That includes New York City (a 52% drop), San Francisco (55%), Atlanta (33%), Miami (32%), and Los Angeles (31%).

Here’s a look at the performance of 20 largest metros with the most computer and IT degrees in 2012:

MSA
Computer/IT Degrees 2003
Computer/IT Degrees 2012
Growth/Decline
% Growth/Decline
Concentration
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
12,102
5,793
-6,309
-52%
0.86
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
4,353
5,697
1,344
31%
2.32
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
5,403
4,451
-952
-18%
1.25
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
5,088
3,510
-1,578
-31%
0.81
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
2,625
2,455
-170
-6%
0.92
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
3,321
2,229
-1,092
-33%
1.77
Pittsburgh, PA
2,073
2,101
28
1%
2.00
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
1,754
2,003
249
14%
1.24
Baltimore-Towson, MD
2,047
1,931
-116
-6%
1.85
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
2,316
1,873
-443
-19%
0.78
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
2,037
1,699
-338
-17%
1.00
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
2,457
1,670
-787
-32%
0.75
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
1,793
1,560
-233
-13%
1.33
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
942
1,413
471
50%
2.15
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
1,573
1,398
-175
-11%
1.11
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
1,380
1,332
-48
-3%
1.42
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
447
1,223
776
174%
1.63
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
1,062
1,165
103
10%
1.00
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
1,673
1,114
-559
-33%
1.30
Salt Lake City, UT
486
1,057
571
117%
1.67

 

Health Professions

Health degrees have increased by 112% since 2003 — an addition of 288,194 total degrees. Related jobs in the U.S. have increased 18.6% over that time.

Many metros have seen their output of health degrees at least double. This includes Los Angeles (109% growth), Miami (159%), and Minneapolis (193%).

Here’s a look at the 20 largest metros with the most health degrees in 2012:

MSA
2003 Health Degrees
2012 Heath Degrees
Growth/Decline
% Growth/Decline
Concentration
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
16,363
30,445
14,082
86%
0.94
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
7,681
16,031
8,350
109%
0.77
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
7,622
14,128
6,506
85%
0.83
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
5,438
14,068
8,630
159%
1.31
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
7,593
13,554
5,961
79%
1.19
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
6,483
11,513
5,030
78%
0.90
St. Louis, MO-IL
3,500
9,760
6,260
179%
1.65
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
2,959
8,673
5,714
193%
1.12
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
3,137
7,039
3,902
124%
0.86
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
1,764
6,911
5,147
292%
1.92
Pittsburgh, PA
3,316
6,480
3,164
95%
1.29
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
2,978
6,227
3,249
109%
0.53
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX
3,142
5,916
2,774
88%
1.06
Baltimore-Towson, MD
3,241
5,857
2,616
81%
1.17
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
2,965
5,857
2,892
98%
0.87
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
1,661
5,593
3,932
237%
1.13
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
2,790
5,543
2,753
99%
1.23
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
2,519
4,932
2,413
96%
0.88
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
1,829
4,930
3,101
170%
1.38
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
2,172
4,696
2,524
116%
1.14

 

The number of registered nursing degrees has gone from 88,482 in 2003 to 193,528 in 2012, a 119% increase. Registered nursing is the third-largest degree-awarding program in the U.S., behind business administration and liberal arts and humanities.

RN_Chart

Engineering (and Engineering Technologies)

The are 37,138 more engineering and engineering technology degrees in 2012 than 2003, a 37% increase. Related jobs in the U.S. have increased 5.7% during that time. The biggest degree increases have come in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering.

Tulsa has seen the largest percentage increase (222%) of engineering/engineering technology degrees among the 150 largest metros. What explains the huge jump? It mostly stems from a massive increase in output of engineering technology degrees in the area. For example, the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa produced 454 engineering tech degrees in 2003, up from 57 in 2003.

In San Jose, Ann Arbor, Raleigh, and Tulsa, at least 15% all associate’s-and-above degrees awarded are in engineering or engineering technologt. Raleigh has the highest concentration at 17%. The national share is 5%, so Raleigh’s concentration index is 3.36 — meaning it’s more than three times as concentrated as the national average (1.00).

The following table gives the metros with the highest concentration of engineering and engineering technology degrees:

MSA
Engineering Degrees (2003)
Engineering Degrees (2012)
Growth/Decline
Concentration
Raleigh-Cary, NC
2,091
2,201
5%
3.36
Tulsa, OK
335
1,079
222%
3.22
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
2,809
3,472
24%
3.08
Ann Arbor, MI
2,220
2,881
30%
2.99
Huntsville, AL
409
691
69%
2.75
Dayton, OH
1,003
1,504
50%
2.25
Worcester, MA
568
1,088
92%
2.23
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC
715
1,059
48%
2.13
Baton Rouge, LA
839
1,019
21%
2.13
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO
366
660
80%
2.02
Salinas, CA
262
506
93%
1.91
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA
329
362
10%
1.82
Peoria, IL
231
309
34%
1.72
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
884
741
-16%
1.68
Knoxville, TN
597
839
41%
1.67
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
2,851
3,633
27%
1.67
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
1,741
2,136
23%
1.65
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
286
450
57%
1.62
Pittsburgh, PA
2,611
2,886
11%
1.59
Flint, MI
488
492
1%
1.58
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
293
373
27%
1.56
Wichita, KS
329
462
40%
1.55
Madison, WI
1,320
1,314
0%
1.53
York-Hanover, PA
156
151
-3%
1.50
Toledo, OH
874
891
2%
1.50

 

Education

Education degrees have increased 18% since 2003. That’s an increase of 52,391 from 2003 to 2012. Related jobs in the U.S. have increased 6.3% from 2003-2012.

Education degrees make up 8.8% of all associate’s-and-above completions nationally, down from 10.6% in 2003. The highest concentration belongs to Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, with 4.4 times the national average of education degrees.

Another Texas metro, El Paso, has seen a 346% increase in education degrees since 2003, while Denver (170%), Minneapolis-St. Paul (125%), Austin (114%), and Dallas (106%) have also seen major gains.

Ed-degrees

Business, Management and Marketing

There are 176,972 more degrees nationally in 2012 than 2003, a 33% increase. Related jobs in the U.S. have increased 1.2 percent from 2003-2012, an addition of 218,173 jobs.

Nearly 1 in 5 degrees awarded in the U.S. (18.1%) are in business, management and marketing, the highest share of any major field of study. For many large metros, business degrees make up a sizable percentage of total higher education output (25% of all degrees in Chicago and Milwaukee, 24% in Washington, D.C., and 23% in Atlanta).

MSA
2012 Business, Managament, Marketing Degrees
Share of Total Degrees
Concentration
Colorado Springs, CO
5,099
33%
1.85
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
1,939
30%
1.67
Fort Wayne, IN
1,388
30%
1.65
Montgomery, AL
946
29%
1.62
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
30,741
25%
1.39
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
4,892
25%
1.36
Canton-Massillon, OH
843
24%
1.34
Flint, MI
1,506
24%
1.34
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
3,368
24%
1.34
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
20,098
24%
1.31
St. Louis, MO-IL
9,943
23%
1.29
Columbia, SC
2,529
23%
1.29
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
9,853
23%
1.25
Columbus, OH
6,600
23%
1.25
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI
1,561
22%
1.24

 

Liberal Arts and Humanities

The U.S. produced 124,681 more degrees in 2012 than 2003, a 47% increase. This is the third fastest-growing degree category in the U.S. by total degrees added, behind health professions and business, management, and marketing.

Liberal arts and humanities degrees make up 10% of all associate’s-and-above completions, roughly the same share as in 2003. Of the 10 metros with the highest concentrations of these degrees, seven are in Florida — led by Ocala (66% of all degrees), Port St. Lucie (64%), and North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota (50%).

Despite growth in many metros, notable decreases in liberal arts and humanities degrees have occurred in Tulsa (51% decline), San Jose (38%), San Diego (30%), San Francisco (23%), and Ann Arbor (20%).

LibArts

Joshua Wright is an editor at EMSI, an Idaho-based economics firm that provides data and analysis to workforce boards, economic development agencies, higher education institutions, and the private sector. He manages the EMSI blog and is a freelance journalist. Contact him here.

Illustration by Mark Beauchamp.



















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interesting data

I actually live in Cary and work in Raleigh, NC which shows high marks for engineering degrees. I hadn't realized the rest of the country wasn't at the same sort of level. Though, with that said, we get a lot of transplants from other states as well. So it's a mix.

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This is worse than useless - it is a cancer

Given that many liberal arts and humanities degree courses are little more than propaganda indoctrination that could hardly have been better designed by Dr Goebbells himself or his Commie counterparts, to undermine western civilisation, the sooner this rot is ended the better.

One sincerely hopes that "supply and demand" ends it with liberal arts and humanities graduates predominantly unemployed or forced into useful work; but it is a disturbing possibility that there are parasitical jobs constantly being created for them by the liberal-lefty leviathan.

CS degrees

One possible explanation is that a college degree is no longer necessary to enter the IT workforce.

A view on employment in STEM fields is here: http://trotskyschildren.blogspot.com/p/predictions-for-future-stem-emplo...

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