mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I guess I should be paid more...

Today's dead-tree edition of the Baltimore Sun had one of those "infographic" type things (they call it "by the numbers") showing that those with additional formal education are enjoying a pay advantage above those who have less education. (I couldn't find it online).

So, having gotten my MBA a few months ago, I read past some high school education and high school graduates and some college and college grads to "those holding a master's degree" - where I learned that 7.9 percent of Americans fall into this group, and that the average wage was $68,302, a 1.8% drop since 2000. Well, I thought, that's slightly more than I make, but not a whole lot after you factor in overtime.. and when you figure that those people probably have more experience, I'm probably doing OK.

Then I read further. Evidently, they didn't count those with Masters in Business Administration as having master's degrees. Instead, they grouped them with those holding JD's (Juris Doctorate, aka lawyers) and MD's. They are a 1.9% share of the population, and their average income is $119,343 - a 10.6% increase since 2k.

So evidently I'm way underpaid. Or their logic is flawed. Actually, it's probably both (how many people will admit they are overpaid?). But including MBA's with lawyers and doctors, while flattering, seems silly. While I would venture that most MBA's probably make more than I do (because they are actually using their degrees, instead of beating on computers with hammers all day), I would guess most probably don't make as much as the average lawyer or doctor. Sure, your typical Harvard or U Chicago grad probably does make that much bank, but your typical MBA isn't one of those people. 80% of MBA students are enrolled in part-time, weekend, executive, distance learning, or other non-full-time program. Sure, some of those might be bound for lucrative consulting gigs after graduation, but most are probably just hoping to move up in their current jobs. They are mid-level managers (or want to become mid-level managers), or accountants trying to meet requirements, or engineers who ended up in management positions and want to broaden their horizons. My guess is that few of them would put themselves on the same level as doctors or lawyers, or expect that their income would be as high.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe most people who graduate from part-time MBA programs make that much, but I would love to see it with MBA's separated from doctors and lawyers.

As far as the general gist of the article - that wage gaps are rising - I wonder if part of it had to do with more people having college degrees (or more). The stats only showed percent of the population, and income change. It didn't show how the percent of the population in those categories have changed. More people are going to college, so employers can now demand a college degree for jobs that didn't require it before. I don't need an MBA to do my job - I don't really even need a college degree - but I have one. If my job went to someone with a high school diploma, it would drive up the average income of high school grads, but since I'm overeducated, it instead drives down the average wage of advanced degrees. That doesn't mean that the average college grad is worse off though, just that there are more people with degrees out there.


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