Saturday, May 26, 2012

College Degree Round UP

College Degree Round Up

Revised with the newest data July 20, 2017

American colleges and universities continue to turn out graduates, and in ever increasing numbers. In the year ending June 2015, the last year of complete data, the National Center for Education Statistics at the United States Department of Education reported 1,013,971 graduates receiving associates degrees, 1,894,934 receiving Baccalaureate degrees, 758,708 receiving master's degrees, 87,302 receiving doctoral degrees, and 91,245 receiving professional degrees. Professional degrees include medical, pharmacy, veterinary, and law. This year the total of first time professional degrees was down slightly, primarily due to a drop in law degrees.

In 1900 the decennial census counted that year's college graduates; 27,410 received Baccalaureate Degrees from degree granting colleges. After reaching 186,500 in 1940, BA degrees climbed to 432,048 in 1950 when WWII veterans began taking advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and entered college in large numbers. Earned degrees declined some later in the 1950's; but surpassed all earlier numbers by 1964. Earned baccalaureate degrees jumped to 792,316 in June of 1970; 900 thousand in 1973; 1 million in 1989. In June 2000, 1,237,875 earned Baccalaureate degrees from accredited degree granting colleges and universities. The total of 2015 degrees, associate, masters, doctorate, and first-time professional in addition to the 1,894,934 BA degrees mentioned above came to 3,846,130 for the year ending June 2015.

Growth Rates

The numbers receiving United State College degrees continue to grow at a 2.60 percent annual average rate over the last 25 years; more than double the growth rate for the adult population and more than double the growth rate of the civilian labor force. The rate applies to the total of degrees granted from U.S. colleges and universities: associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctorates and first professional degrees. In this way America is getting better educated with a better educated workforce.

Growth rates vary widely by sex and by level of degree. Women have higher growth rates in all degree levels going back to 1990. Women were 41 percent of BA degrees in 1970 but they make up 57.1 percent of the degrees in 2015 leaving 42.9 percent to men. In 2015, women graduates out numbered the men in associates, baccalaureate, masters, doctorate degrees and professional degrees. For the past twenty years the growth rate of women degree candidates in professions, primarily law and medicine, was 4 times that of men. Women will become the majority in the professions.

The master's degree has the highest annual growth rate at 3.30 percent starting from June 1990. The rate for women is 3.74 percent; for men 2.73 percent. Doctorate degrees are second with a growth rate of 3.24 percent a year, but the growth rate is the combination of a 1.95 percent for men and a 4.82 percent women. The 87,302 who received doctoral degrees is the highest ever. Women doctorates were just slightly over a thousand a year in 1960, but women passed men in 2007 and every year since with 47,173 in 2015.

The associate’s degree holds third place with an annual average growth rate of 3.02 percent. Not only is the growth rate higher for women but women had 617,358 degrees compared to only 396,613 for men. Baccalaureate degrees hold fourth place at an annual growth rate 2.22 percent. That means 800,396 more BA degrees in 2015 than 1990. Again growth rates for women are higher than men: 2.45 percent for women, 1.93 percent for men.

The slowest annual growth rates come in first professional degrees with an annual growth rate of only 1.20 percent. Medical Doctor, also known as the MD degree, has the lowest growth rate of professional degrees: .79 percent. Among other medical specialties podiatry and chiropractic medicine have negative growth, and optometry have low growth: 1.22 percent. Osteopathic medicine had 5,355 graduates and a growth rate of 5.34 percent since 1990. None of these other medical degrees are as important to the country as the MD degree where America's medical schools turned out just 18,302 graduates in 2015, 2,364 more than 1985-86. Veterinary medicine has higher growth than the MD degree, 1.31 percent, although lower numbers. Pharmacy degrees have the highest growth rate among first professional degrees. Pharmacy is the third leading first time professional degree with 14,304 thousand graduates in 2015 compared to 1,244 in 1990. Outside of medicine, law degrees continue to grow at a slow pace of .21 percent a year with 40,024 graduates in 2015, down from 43,772 in June 2014, but still 44.4 percent of professional degrees.

Degree Program Details 2015

The National Center for Education Statistics defines individual degree programs within a hierarchy of programs defined as part of its Classification of Instructional Programs, or CIP for short. Individual degrees are grouped as part of related degrees in a broader group of functional levels. For example, civil engineering is an instructional degree program within the broader functional level, engineering. Political science is an instructional degree program within the broader functional level, social science.

Associates degrees, were up slightly to 1,013,971 in 2015. The National Center for Education Statistics first started reporting associates degrees in June of 1966 when they were 111,607 graduates. They have increased with almost every year bigger than the last. Degrees in liberal arts and science, general studies and humanities continue to grow with 367,626 degrees in 2015, which was 36.3 percent of associates degrees and more than any other field of study. Health professions hold second place with 199,991; business degrees have third place with 113,630 degrees. Many with associate’s degrees go on to finish baccalaureate degrees but many associates degree have career oriented degrees that could be terminal degrees for entry level training. Personal and culinary services, criminal justice and corrections, mechanics and repairers are three degrees with 76,495 graduates in 2015 and specific entry skills to begin a career. Computer and information sciences and support services continued a fifth year of increase with 36,401 degrees, 79 percent men. The total remains below the 46.2 thousand degrees of 2003. Many of the technical programs in nursing, health, engineering and architecture provide entry skills, but also a beginning path to baccalaureate or advanced degree training.

Baccalaureate degrees were up to 1,894,934 for the year ending June 2015. The National Center for Education Statistics reports data for Baccalaureate instructional degree programs, also known as fields of study, or majors. Business baccalaureate programs had 366,799 degrees, the highest percentage of total BA degrees: 19.2 percent. Health care and related professions has second place in 2015 with 216,228 degrees and a 5 year average increase with 17,319 degrees, the highest increase of the broad BA degree fields of study. Social science degrees including history, political science, sociology, economics and history dropped in 2015 but still holds third place with 166,944 degrees, or 8.81 percent of BA degrees. Social Science degrees have a 5-year average decrease of 1,167 degrees.

No other field of study with BA degrees has as much as 7 percent of degrees. Psychology has 117,557 degree candidates at 6.20 percent of degrees. Biology and life sciences, and visual and performing arts have over 5 percent, and communications, journalism and related studies have 4.78 percent. Education has 91,623 graduates at 4.84 percent, primarily elementary education. Important degrees in computer and information sciences did increase from 50,962 in 2013 to 59,581 BA degrees in 2015. Computer and information sciences have a 5-year average increase of 3,998. Engineering did better with a 5-year average increase of 5,041 and 97,858 BA degrees in 2015, a 5.16 percent share. Several BA fields of study show a decline since 1990: English language and literature, social sciences and history, and liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities have a negative five year average change.

Masters degrees were up for the second year to 758,708 in 2015. The National Center for Education Statistics reports master’s degree data, which tends to be concentrated in a few fields. Like the Baccalaureate degree the masters degree in business holds first place with 185,222 master’s degrees and 133,896 of the degrees in the single program, the MBA degree. Business has 24.4 percent of master’s degrees. Education master’s degrees hold second place with 146,561 education degrees. All masters degrees in educational specialties are 19.3 percent of master’s degrees for the year ending June 2015. However, education masters degrees have a 5-year average decrease of 7,116.

Education is a degree level where there are more master’s degrees than baccalaureate degrees. Library science, social work, and counseling also have more masters than baccalaureate degrees. Library science had 99 BA degrees; 5,259 masters degrees for 2015. In education for nearly all the public schools teachers that earn masters degree in educational specialties open career opportunities teaching in specialized programs and move to a higher pay scale. The master degree is often directly tied with career opportunity and advancement.

Health professions hold third place with 102,897 masters degrees, 13.6 percent of the total. The largest master’s degree training occurs in nursing with 15,349 MSN degrees compared to 121,810 at the BA degree level. Public health is next with 8,482 degrees and health care administration and management is third place with 8,152 degrees.

There were 46,114 masters degrees reported for engineering masters programs. Computer and information services specialties had 31,474 master’s degrees for 2015, up almost 6 thousand from 2014. It has a five year average increase of 2,704, a modest increase compared to excellent job prospects. Chemistry leads physical science degrees, but with only 2,309 degrees. Mathematics had 7,589 master’s degrees but both math and science are small compared to business, education and health professions masters degrees.

Doctoral degrees were up to 87,302 for the year ending June 2015. Annual growth rates continue to be very high with a five year average increase of 3,415 doctorates. Doctoral candidates are up every year for over a decade. The health professions had 19,782 doctorates or 19.4 percent of doctorates for the year. The total does not include the MD degree, which is a professional degree. Second place goes to education with 11,772 doctorates and 12.1 percent of the total. Engineering had 10,239 PhD’s, or 10.7 percent of doctorates. Biology and biomedical sciences 8,053 degrees, or 9.1 percent; physical sciences 5,823 degrees, or 6.3 percent of doctorates. The biological and physical sciences have a higher share of doctorates than they do for baccalaureate degree programs. Specialties in psychology in 27 programs totaled 6,583 doctorates. In the social sciences, economics, political science, sociology and history have the largest share of the 4,828 social science doctorates. Business has only 3,116 doctorates, mostly the DBA. English language and literature shows a decline since 1970, but small growth after 1990 with 1,056 doctorates in 1990 and 1,418 in 2015.

Percentage Distribution of All Degrees Granted for the Year Ending June 2012

1. Business, management, marketing - - - makes up 20.1% of all degrees
2. Social Sciences, and history, lib-arts, general-studies, multi-disciplinary - - - 10.8%
3. Health Professions - - - 12.4%
4. Education - - - makes up 9.1% of all degrees
5. Physical sciences, Biological and Biomedical sciences - - - 6.4%
6. Psychology - - - 5.5%
7. Engineering - - - 5.6%
8. Visual and performing arts - - - 4.2%
9. English language/literature/letters, Area & ethnic stud, Foreign languages - - - 3.3%
10. Communication, journalism, and related programs - - - 3.7%
11. Public administration and social service professions - - - 3.0%
12. Computer science - - - 3.4%
13. Homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting - - - 2.7%
14. Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies - - - 2.1%
15. Natural resources and Agriculture - - - 1.6%
16. Philosophy and religious studies, Theology and Religious Vocations - - - 1.5%
17. Family and consumer sciences/human sciences - - - 1.0%
18. Mathematics and Statistics - - - 1.1%
19. Engineering technologies/technicians - - - .8%
20. Architecture - - - .6%
21. Law and Legal studies - - - .5%
22. Library science - - - .2%
23. Communications technologies/technicians and support services - - -.2%
24. Transportation and materials moving technologies - - -.2%

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cheap Labor - Down on the Farm

On April 30, 2012 the associated press wrote a story titled “Move to kill planned rules on child farm labor draws criticism.” The article tells readers the Obama administration has abandoned a proposal to restrict the use of child labor on dangerous farm jobs. Restrictions for 16 year olds banned them from operating power driven farm machinery especially tractors, working at heights to protect against falls, and from castrating farm animals. Other limitations among 15 new rules banned 18 year olds from working in grain silos, feet lots and stock yards. Exemptions allowed exclusion for children working on their parent’s farm.

Proponents argued that four times more children are killed while performing farm work than those in all other industries combined. Republican opponents called the plan “impractical, heavy-handed regulation that ignored the reality of small farms.” Democrat Al Franken from a farm state offered his opposition. Sarah Palin chimed in from her Facebook page with her own apocalyptic worry: “If I wanted America to fail, I’d ban kids from farm work.” Gee?

The American Farm Bureau waxed sentimental because “the new prohibitions would upset traditions in which many children work on farms owned by uncles, grandparents and other relatives to reduce costs and learn how a farm operates.

We could suppose the Farm Bureau slipped up here when they worried about reducing cost because the quoted comments sound mostly intended to divert attention from the true purpose of their opposition: cheap labor.

Access to cheap immigrant labor helped reduce farm costs for a number of years, but Republicans have always had to fake their opposition to immigration because part of their right wing constituents don’t like it, even though their agri-business and corporate farm constituents do. Now that cheap immigrants are harder to find, the Republicans need to find some new source of cheap labor.

The article mentioned the government’s estimate that 300,000 children were involved out of about 1.4 million the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports working in wage and salary employment in agriculture. Since the government exempted children of family farms we can expect the 300,000 children in question are mostly helping to save money for corporate agriculture.

With 12 million unemployed and quite a few millions more leaving the labor force for lack of work it does appear adult replacements might be found, but possibly not at the pathetic wages big business expects to pay the kids. Since the farm price support subsidies go more and more to agri-business as they become fully integrated companies operating from the farm to the supermarket, we have to expect farm subsidies are much bigger than the difference between adult wages and the low wages to children.

Using child labor goes back many years. Congress passed the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act way back in 1916. It was an age when the courts were the primary source of aid to business in their eternal quest for cheap labor. With this in mind reformers were careful to craft a bill which relied on the commerce clause of the constitution to prohibit the transportation of products through interstate commerce if they were produced with child labor.

Using authority in the commerce clause was a practical strategy intended to defer to, or satisfy, the judicial review they were certain would come. In previous cases the court repeatedly ruled that the commerce clause of the constitution provided Congress with unqualified powers in the regulation of interstate commerce.

Even though the court had previously upheld a ban on the interstate transportation of adulterated drugs, and another banning the interstate sale of lottery tickets, and another banning the interstate transportation of women for immoral purposes, the justices searched for previously unheard of excuses to undo the child labor legislation.

In the Supreme Court case known as Hammer v. Dagenhart the court wrote that the interstate transportation of adulterated drugs, lottery tickets, and prostitutes created “harmful results” but the new law that restricted children under 14 from working more than 8 hours a day, or more than 6 days a week, or before 6 A.M. or after 7 P..M. in textile mills did not create “harmful results” and was therefore beyond the power of Congress to regulate.

In the wrap up to their long and convoluted written opinion the justices declared the Keating-Owen Child Labor act “repugnant” to the constitution. The Supreme Court opinion came on June 3, 1918, or 94 years before Sarah Palin told us America will fail banning kids from farm work. Decide for yourself, but I do not see satisfactory progress in America’s attitudes toward exploiting children, or making excuses for using cheap child labor.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy services are part of health care that is delivered by people working in three occupations: Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants and Physical Therapist Aides. The three and their Standard Occupational Classification codes are defined below.

29-1123 Physical Therapists
Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.

31-2021 Physical Therapist Assistants
Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.

31-2022 Physical Therapist Aides
Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

Physical therapists need a license that usually requires a master’s degree for entry. Around 85 percent work in health care, 5 percent in education and a few try to work as self employed. Physical therapy assistants and aides are tied to working for, or with, physical therapists. Physical therapy assistants do not have specific educational requirements and only about 20 percent have a BA degree or above in any field.

Physical therapy services are like many services in and out of health care in that the occupational definition and work of physical therapist establishes that physical therapists can do all of the work of physical therapy assistants and physical therapy aides. Physical therapy assistants can do all the work of physical therapy aides. Employers have the financial incentive to limit the work of physical therapists to that part of physical therapy that requires the training and license of a physical therapist. By splitting the work into more specialized parts they can hire much cheaper assistants and aides to do the other work and limit the number of jobs they must have for the higher paid work. That goes on in millions of America’s jobs.

National employment as physical therapists reached 185,440 as of 2011, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies as a job needing at least BA degree skills. Jobs are up by an average of 5,912 a year since 2000 with a growth rate far above the national average. Physical therapy assistants had 67,550 jobs in 2011 with jobs up an average of 2,130 a year since 2000 and a growth rate above the national average. Physical therapy aides had 47,640 jobs with jobs up an average of 1,184 a year and growth above the national average.

In general physical therapy degree training is either BA, or usually MA, but any degree training for an assistant might be an associate’s degree in some allied health program. Expect though that no one wants to do physical therapy degree training to be a physical therapy assistant. There is no AA degree in physical therapy as such, but various exercise and health degrees. Therefore, much of the work of the assistant is on the job training. The physical therapy aide job requires some on the job training but should be considered dead end work by itself.

Job growth is not the only measure of new hiring. Job openings equal job growth and the number of net replacements. Net replacements are people who permanently leave an occupation for another occupation or retirement and must be replaced before there can be any job growth. Job openings for physical therapists have been averaging around 8,705 per year in recent years; openings for physical therapy assistants are expected to average 3,525 a year; for physical therapy aides 2,324 a year.

Averages are not used much in wage data. A few high wages pull up the average and make it unrepresentative. Instead a distribution range of wages is published with the 10th, 25th, median, 75th, and 90th percentiles of wages. A 10th percentile wage means 10 percent working in this job have wages equal to or less than the 10th percentile wage and so on. Annual wages are converted to hourly wages by dividing annual by 2,080.

The entry wage in the 10th percentile for physical therapists is reported as $54,710 in 2011. The median wage is $78,270, and the 90th percentile wage is $110,670. Yearly reported wage increases barely keep up with inflation especially in the higher range of salary. Buying power continues to erode at the median and 90th percentile wage levels despite increases in monetary wages. Entry level wages boosted buying power at the 10th and 25th percentile wage levels compared to the 8 to 10 years ago.

The entry wage in the 10th percentile for physical therapy assistants is reported as $32,030 in 2011. The median wage is $51,040, and the 90th percentile wage is $71,200. Yearly reported wage have been keeping up with inflation. Buying power is up moderately over the last 7 to 8 years.

The entry wage in the 10th percentile for physical therapy aides is reported as $17,180 in 2011. The median wage is $23,680, and the 90th percentile wage is $35,340. Yearly reported wage increases are not keeping up with inflation. Buying power is about the same or a little lower over the last 7 to 8 years.

New BA, MA and doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy are part of 11 different Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professional degree specialties and those 11 are part of 164 degree programs in health professions and related clinical sciences. BA degrees in physical therapy programs totaled 550 for the year ending 2009. The total is down from the recent high of 778 degrees in 2005. However, the MA degree and Doctorate degree are more important than a BA degree in physical therapy. The MA degree had 1,360 graduates in the year ending June 2009, but that was down from 4,687 in 2002. The doctorate degree had 7,192 degrees in the year ending June 2009, but that was up from 966 in 2001. Therefore the doctorate degree is replacing other physical therapy degrees as the education level for physical therapy.