From Jonah Sinick at Cognito Mentoring: Here is a chart of median earnings (in thousands) for liberal arts majors when starting out (second column) and during their mid-careers (third column).
The post looks specifically at the earnings of economics majors with some interesting insights:
Acquisition of desire to make money
Something that economics majors learn to a greater degree that those who major in other subjects is that income is a proxy to social value generated. Thus, majoring in economics will shift those who want to contribute social value from lower paying careers to higher paying careers.
It’s also been suggested that studying economics increases people’s selfishness on account economic models assuming self-interested agents (see e.g. Economics makes you selfish and Are economists selfish? A lit review). To the extent that this is true, those who would otherwise have chosen work based on the social value generated rather than income may give higher weight to income than to social value contributed when selecting a career. Here too, majoring in economics would shift people from lower paying careers to higher paying careers. The research on studying economics increasing selfishness has been criticized as nonrobust, and may not prove what it’s been purported to — I just raise it as one possibility of many.
I know that quite a few of our readers majored in economics! Did studying economics make you more selfish/increase your desire to earn more?
Photo: Texas A&M
Mad Men is back! I’ll be writing about the show all season. Though we don’t get a glimpse of Sally or Betty in the last night’s season premiere—an episode called “Time Zones” set in January, 1969, in which Don travels to L.A. to see Megan and back—there is plenty to talk about with regard to Megan, Peggy, Margaret, and Joan. Oh, and then there’s the appearance of a woman played by Neve Campbell—where has she been lately?
Also back in the rotation is Freddie Rumsen, the guy who was forced to take a leave of absence from an earlier iteration of Sterling Cooper due to drinking too much. He’s freelancing for Peggy, while Don is now the guy on leave from the ad agency (for two months, at this point) for essentially the same reason Freddie was let go. By the end of the episode we’ll learn that Freddie is actually delivering Don’s work to the agency—Peggy always was a sucker for Don’s messaging, though she doesn’t appear to know it’s his work—but in the beginning we see just the broad face of Rumsen, eyes big and earnest to the camera, pitching Accutron watches. Peggy loves the final line, rejiggers it a bit as her own, and pitches it to her new boss for a slam-dunk. But he doesn’t bite.
And so it becomes clear: Though the end of last season brought Peggy into the spotlight as Don’s heir apparent, it just as quickly pushed her back down again, forcing her to contend with a male boss who doesn’t seem to care about the work. He tells her he guesses he’s just “immune to her charms.” This is new territory for Peggy: Don may not have been in love with her, but he certainly felt a strong creative and also paternal connection to her, and her former boss, Ted Chaough, fell head over heels for his mentee. Peggy’s feeling like just about everyone is immune to her charms these days; when her relationship with Abe ended she was left alone in their apartment, having to deal with tenant issues that he used to handle. In the workplace, even her friendship with Stan seems strained. At the end of the episode, she enters her apartment, falls to the floor, and starts to cry. We’ve all been there. But in Peggy’s lowest moments, she has seemed to possess a kind of dignity and power over her situation, an ability to get through it. Now, it seems like she’s perilously close to breakdown.
According to Re/code, a recent survey of 1,000 software developers found the following:
• 69 percent of engineers say their role is “recession-proof.”
• 91 percent say they feel they are the “most valued” employees at their company.
• 56 percent believe they will become millionaires at some point.
Says Barry Crist, the CEO of Chef, a Seattle-based company: “Today, being a software developer, it’s not apologetic. They’re becoming the power class.”
Good for them! Perhaps in the future, writing code will be something everyone learns to do in school (I see it happening!). But no comment on the “power class” thing.
Photo: Erik Hersman
I am the kind of person who likes looking at the interiors of other people’s apartments (usually via the Times real estate section), but looking at all these work spaces is fascinating as well.
How much of a difference would it make for you if your workweek was cut to 35 hours? Jared Keller writes in Pacific Standard that the city of Gothenburg, Sweden has proposed to conduct a year-long experiment in which “the municipal council will separate employees into two different groups at the same pay rate, with a test group working six-hour days and a control group working the traditional eight.” According to the city’s deputy mayor, the hope is that workers will feel mentally and physically better and take fewer sick days, while becoming more efficient.
Keller points out that another country that tried our a 35-hour work week—France—didn’t succeed in lowering unemployment or improve the mental well-being of its workers.
One reason for this could be our collective rat race mentality: READ MORE
Sometimes the quest to save a few bucks only serves to bite you in the ass. If there’s one thing that living out of a backpack for six months taught me, it’s the importance of making smart financial decisions, often on the fly. Here are three instances in which scrimping ended up costing us…
Hop on board. Go to sleep in one city. Wake up in another. Save on a night’s accommodation in the process. Brilliant, right?
In theory, sure. But while you might save a few dollars by bedding down on a sleeper bus, the odds of actually getting enough shuteye is pretty low. You may well end up eating into valuable time later catching up on sleep.
Back in the day when my credit was very, very bad and I didn’t have any real sense of urgency about doing something about it, per se, my mom would try to put the fear of god in me by saying that when I applied for jobs, prospective employers could looking up my credit and, seeing how irresponsible I was, decide not to hire me. This seemed (and seems!) both totally unfair and hardly believable.
According to a recent survey-based study from public policy org Demos (h/t Astra Taylor), employment credit checks are actually fairly common: 1 in 4 of unemployed people who were surveyed reported having their credit checked as part of a job application. Among the unemployed with ‘blemished’ credit histories, 1 in 7 has been informed they missed out on a job because of their credit.
Employment credit checks are legal under federal law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) permits employers to request credit reports on job applicants and existing employees.4 Under the statute, employers must first obtain written permission from the individual whose credit report they seek to review. Employers are also required to notify individuals before they take “adverse action” (in this case, failing to hire, promote or retain an employee) based in whole or in part on any information in the credit report. The employer is required to offer a copy of the credit report and a written summary of the consumer’s rights along with this notification. After providing job applicants with a short period of time (typically three to five business days) to identify and begin disputing any errors in their credit report, employers may then take action based on the report and must once again notify the job applicant.
I’ve never been informed that a prospective employer was going to run a credit check on me (MIKE DANG???), so I suppose that means it hasn’t happened. READ MORE
People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask. In this edition, producer and editor Mike Byhoff tells us more about what it’s like to leave your job, get on a plane headed for a country you know nothing about, and then spend a month abroad without an agenda or being able to speak the language.
Leaving for central america for a month in 12 hours and don't speak spanish and have basically no itinerary what the fuck am I doing.
— Mike Byhoff (@mbyhoff) February 28, 2014
Mike! We spoke at the end of February after you frightened everyone with that tweet, and we decided to hold off on a Tell Us More until you got back. Now that you’ve returned home, let’s begin with this: So what happened here?
To get to me hyperventilating on a plane as it landed in Guatemala City, I should probably start from the beginning, which is the wonderful world of unemployment. I took a job as an editorial director of a video start-up in March of 2013. It seemed like the “right move” for my career, as it was part of a well-known company in the tech scene, the guy who started the company is one of the most brilliant people I have ever worked for, I got equity, and I could frame the editorial direction the way I wanted to.
Cut to 12 months later, and we’ve barely acquired users, we’ve pivoted three times, my job responsibilities shifted DRAMATICALLY, and we were going to partner with another company for content. I was sat down and given the option to take a scaled-back role or severance. Without much thought, I took the severance. READ MORE