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Comment Re:data (Score 3, Informative) 344

Here is the quick summary of the historical trends by major:
From 1970 until 2010, US population grew by about a third. However, the number of bachelor's degrees granted doubled. This is reasonable - we have a more knowledge driven economy.
There were about 52 thousand engineering and computer degrees per year around 1970. By 2010, this number is about 120 thousand - so that more then doubled. Much of this is related to computer science/information degrees (not surprising). Engineering increased but failed to double.

Math/statistics degrees decreased from about 25 thousand per year to 15 thousand per year. That might be concerning.

Physical science degrees (mostly chemistry, some geology and physics) were unchanged: about 21 thousand per year up to about 23 thousand per year. That might not sound great.

Education degrees fell from 176 thousand per year to 101 thousand per year. Ya, that is probably not good.

So what boomed? Business degrees. From 115 thousand per year in 1970 up to 358 thousand per year in 2010, which is about 22% of all degrees granted. And if you look at salary and unemployment, they do not do too bad - about on par with life science majors; better than most majors.

After business degrees, social science degrees are the next largest category, but the raw number granted per year (from 1970 to 2010) did not grow very much.

Health care related degrees, performing arts and psychology also more then doubled.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Two Currencies

When we hear horrible economic news, it causes suffering even in the wealthiest nations. Yet the proposed remedies, such as more generous welfare benefits, or perhaps less government regulation are questionable in their ability to address the real problems and politically nonviable.

I believe there is an alternative which will be palatable to most in the US and will preserve the best aspects of capitalism while mitigating the damages.

Comment data (Score 1) 344

You can find the breakdown of degrees by area in the US from:

You can find estimates of initial unemployment rates after getting a college degree, and expected earnings from:

If anyone knows more links to other data sets, I would be very interested. I want to provide my students with the best data available.

If you are interested in physics, the American Institute of Physics ( under "Physics Resources", "Statistical Research" has a huge amount of data - if anyone has similar data for other STEM majors (actually, for any major) I'm interested.


Submission + - Drugs to Prevent Cell Suicide

MrErlenmeyer writes: Many injuries and diseases including heart attacks, stroke, and Parkinson's cause healthy cells to kill themselves. A group of scientists at Washington University in Saint Louis believe they have a lead on how to stop apoptosis, unwanted cell suicide, and thus minimize the tissue damage that occurs as a result of these injuries. They designed drugs that halt the actions of executioner caspases, proteins that as a molecular wrecking crew. Other scientists had found that a chemical called isatin could prevent tissue damage in rabbit hearts that were deprived of oxygen. This was the starting point for the team of researchers in Missouri. By making some changes to the molecule, they were able to develop an even more effective molecule. With some further refinement, this may lead to a new class of emergency medications.

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