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  • Writer's pictureChris Bail

Where will your college major take you?

What type of jobs do people with different college majors in the United States get? The visualization below describes the most common career pathways among 683,278 people who were asked questions about their college major and current job in 2019.

Where do these data come from? The American Community Survey is a large annual effort to take stock of basic demographic features of the U.S. population. Of the 3,239,553 surveyed in 2019, 683,278 reported data on their college major and current occupation. The visualization above thus refreshes an interesting analysis Neal Caren performed in 2013.

I plotted all pathways between majors and occupations above that at least 200 people followed (plotting more than this makes it difficult to see the typical pathways). This means that only the most common pathways are described in the visualization above. So if you are a college student and don't see the pathway you hope to follow, don't fret- it might just be an unusual one. If you want to explore this visualization on a larger browser window, click here.

Also, keep in mind that the job categories used in the American Community Survey are very broad and somewhat dated. For example, the term "data scientist" is not yet a category. Finally-- and perhaps most importantly-- I am not an expert in this dataset, or the study of careers. If you want to dig into the data yourself, the code to produce the chart above is available at this link.

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