Is education the root cause?

When we last left off we looked at the Gross Annual Income expected by occupation and it’s implications for the income disparities between blacks and whites.  This raised a larger question of whether education or race is a factor in which occupation a person pursues.

In order to delve into discovering the answer to this question, we had to go back to the 2000 Census, which while not recent should give us a rough idea of the impact of education on occupation. 

From the 2000 Census numbers on Working Population 16 years and Over by Highest Examination Passed, Major Occupation Group we have been able to produce the following charts to give a visual answer to our question.


These were the hard numbers used which produced the charts below.


Here we have the breakdown of Education Level by Major Occupational Group.  Already we can see the impact a Bachelors (not college/associate) has on attaining a Professional/Technical related job.  In order to gain a better picture, lets look at the percentages.


Here we can note the direct and undeniable correlation between education level and professional jobs while also noting that there is less of a correlation between education level and Admin & Management jobs.  We can also note how there is a stark correlation between lower levels of education and the clerical, service and production/transport related jobs.

This tells us quite a bit.  Education leads to a better paying occupation.  Thus, if there is a racial disparity in education, that carries right up to career and subsequently earning potential.

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I have followed your analysis on this salary issue. If, and I use ‘if’ carefully, education is one of the root causes then the divide will only get worse. Our current public education is broken, by any definition of the word. The private schools seem to be going from strength to strength….I.T. probably being the biggest divide right now between the two systems. What are we going to do to correct this?

Denis Pitcher

Big Question, Off the top of my head: Theres an old management adage “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” that needs to be embraced throughout government. The number one problem we have is that we’re not adequately measuring the problem. Testing across the board for public/private, teacher and student for every level of education and the expected levels of competency needs to be implemented so we can start identifying where the problems occur. In order to start improving our level of education we need to – Implement the recommendations of the education review recently conducted. – Standardized testing across… Read more »

Denis Pitcher

I’ll quickly add another idea I’ve been meaning to write about. Extend high school until it realistically enables individuals to enter directly into university abroad. Cut down Bermuda College and develop programs for more Bermudians to go abroad for education. This can be done through creating a partnership with a foreign university. Pick a university abroad (likely england since we’re a british colony) and make a deal that we can build a residence specifically for our Bermudian students. Allow Bermudians to stay there for free with other Bermudians and make attending university as cheap as possible, if not free. Develop… Read more »