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.

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

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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.

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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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3 thoughts on “Is education the root cause?

  1. Denis,
    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?

  2. 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 the board, as mentioned above
    – Bring back technical schools and make school more interesting and challenging. (teach math/physics using a bike and you’d have kids at the edge of their seats – get Bermudian you involved in off island competitions – http://www.usfirst.org/ is a good example)
    – Get rid of super schools. Kids need role models of older ages to look up to and that doesn’t exist in super schools.
    – Promote local industry in schools. Recent surveys at a college fair showed that young Bermudians have very little interest in international business – why? Because they know little to nothing about it.
    – Reduce and remove beurocracy by cutting out most of the dept of education and reduce it to a measuring, reporting and recommending body
    – pay teachers more to make it more attractive for the best and brightest to want to teach
    – give incentives (easier work permits, etc) to international business to encourage their best and brightest to take a hand in teaching
    – Establish a voucher system
    – put the power back in the hands of schools and principles
    – Try out new technologies that I’ve written about that are being pioneered around the world
    — You can get an online, unlimited time, one-on-one tutor from India for $50 a month. Go and read about studies conducted on student to teacher ratios and ask yourself the impact that would be made if every single student was assigned a tutor for assisting with in-class and homework to complement the teacher.
    — One Laptop per Child (www.olpc.com) initiatives are destined to give kids in the 3rd world more exposure to technology than Bermudian kids. Does that make any sense?
    — Interactive teaching using mobile game consoles. Nintendo DSes are being used successfully in Japan to teach students. We could be using that here.
    – Beyond that, establish a group of people to constantly review other school systems and technologies around the world to bring successful teaching methods here.

  3. 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 a department that matches students to scholarship money and helps them acquire it. There are tons of scholarships that go unfullfilled each year because students don’t even know how to apply for them. We should be taking full advantage of this and ensuring every single elgible student is getting funding.

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