The Youngest Bachelor’s-Degree Holders in Higher Education

Posted by Steve Probst on Mar 31, 2017 4:47:17 PM

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We all have our stereotypes of hot new academic programs (Robotics! Brewing!) and obsolete ones (Blacksmithing!).  Brushing away the folklore, though, it is interesting to see which fields have the largest and smallest shares of younger graduates.

Gray studied all U.S. workers who hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, broken down by the academic field of those Bachelor’s degrees.  For this analysis, we considered degree holders under 30 years old.

The field with the lowest proportion of graduates under age 30 is Library Science.  Only four percent of full-time workers with this Bachelor’s degree are under age 301.  Continuing the trend in higher education, the number of new graduates in this field is down by one third since 2011.  Adding insult to injury, the field itself is no longer just “Library Science”.  Today’s programs are categorized as “Library and Information Science.”

In contrast, the fields with the highest shares of young graduates are Neurosciences and Actuarial Science, with close to half of these degree holders under age 30.  These are two of the fastest-growing programs in higher education.  Bachelor’s degrees in both of these fields grew roughly 80% from 2009 through 2015.

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1 Source:  Gray Associates analysis of the American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample.

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Topics: Higher Education