The political identity survey included a question that asked graduates and uni students about their major field of study. The idea was to see whether there were significant ideology-related differences in their academic backgrounds.
There were quite a variety of responses, but I have tried to classify them into the following categories: arts, business, economics, law, science and engineering, and what I called ‘social’ degrees, which included education, the health professions, and social work. People who put two major fields of study were sometimes counted twice, if they fitted more than one of my categories. The results for classical liberals (205 respondents) and social democrats (308 respondents) are below.
In broad terms, the groups are quite similar. If we rank them, they appear almost in the same order, with the only difference being that the ‘social’ degrees are smallest for classical liberals and second smallest for social democrats. However, there were some differences in the percentages in various broad fields of study. These broadly conform to expected stereoypes. Classical liberals were more likely to have studied business or economics or law; social democrats were more likely to have studied arts and the ‘social’ degrees.
However, with economics and law both appearing far more frequently in both groups than in the general graduate population, perhaps the conclusion to reach is that people interested in public policy tend to study related fields, regardless of their ideology.