Another way of collecting graduate earnings data

One of the gaps in the Australian higher education information market is institution-specific earnings information. Is it worth spending more to go to a particular university?

It’s always going to be a difficult question to answer, as field-occupation specific and individual charateristics are likely to be the more important factors. But it would be useful to have some more salary data.

One method of getting the data is shown by this US initiative, PayScale, written up in the New York Times earlier this week.

Payscale gets it data by providing another labour market service, helping employeers and job seekers test the market worth of various occupations. It has used the information on degree source, field of study, occupations and salaries to create lists of the top earning jobs and colleges.

They claim to be drawing on 1.2 million users of their site. As the NYT points out is not a random sample, but I would have thought that the main likely bias – it would undersample those content in their jobs – is unlikely to lead to misleading results for those wanting to test their earnings potential.

It will be interesting to see if anyone sees potential for a similar site here. PayScale works for Australia, so when they have enough Australian entries it would be good if they published a similar report on earnings by university here.