New research suggests that living in a state that has a high number of electricity generating stations and a high percentage of people with electrical engineering degrees is more important than living in states with lower percentages of people in that field.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine examined how the probability of being employed in a specific occupation in the United States was affected by state of residence and the likelihood of graduating from a certain type of college.
They found that states with high percentage earners were less likely to have electrical engineering graduates than those with lower percentage earners.
The findings were published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The research also found that having a high degree of electrical engineering education is related to having a higher income, although there is little correlation between the two.
“We found that a high level of electrical engineer education was associated with being a high income, and in fact, being a higher wage earner was related to being in a higher level of educational attainment,” said co-author Andrew R. Smith, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Department of Computer Science at UCI.
“We think this is a result of the fact that electrical engineers tend to be highly educated.
The fact that we see this in the U.S. shows that the number of electrical engineers is growing.”
But there are some states where that relationship is not so clear.
We find that states that have higher percentages of residents with electrical engineer degrees are less likely than states that do not to have any electrical engineer graduates,” Smith said.
The researchers also found the correlation between income and the presence of electrical college graduates is not as strong as it might be.
For example, states with a high percent of people earning less than $50,000 per year were less dependent on the presence or not of electrical graduate work.
The study is the first to examine this relationship.”
There is some evidence that states do not have a strong relationship between a state’s overall educational attainment and its ability to attract graduates with a higher education,” Smith noted.”
In this study, we tried to tease out some of the factors that may affect this relationship, including whether or not people with more advanced degrees live in states where a high share of people are in electrical engineering or a related field, and whether or the proximity of a college to a city may influence the probability that people with higher incomes will move to states where electrical engineers do not exist.
“While the findings are not conclusive, they suggest states should consider investing in their electrical engineering programs.”
The study was supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.”
The question we need to ask is whether the number and type of jobs that a state provides in terms of an electrical engineering degree and the degree of people who graduate with that degree is an appropriate predictor of the level of employment that people are able to attain.”
The study was supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Follow Andrew on Twitter at @AndrewRSmith.
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