Data Packages » Underemployment » Methodology
Methodology

Using PayScale data we provide the following:
  1. The 15 Most Underemployed Majors as well as the gender breakdown, median starting pay, reason for being underemployed breakdown, the percentage of those who feel they are underpaid that are actually underpaid relative to the market, and common jobs for those that are underpaid for each major.

  2. The breakdown of reasons for underemployment for the U.S., overall and broken down by gender and by generation.
We also used data from the PayScale Compensation Best Practices Report to share data about hard-to-fill job types and data from McKinsey and Chegg to report on the Skills Gap.

Definitions:


Total Cash Compensation (TCC): TCC combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or value of other non-cash benefits (e.g., healthcare).

Median Pay:
The median pay is the national median (50th Percentile) annual total cash compensation. Half the people doing the job earn more than the median, while half earn less.

Years of Experience: These are the number of years the respondent has spent in the field/career.  Therefore the years of experience will incorporate all applicable jobs in the field, not just the current job.

Starting Median Pay:
The median pay for workers with 0-5 years of experience.  

% Underemployed:  This is the percent of respondents who answered "Yes" to the question "Do you consider yourself underemployed?"  or answered "I'm not sure" and did not answer "I am happily employed" when further prompted "Tell us more about your employment situation."

15 Most Underemployed Majors:  These are the 15 majors with the highest % underemployed.

Reason for Being Underemployed:
This is the percent breakdown of those who answered "I am not getting paid as much as my education or training merits", "I am not working in a job that uses my education or training ", and "I am working part-time but want full-time work " when further asked "Tell us more about your employment situation." This only applies to those who respond "Yes" or "I'm not sure" to the question "Do you consider yourself underemployed?"

% Who Feel Underpaid:
This is the % of workers who answered "Yes" or "I'm not sure" to the question "Do you consider yourself underemployed?" and
"I am not getting paid as much as my education or training merits" when further asked "Tell us more about your employment situation."

% Who Feel Underpaid and Actually Are:
This is the percent of those who feel underpaid whose pay is more than 10% below the market pay.

Common Jobs for Underpaid Majors:
These are jobs held by those who feel they are underpaid by major and the median pay for the job (not specific to major).

Generational Breakdown:
  1. Generation Y (Gen Y): People who were born between 1982 and 2002.

  2. Generation X (Gen X): People who were born between 1965 and 1981.

  3. Baby Boomers: People who were born between 1946 and 1964.
Relatively Common Jobs that Require a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: Relatively Common Jobs that Require a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: These are jobs that have a high number of respondents within the major compared to all workers in the U.S.
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