Author: Katie Bardaro

Katie joined PayScale in 2008. In addition to leading the data analytics team and building and maintaining PayScale's proprietary compensation model, Katie served as PayScale's chief economist. She has provided analysis on compensation data and trends for print/online and broadcast media including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, CNBC, CNN Money, USA Today, Forbes, and Business Insider, among others. Katie holds a bachelor's in economics from the College of the Holy Cross and a master's in economics from University of Washington, with a focus in labor economics and econometrics.

Data Visualizations

How the PayScale Index Differs from Other Economic Indicators

While the PayScale Index is often compared to the Employment Cost Index, they are not tracking the same thing, but both measures are important signals.
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The Gender Pay Gap Increases as You Move Up the Corporate Ladder

For more than seven years, we at PayScale have been producing in-depth reports on the gender pay gap, the most recent of which released in early December. Based on these years of research, we have determined that the gender pay gap is more nuanced...
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A Data Person’s Take on Compference16

When walking the halls of the Seattle Sheraton, surrounded by HR professionals, compensation experts, and many notable executives, one could truly feel the buzz generated by Compference 2016. The excitement was palpable. Here we had a diverse group of people r
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College ROI: What’s Different for 2014?

Today PayScale released our 2014 College Return on Investment (ROI) Report and for those who are avid consumers you might notice some changes from previous years. We have refined our methodology this year to deliver what we believe is the most accurate represe
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Buying Power of Incomes Is Dropping

Were you one of those lucky few who were able to hold onto your job during the Great Recession, but still feel the pinch when it comes time to pay bills or buy groceries? Well, you are not alone.   It turns out that...
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Introducing the PayScale College Salary Report 2013-2014

There is more to choosing a college than mascots and majors. Your school choice today can impact your earnings tomorrow. Read on to learn about the most important factors that should influence your choice and how to find the information you need to make...
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Addressing a Critique of the PayScale Gender Wage Gap Study

A contributor to Skepchick.org wrote an opinion piece questioning the methodology of the recently released PayScale Gender Wage Gap report. In her blog post, titled “For-Profit Wage Comparison Website Overturns Feminist Dogma. Or Not.”, Jamie Bernstein bri
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Software Engineers, MBAs and College ROI: A Rebuttal

The co-founder of Bleacher Report wrote a scathing critique of our recently released College ROI Rankings titled “Do Software Engineers Earn More than MBAs?” His main point of contention was the fact that only those with a bachelor’s degree and no higher
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Behind The Scenes of The 2013 College ROI Report Methodology

Our recently released College Return on Investment (ROI) rankings reflects a few updates to our methodology. In this blog post, I will provide some insight into the overall methodology, as well as highlight the methodological changes we have made and why we ma
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Fallacy of the Gender Wage Gap

Is the gender wage gap as simple as some media outlets report it to be? PayScale’s data paints a more complicated picture. On Equal Pay Day, GeekWire recently wrote about a study ranking Seattle as the worst metro for the gender wage gap. According
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Addressing Critics of the PayScale College ROI Rankings

In a previous blog post, I discussed the methodology of the PayScale College Return on Investment (ROI) Rankings, which examine the financial return of attending 853 different U.S. colleges and universities. This ranking has garnered a lot of attention and has
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How Do We Calculate College ROI?

In conjunction with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, PayScale recently released our third annual College Return on Investment (ROI) Report, which evaluates the financial return for a bachelor's degree from 853 U.S. schools. With this study, we hoped to lend our voi
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Equal Pay Day Is Misleading

For those of you who are interested in gender pay gaps, you likely know today (April 17th) is Equal Pay Day. This date "symbolizes how far into 2012 women must work to earn what men earned in 2011," according to the National Committee on...
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Talking Points for Republican Primaries in Michigan and Arizona

The Republican primaries in Arizona and Michigan take place on February 28th. In trying to win over the primary voters, the candidates will need to address economic concerns of each state's residents. Here at PayScale, we researched the economic "heal
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Top Jobs for Veterans

Back in 2011, Obama promised the complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq and a significant reduction of troops in Afghanistan by year's end, both of which would cause a significant influx into the U.S. labor market for 2012. Where are these veterans
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Romney Earned 500 Times the Average Worker in 2010

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns yesterday and America learned he paid an effective tax rate of 15 percent on $21.6 million of income. Slate took this information and put an interesting spin on it: "How long would
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Trends in US Wages: The PayScale Index

Today we launched our fifth release of The PayScale Index, which tracks changes in the price of labor since 2006. And for the first time since 2008, wage increases are being seen across the board. Previously, wage growth winners were typically in just high-tec
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CEO Pay vs. Typical Worker Pay

We recently released an insightful bit of data that looks at the ratio of pay for Fortune 50 CEOs to the pay of employees at their respective companies. The results are unsettling — on average the Fortune 50 CEOs earn 213 times more than...
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Trends in Tips

Tips are a way of life for many service industry jobs. In fact, for some jobs tips make up over 50 percent of a worker's total take-home pay. During tough economic times these workers often suffer from a decrease in their tips, both due...
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Top IT Employers

We recently released a story comparing IT Employers across several factors, such as typical pay, stress levels, typical age, gender breakdown, etc. There are some similarities across the employers (e.g. they pay well compared to the typical U.S. employer, they
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Healthcare Hotspots

Today we published a ranking of the Top 10 Healthcare Hotspots. How did we determine these you ask? Well being salary experts, we of course factored in the median pay of healthcare jobs in these metros, but we also factored in the relative prevalence of health
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College is Not Always a Good Investment

Today, we released our annual study with Bloomberg BusinessWeek on the return on investment (ROI) in education for 691 bachelor's degree granting schools. As college costs continue to rise, the justification for paying these costs becomes ever more importa
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Pay Goes Nowhere After 40

In a recent project with blogger/career guru Penelope Trunk, we examined the age at which salaries top out. It turns out pay goes essentially nowhere after age 40. Of course there are some differences across gender, degree level and jobs, but the real lesson..
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Salary Madness: NCAA Brackets by Salary

It's the Monday after Selection Sunday, which means we now know the NCAA division I basketball teams heading to the big dance. As everyone gets ready to fill out their brackets, we here at PayScale wish to offer an alternative method to determining w
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PayScale Index: What is an Index Anyway?

We at PayScale recently released the Q4 2010 results for the PayScale Index. See a previous blog post describing the Index and another one that compares the PayScale Index to other common measures of labor market health. However, a common question posed by our
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Tipping Etiquette: Who should you tip and how much?

During the holiday season, the notion of tipping those who provide you service becomes a hot topic. However, it is important to remember that tips are a year-round affair for many. The questions that plague most people are: "Who do I tip?" and "
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Political Winners and Losers

Does it pay to be in Congress? According to our recent study, yes it does! By using our extensive salary database, we at PayScale compared the pay earned by Congress Members and Obama's Cabinet to the typical pay they could earn based on their...
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Do You Have One of America’s Best Jobs?

We recently completed our annual project with CNN/Money Magazine that ranks the 100 Best Jobs in America. These jobs were determined by numerous factors, including pay, job growth, estimated employment levels, and various quality-of-life factors, such as job s
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Does a 2nd Choice School mean 2nd Rate Pay?

As high school seniors spent April sorting through their college acceptance letters and deciding where to attend school, they may now be lamenting the fact they were rejected by their top choice college or university. However, a recent article in The Daily Bea
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Majors by Gender: Is It Bias or the Major That Determines Future Pay?

The discussion of pay differences across gender is a hot topic. We addressed this topic recently in a project with the New York Times Economix Blog, as well as in our own data package on the gender wage gap. In these studies, we controlled...
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Jobs That Make Our World a Better Place

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time to give thanks and recognize the people who contribute to our well-being. These people include the teachers who impart wisdom on our children, the doctors who ensure our health, and volunteers who are vital to the success of.
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Women Earn Less Than Men, But Why?

In a recent project with Catherine Rampell at the New York Times Economix Blog, we examine the pay differential between men and women across a set of 90 jobs. Numerous studies have looked at the gender wage gap, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics...
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4-Year vs. 2-Year College Degrees: How Does the Pay Compare?

With the rising cost of four-year colleges, people may ask themselves whether the salary promised by a bachelor's degree is really worth the time and money required to complete the program. Why not complete an associate's degree program, and enter the
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Is Your Job One of the Best in America?

In a recent project with CNN/Money Magazine, we looked at all the factors, not just pay, that go into making the 100 Best Jobs in America. Is there a lot of growth in the field? Is the job low stress? Does it offer scheduling flexibility?...
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Key Determinant of Pay: Location, Location, Location

Companies frequently employ workers all across the nation, but how do they decide what to pay their workers located in different regions? Should they focus on a set of fixed geographical pay offsets? In other words, if pay for a Software Developer is 30%...
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Dream Jobs: Fun Opportunities After a Layoff

Post by Katie Bardaro, Research Analyst, PayScale, Inc. With thousands of lay-offs, and a hiring freeze at many employers over the last few years, now is a good time to consider concentrating your job search efforts on a "dream job." Dream jobs requi
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Generation Y: What Is a Lot of Money?

[Note: This blog post was updated in February of 2011 to reflect more current salary numbers. For updated information, see PayScale’s Career Research Center.] People in my generation (Generation Y) expect to earn high pay after college graduation, but is
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MBA Schools: Whose Graduates Earn High Salaries?

Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs promise expanded career opportunities and the potential to bring home the big bucks. Lindsey Gerdes at BusinessWeek recently worked with us on an intriguing story about pay for MBA graduates. Using BusinessWeek
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Six Figure Jobs with No 4-year Degree

Logging years in school, not to mention shelling out thousands of dollars, can be a long and expensive way to increase your potential salary. However, there are several jobs where you can make a six figure salary without obtaining a college education. We recen
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If Newspapers Fail, Where Will the Employees Go?

By Katie Bardaro In recent years, the print media world has been suffering. The Tribune Co., one of the largest traditional media (read newspaper) companies, filed for bankruptcy. Other traditional media companies have followed suit, since the economy an