Translating College Majors Into Jobs: An Interactive Data Visualization

source: https://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/stem/stem-html/#tabs_s

source: https://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/stem/stem-html/#tabs_s

The Census Bureau offers this interesting (albeit a bit complex) interactive data visualization which allows the user to pick any college major or occupation and see how they map to each other.  As explained on the website:

The length of each circle segment shows the proportion of people graduating in each college major and employed in each occupation group. The thickness of the lines between majors and occupations indicates the share of people in that major-occupation combination. Lines highlighted in color show the proportion of college graduates who work in STEM.

I found it interesting to look at an excerpt of the raw data, which I think actually helps one understand the data visualization better.   Here is a sample from the excel spreadsheet that creates the dataviz:

stem_data_table.xls

stem_data_table.xls

The data visualization is essentially mapping the number of individuals within each major employed in each job-- what is known as a cross tabulation in economics.   The column MOE stands for margin of error--a measure of the relative variability of each metric.  When added or subtracted from the number, the MOE gives the 90 percent confidence interval.  More on that in another blog.