Science graduates earn 22% more, says IIM-Ahmedabad study

Science Graduates Earn 22% more, says IIM-Ahmedabad study

Would you become a doctor or an engineer?’ Toddlers across the country face this ubiquitous question just as their parents fielded it when they were young. An IIM-A study has found a solid reason behind this rather obsessive insistence of parents that their wards study science — it found that graduating from science stream courses earn about 22% higher than their counterparts in business and humanities courses.

Interestingly, it is not just a science education. Underlying factors such as better grasping of English, knowledge of computers, and cognitive skills push the demand and resultant income of science students, claimed the paper.
The study ‘Science Education and Labour Market Outcomes in a Developing Economy’ was recently chosen for publication in the journal Economic Inquiry. The paper is authored by Tarun Jain from IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A), Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay from the Indian Statistical Institute, Nishith Prakash from the University of Connecticut, and Raghav Rakesh from Michigan State University.


The study claimed that the mean annual earnings were found to be Rs 1.78 lakh from the sample size of 4,763 from across India. Out of the total, the science stream students had average annual earnings of Rs 2.24 lakh, and those with humanities and business courses had Rs 1.56 lakh.
The researchers also wanted to understand underlying aspects – whether it’s just the stream that earns more money. But it’s not the case.

The study also highlights the importance of complementary skills – earnings were higher for the science students when they also had English and computer skills which were valued by the employers,” said Prof Jain

A professor of economics at IIM-A.


“The education policy should ensure that students from all streams are well rounded with academic knowledge, technical skills, and communication skills. The combination is what employers value, not one skill in isolation.”


The Gujarat statistics reveal that about 20% of the total students passing out from Class XII opt for the science stream. After the grouping of subjects, the number in Group B is constantly rising. State education experts said that with more opportunities in developing fields, the takers for science stream have increased slightly in percentage annually. They also pointed at 90% of students getting admission at IIMs being engineers and a similar trend for other professional courses in Gujarat and elsewhere.

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