Study Find that Faculty Members Earn Less than Others with Advanced Degrees
New research finds that faculty members earn less than others with advanced degrees.
According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, professors earn about 15% less than others with advanced degrees, despite working equally long hours. The study, titled “Why Are Professors Poorly Paid?,” uses information from the Current Population Survey to compare faculty salaries with the salaries of others with Ph. D., Ed. D., or M.D. degrees.
While there was not much of a difference at the low end of the salary scale between professors and non-professors, the gaps became pronounced as the study examined the more highly paid in both groups. The study also revealed that, despite earning less than other professionals with advanced degrees, professors earned about 44% more than workers without higher education degrees.
To dispel arguments that the pay disparity was a result of differing work hours, researchers used data from the American Time Use Survey to demonstrate that professors worked the same amount of time as did doctors and lawyers. The main difference was that faculty members tended to work more on weekends in comparison to other workers with advanced degrees who tended to work longer week-day hours.
The study also wished to investigate why professors chose to pursue academia, despite the possibility that it would limit their earning potential. To do so, researchers interviewed 1,000 academics who were in fields that had an equal chance of working inside and outside of academia. Generally, respondents claimed that the “freedom and novelty of research, and the satisfaction of working with young minds” were the main reasons why they decided to become professors. Time flexibility and intellectual/social interactions with colleagues were also major attractions.
These were some of the highlights from the study that found that faculty members earn less than others with advanced degrees. Looking for a consulting firm with experience working in higher education? Then don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at McKnight Associates, Inc. We are ready to offer you hands-on human resources consulting for colleges, universities, medical centers, and organizations of all sizes.