Between a Diploma and a Bachelor’s Degree: The Effects of Sub-Baccalaureate Postsecondary Educational Attainment and Field of Training on Earnings

Sarah R. Crissey, U.S. Census Bureau
Kurt J. Bauman, U.S. Census Bureau

Educational attainment is a well-documented path to economic success. Apart from the recognized benefits of a bachelor’s degree, research has also noted benefits for sub-baccalaureate education such as vocational and associate’s degree programs. This study proposes to explore the returns to education from these educational attainment levels that fall between a high school and a college degree. Using data from the 2004 and 2001 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we examine the association between educational attainment and earnings, with a particular focus on field of training. This study will also address the interaction between educational attainment, field of training and demographic characteristics and explore whether the connection between specific fields of training and corresponding occupations helps explain the association between field of training and earnings.

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Presented in Poster Session 1