Viewer's Choice Presentation

CS 424 Presentation

Bryan Spahr

Home The Visualization

Where do college graduates work?

screenshot from visualization

Overview

(from web page)
"This interactive graphic allows you to explore the relationship between college majors and occupations. 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.

By hovering over a college major on the STEM Majors or Non-STEM Majors tab, you can see which occupations these graduates work in. You can also hover over an occupation to see which majors they hire from. These graphics show that only a minority of STEM majors are employed in STEM.

This visualization also lets you look at college major and employment patterns by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. It allows you to compare the relative size of each college major and occupation, as well as the proportion who are employed in STEM by these demographic characteristics. Comparing the graphics for men and women who are STEM majors, for example, we see that men are more likely to major in engineering and are more likely to be employed in STEM occupations."

Analysis

Concerning the Data

This visualization is a prime example of a huge grouping of applied to an innovative graphic that anyone can use to make useful inferences. Because of the sheer amount of information gained from each census, census.gov has access to all kinds of data. This particular visualization is based on a large dataset containing information such as college major and employment as well as sex, race, and Hispanic origin.

What Works Well

For me, this list is pretty long. The following aspects of the visualization demonstrate its quality:

- it is interactive, allowing you to focus in on a certain major or occupation by hiding all other unnecessary information
- the choice of a circle as the shape for the two halves of interactivity is an interesting one, and results in interesting paths across the graphic
- the color choices for the different sections are well thought out, for both the STEM and non-STEM sections, and don't conflict with each other
- by splitting the graph into two sections (one for STEM majors and one for non-STEM) the creator has ensured the spacing of the sections is readable
- the inclusion of looking at the same graph for different genders and ethnic data is a nice touch

What Needs Improvement

This list isn't quite as long; however, there are a few glaring things I noticed. The following aspects of the visualization could be improved in some way:

- though I'm unsure exactly what format the different sections of the graphic are made of, they for sure aren't SVG, which means this page isn't truly scalable
- why are the gender and ethnic filters hard-coded to their own tab? what if I want to see data for Hispanic women? these filters should all be available simultaneously as toggle switches
- the header text "College Majors" and "Occupation Groups" seems to be a serif font while the rest of the page is sans-serif, which is rather inconsistent
- a nice feature would be choosing whether you want a circular graph or a more standard, rectangular graph. this would allow you to view the data in the way you want

Data Info

Main Data Table
More College Graduate Data
STEM Majors Data
Data Accuracy