Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So I Might Make a Decent Living

So the other day in statistics, we reviewed multiple regression analysis and the use of dummy variables. Not super exciting in itself until applied to something I care about: my future salary. We reviewed the most recent alumni survey results from my graduate program and did some statistical analysis.

Surveys were sent out to around 2000 grads and 617 responded (n=617 as a sample size. See what I learned?!). When the sample was limited to only those working full-time and making less than $400,000 (to create a normal distribution), the sample size dropped to 440 respondents. That taken into account, the average salary for a graduate with a masters of urban planning is $98,385! I can feed my unborn babies with that and maybe even send them to college--public, of course.

Then things got more interesting. Using multiple regression analysis, this was determined to be the best fit model for masters of urban planning graduate income:

Income = $62,252 + $1,678*(Years of of school) + $787*(Time employed at current job) + $7,320*(Male) + $1,562*(Private Sector*Years out of school)

What this means is that a starting salary should be around $62,252. I am more than OK with that number. But then it brings into light the fact that women still make less than men. Men will, on average, make an additional $7,320 a year just for having a penis (to this fact, one of the boys in the class blurted out, "YES!!"). Private sector jobs usually make more and the longer you've been out of school or at your current job, the higher your salary will be. However, all these variables only count for about 35% of explaining salary amounts.

This leads me to the conclusion that all I really want after graduation is a job.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grad School is Hard

So I'll be the first to admit that last quarter I was bored. I sailed right through my classes and excelled. This quarter, I've already dropped a class (die, GIS, die!!) and have, well, not quite excelled at all my remaining three. It's not that I am failing or anything, but being the overachiever I am, when I was presented with a B- (gasp!) for a group paper assignment, I freaked out a little. So I'm trying to rationalize why winter quarter is such a kick in the butt:
  1. I've had to do a lot of group projects. They take time to coordinate. I don't have time.
  2. I had four classes instead of three. But then I dropped one, so it should be easier, right?
  3. Statistically speaking, there's only a 60% chance that I actually understand statistics class (with a five percentage point margin of error)
  4. I had my birthday in early March and party planning is exhausting, especially when coordinating for your guests to wear Zubaz.
  5. I'm homesick for the Manfriend and Chicago and thereby spend my free time pining, doodling hearts and deep dish pizzas.
  6. I joined the club water polo team. But this actually relieves stress, you know, beating up on undergrads a decade younger than me.
  7. Looking for summer internships is time-consuming and it takes a lot of effort and thought to write the perfect cover letter.
  8. Too much California sunshine makes me lazy.
I think I'll blame it all on #8. In the meantime, I'll eat a tub of Safeway/Vons/Dominick's spinach dip to make me feel better and further delay doing anything productive.