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What is the purpose of this tool?


  • This tool allows users to examine the occupations and industries held by different baccalaureate majors.
  • The original source of the data is the American Community Survey, a nationally representative survey collected by the U.S. Census Bureau to better understand jobs, education, and economic outcomes.
  • This page will also help you understand how occupations and industries are related




What's the difference between an industry and an occupation?


  • According to the Census Bureau, an occupation is the kind of work a person does to earn a living. An industry is the type of activity at a person's place of work.
    • Example: You want to work as an accountant (an occupation), but you don't know what industry. You could work as an accountant in the manufacturing industry, the transportation industry, or the retail trade industry.​
    • Example: You want to work in manufacturing (an industry), but you don't know what occupation. You could work in manufacturing as an accountant, an engineer, or a manager.
  • Your major can lead you to many different types of employment. This tool can help you research how different majors work in different occupations and industries.
  • Want to know more? Here's how occupations and industries are defined in these data.




How do I use this tool, and what does it tell me?


  • STEP 1: Begin on tab 1, "Occupation and Industry". This will tell you, for a given major, the percentage of people in each occupation and industry. All majors are displayed by default. Occupations are displayed in the top panel, and industries are displayed in the bottom panel. Hover over a bar in the bar graph for more information.
    • Occupation example: 7.083% of all majors work as Elementary and Middle School Teachers.​
    • Industry example: 46.09% of all majors are Elementary work in the Professional and Related Services industry.
  • STEP 2: Choose a major by clicking "All" and scrolling down or entering search text.
    • Occupation example: 11.09% of Animal Science majors work as Farmer, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Workers.​
    • Industry example: 31.7% of Animal Science majors work in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries industry.
  • STEP 3: But I want to understand the relationship between majors and occupations! Head to tab 2, "Industry, by occupation". This tab tells you the industries people work in, for a given occupation.
    • Example: If we select Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Workers in the occupation panel, we see 99.04% in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries industry. Only .62% work in the next industry--Professional and Related Services.​
  • STEP 4: To understand the occupations people work in, for a given industry? See tab 3, "Occupation, by industry".
    • Example: If we select Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in the industry panel, we see 34.07%% in the Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Workers occupation. Another 32.08% work as Veterinarians.





​SOURCE: These data were downloaded from IPUMS.

  • Steven Ruggles, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, Erin Meyer, Jose Pacas and Matthew Sobek. IPUMS USA: Version 10.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS, 2020. https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V10.0