Monday, December 9, 2013

Degree Programs Over Time

Amid talk about new or exciting or trending degree programs, there is this: A visualization of all bachelor's degrees awarded from 1971 to 2012.

This shows the data three different ways, but all are colored identically by major or program.  The top left shows the total number of degrees awarded in each year shown; the top right shows everything scaled to 100%, and the bottom chart is a "bump chart" that shows popularity over time.

In order to make sense of this, you're going to have to interact. Use the color legend at right, and click on a program of interest.  Then, in the upper right of the color legend, click the little pencil.  You'll see that program highlighted in all three displays.  Click the programs to your heart's content.

You can also hover over the highlighted selection on any of the charts to see the data for that year in a text box.  To return to the full display, click the pencil again.

I'm astounded at the relative stability over time, even as the number of degrees has grown dramatically. What do you notice?