Categories and Academic Fields of Every Graduate Degree Awarded

How many graduate degrees are awarded each year in every field? To answer that, we started first with the academic classification scheme used by NCES that breaks down the thousands of fields into 16 categories. Then we threw all the degrees awarded by various fields in 2012 into their proper categories and added them all up.

The result is the boring bubble chart we see here.  The big two categories are education and business. Together, awards in academic fields comprising education and business accounted for over one third of all graduate degrees awarded in 2012!

The next big two are the health related professions, and then the arts and sciences, which combined account for just under one third of all graduate degrees for the year.

The other third of all graduate degrees are awarded by programs in the remaining 12 categories.

Below is a somewhat less boring visualization of the same 16 academic field categories. Keeping the same 16 color scheme, we break down each silo into its constituent academic fields. Every circle represents an academic field for which scores of programs exist oftentimes, and the size reflects the number of degrees awarded by all the programs in that field nationwide.

For example, in arts and sciences, in a small linguistics field less than two dozen degrees were conferred in 2012, whereas over 8000 were awarded in the field of counseling psychology.

Don’t worry, we don’t force our users to hover over these visualizations to find the programs that they’re looking for.  Our search interface is much more simple. These images are meant to convey an informative and interactive representation of all of the complexity of academic field choices that exist in graduate education.

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Author: TJ Murphy

Gradschoolmatch Founder