Using Census data from the Minnesota Population Center’s 2013 American Community Survey Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, we found the most disproportionately popular job among college graduates in every state. These are jobs that are held by college graduates at a higher rate in the state than in the country as a whole.
We explain that a little more at the bottom, but first, here’s the map:
Note that this is not the most common job for college grads in every state. That honor goes to elementary- and middle-school teachers in 48 states. Instead, we looked at jobs held by college grads at a higher rate in each state than in the country as a whole. We focused on jobs with at least 1,000 college grads employed in the state, since we wanted jobs that really are distinctively popular in each state.
The location quotient of a job compares the rate at which a job is held by college grads in a state to the overall national rate. For example, about 32,680 Michigan residents with at least a bachelor’s degree were employed as mechanical engineers out of a total 1,270,733 employed college grads in the state. That means about 25.7 out of every 1,000 employed college grads in Michigan worked in mechanical engineering.
Meanwhile, 163,673 college grads in the US as a whole were employed as mechanical engineers out of a total of 45,440,488 employed college grads in the country, meaning about 3.6 out of every 1,000 employed college grads in the US were mechanical engineers.
The location quotient for mechanical engineers in Michigan is the ratio of these two rates: 25.7/3.6 = 7.1. The map shows the job in each state with the highest location quotient for college grads.