The Social Standing of Lawyers and Doctors is the Highest
According to higher education students, the legal and medical professions, which provide the title of 'doctor‘ without postgraduate education are considered to have the highest social standing-this is highlighted by the survey conducted in the Graduate Career Tracking 2009 research programme lead by Educatio Public Services Nonprofit LLC. Considering financial recognition, one in three of the nearly eight thousand respondents mentioned the legal profession in first place as the financially most recognised. Nevertheless, information technology experts, economists and technical engineers are not far behind them.
Lawyers are Financially the most Recognised
One in three (35 percent) of the nearly eight thousand students consider the legal profession to be the financially most recognised. Another ten percent mentioned lawyers, thus close to half of the respondents considers the financial recognition of the profession of lawyers as outstanding.
Information technology experts (41.6 per cent), technical engineers (nearly 40 percent) and economists (38.4 percent) are not far behind them either. Although many mentioned doctors, too (26 per cent), the picture of their financial recognition is more controversial. It is unknown though whether the respondents considered the income as supplemented with gratuity payments and benefits.
Other professions listed received very insignificant acknowledgement, showing that virtually none of the students think that primary and secondary school teachers, social researchers, scientists and agricultural engineers would be well recognised financially. It is remarkable, however, that the students studying for these majors assess the financial recognition of their profession as somewhat above the average. Moreover, we can find a similar phenomenon "in case of top professions too".
The Picture Changes when we Talk about Social Prestige
Around two thirds of respondents (71.1 percent) put the profession of doctors among the two most reputed and appreciated professions. It is interesting, however, that the legal profession most often mentioned in second place still came into the picture as first for more respondents (40.4 percent) than the medical profession (30.2 percent), but fewer mentioned it in aggregate (53.5 percent). According to students, the two most traditional professions clearly represent the socially most reputed degrees.
The professions of technical engineer (20.3 percent) and economist (20.2 percent) are nearly equivalent in this comparison, just as in the case of incomes; however, appreciably fewer students mentioned them among the most reputed professions. We experienced truly uncommon results in the assessment of information technology experts: while many think that they are among the best-paid graduates, their social prestige is much lower (7.9 percent). On aggregate, scientists were mentioned among high prestige professions by more respondents (10.2 percent), who received insignificantly low votes (1.6 percent) in the "competition" among well-paid graduates.
It can be also seen from the responses of students that humanities teachers (5.7 percent), elementary school teachers (4.6 percent) and social researchers (4.3 percent) enjoy somewhat higher social prestige than their financial recognition suggests; however, the vast majority of respondents made negative statements about the recognition of graduates in these fields of humanities. However, students assess the circumstances in agriculture to be even worse: they think that in addition to low financial recognition, the social reputation of agricultural engineers is also very low.
In general, it is clear that the tendency is for students attending a given major to have more positive opinions on the social prestige of their own professional field than students attending other majors.