PayScale’s Future Work Force report looks at all the serious issues facing workers in the future. We investigate which skills workers will need to succeed (and which will likely be the domain of robots). We ask which jobs and industries will thrive in the future, and how career paths will evolve. Finally, we talk about how offices are likely to change, to accommodate all this innovation.
But perhaps no question we asked is more important than this: “Who makes more money — fans of Star Trek or Star Wars?”
First things first: being a fan of either of these major science fiction franchises correlates with higher earnings. We surveyed 4,308 PayScale customers between April 14 and April 24, 2017, and found that those who love both Stars Wars and Star Trek had a higher median salary ($52,600) than those who hate both ($44,200) — or can’t tell them apart ($45,700).
But Trekkies won the day. Their median earnings of $53,300 topped Star Wars fans’ median earnings of $50,700.
Why do Star Trek fans have the edge? Our survey doesn’t provide concrete answers, but the series’ appeal to STEM enthusiasts — whose careers often pay better than average — might be a key.
“There is evidence in our culture that Star Trek has made huge contributions by influencing changes in our technology and how we treat one another,” wrote Kevin Anderton at Forbes. “Just to name a few of Star Trek’s influences, NASA continues to try and develop faster than light travel, Qualcomm helped to develop a real tricorder, and Nichelle Nichols performance as Uhura broke social boundaries in television.”
Anderton also pointed out that logic has a big role in Star Trek, which “includes heroes, like Captain Picard, that must think their way out of dangerous situations rather than using force.”
Tell Us What You Think
Star Wars or Star Trek? We want to hear from you! Weigh in on Twitter or comment below.