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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

College Majors and Income

This may be of interest to a few students.

In terms of income, what majors rank highest over a lifetime?
Pick engineering for your major and your lifetime income advantage over solely a high school diploma is about $1.1 million. Go into education and you can expect a boost of about $241,000 with your bachelor's degree. Researchers found as much as a 300 percent difference in earnings potential between one major and another.

This all comes from a study by the Georgetown Center of Education and Workforce, as they looked at 171 majors.

The most popular major group is business, with 25 percent of all students; the least popular are industrial arts and consumer services and agriculture and natural resources, with 1.6 percent each, researchers found.

Here's the breakdown of median earnings by major groups:
1. Engineering, $75,000
2. Computer and mathematics, $70,000
3. Business, $60,000
4. Health, $60,000
5. Physical sciences. $59,000
6. Social sciences, $55,000
7. Agriculture and Natural Resources, $50,000
8. Communication and Journalism, $50,000
9. Industrial Arts and Consumer Services, $50,000
10. Law and Public Policy, $50,000
11.Biology and Life Sciences, $50,000
12. Humanities and Liberal Arts, $47,000
13. Arts, $44,000
14. Education, $42,000
15. Psychology and Social Work, $42,000

The top 10 majors with the highest median annual earnings:
1. Petroleum Engineering, $120,000
2. Pharmacy/pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration, $105,000
3. Mathematics and Computer Sciences, $98,000
4. Aerospace Engineering, $87,000
5. Chemical Engineering, $86,000
6. Electrical Engineering, $85,000
7. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, $82,000
8. Mechanical Engineering, $80,000
9. Metallurgical Engineering, $80,000
10. Mining and Mineral Engineering, $80,000

The 10 majors with the lowest median annual earnings:
1. Counseling/Psychology, $29,000
2. Early Childhood Education, $36,000
3. Theology and Religious Vocations, $38,000
4. Human Services and Community Organizations, $38,000
5. Social Work, $39,000
6. Drama and Theater Arts, $40,000
7. Studio Arts, $40,000
8, Communication Disorders Sciences and Services, $40,000
9. Visual and Performing Arts, $40,000
10. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs, $40,000

Going to graduate school pays off, but it also varies by major. The greatest income benefits come from those who pursue degrees related to healthcare and biology. The lowest payoff in graduate schools is from degrees in atmospheric sciences and meteorology and studio arts.

Looking for a major that nearly guarantees you a job?

The study found there is virtually no unemployment for majors in geological and geophysical engineering, military technologies, pharmacology, and school student counseling.

Majors with the highest unemployment rates: social psychology, nuclear engineering and educational administration and supervision.


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