College Majors and Earnings

Majors and Earnings, College Majors, Earnings from College Majors

Recent graduates in computer science, math, and engineering tend to make more money than students who major in other fields. Shocker (not really). Photo credit: John Phelan.

There’s a link between college majors and earnings. Indeed there’s an article out in “The Washington Post” about how not all college majors are created equal in terms of potential earnings after graduation. Michelle Singletary, the article’s author, starts off by saying how when college students say what their major is, she often thinks of whether or not that will lead to a job. When she hears English major, she thinks “nope.” When she hears engineering major with engineering internships, she thinks “yup.” In fact, she thinks, “Ding. Ding. Ding.”

According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, the unemployment rate among “Agriculture and Natural Resources” majors is 7%. Among “science life/physical,” it’s 7.7%. “Computers and mathematics”? 8.2%. “Education”? 5.4%. “Health”? 5.4%. “Arts”? 11.1%. “Business”? 7.4%.

“Recreation?” Ok, time out. What on earth is a “recreation” major? They majored in swinging and monkey bars? No wonder they can’t get jobs! Anyway, “engineering” has a 7.5% unemployment rate. “Social science” has an 8.9% rate. “Law and public policy” has an 8.1% unemployment rate. And “humanities and liberal arts” stands at 9.4%.

Do any of these figures surprise you? Would it surprise you to know that recent engineering grads earn on average $55,000 a year? Recent graduates in computers and mathematics earn on average 46,000 a year. So the majors that we think are easier to earn jobs from still have unemployment rates around the same range as other college majors. But recent grads tend to earn more coming out of college with majors in computer science, math, and engineering.

Let us know your thoughts on this article and the study by posting below! And check out this post on College Career Counseling.


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