The choice of undergraduate major in college is strongly tied to a student’s future earnings, with the highest-paying majors providing salaries of about 300 percent more than the lowest-paying, according to a study released Tuesday. College graduates overall make 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only high school diplomas, the study said. But further analysis of 171 majors shows that various undergraduate majors can lead to significantly different median wages.
Petroleum engineering majors make about $120,000 a year, compared with $29,000 annually for counseling psychology majors, researchers found. Math and computer science majors earn $98,000 in salary while early childhood education majors get paid about $36,000. Below is some more information researchers have found.
Other Important Information:
• The most popular major group is business, accounting for 25 percent of all students. The least popular are industrial arts and agriculture, with 1.6 percent each.
• Fields with virtually no unemployment: geological and geophysical engineering, military technologies, pharmacology and school student counseling.
• Fields with the highest unemployment, ranging from 16 percent to 11 percent: social psychology, nuclear engineering, and educational administration and supervision.
- New study tells students the worth of their majors (sfgate.com)
- How much is that college major worth? A lot, if you study petroleum engineering (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Analysis of 171 college majors puts engineers at the top (usatoday.com)