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The Economic Value of College Majors


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This report uses Census Data to analyze wages for 137 college majors to detail the most popular college majors, the majors that are most likely to lead to an advanced degree, and the economic benefit of earning an advanced degree by undergraduate major

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The Economic Value of College Majors

  1. 1. The Economic Value of College Majors Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Andrew R. Hanson May 7, 2015
  2. 2. Major Highlights •  This report analyzes wages for 137 college majors. •  It also details the most popular majors, the majors most likely to lead to an advanced degree, and the economic benefit of earning an advanced degree by undergraduate major.
  3. 3. The majors analyzed are aggregated into seven groups
  4. 4. Deciding your major plays a bigger role in determining what you will earn than deciding to go to college
  5. 5. The majors with the highest and lowest median annual wages •  The highest earning majors are within the STEM fields. •  The lowest earning majors are in the fields of early childhood education, human services, and community organization.
  6. 6. The highest- and lowest-paying majors •  STEM, health, and business majors are the highest paying, leading to average annual wages of $37,000 or more at the entry level. •  Early childhood education and human services are among the lowest paying, with an average annual wage of $40,000.
  7. 7. The most common majors are business and STEM, which are also the highest paying
  8. 8. The majority of the highest paying jobs are in engineering fields
  9. 9. Biology and life science majors are the most likely to earn a graduate degree
  10. 10. The lowest paying majors are in the education, arts, and social work fields
  11. 11. The most popular and least popular undergraduate majors Most Popular 1.  Business management and administration 2.  General business 3.  Accounting 4.  Nursing 5.  Psychology Least Popular 1.  Geological and geophysical engineering 2.  Metallurgical engineering 3.  Physical sciences 4.  Geosciences 5.  Neuroscience
  12. 12. Want to see how much your major is worth? The tool lets you view how much college graduates earn by 15 major groups and 137 detailed major subgroups nationally and within the states.                             Click Explore The Data to learn more.  
  13. 13. For more information: Email Us | Follow Us on Twitter | @GeorgetownCEW Find Us on Facebook | Follow Us on LinkedIn | See the full report at: