“Graduates with the same major but from different schools can take home substantially different amounts of money. And earnings vary widely among graduates from the same school who have chosen different majors.”
Higher education pays, but a new report finds that some majors pay better than others.
College credentials are generally associated with higher earnings, but the report from College Measures finds that several factors influence job earnings, including what degree graduates earn, what school awarded their degree, and the field in which the degree is earned.
“As they enter the labor market, some graduates earn far more than others,” the report states. “Graduates with the same major but from different schools can take home substantially different amounts of money. And earnings vary widely among graduates from the same school who have chosen different majors.”
The report, based on information from Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, underscores the need prospective students have for “sound information about where their educational choices are likely to lead,” the study states.”The information can save students money, keep them from making bad choices, and prevent a lot of future financial headaches.”.
Nine-out-of-ten affluent investors credit their college education as a contributor to their success, according to a recent survey conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, a finding underscored in a recent Hamilton Project study that found that more education corresponds to better and more varied employment opportunities. Education, the report concludes, has “a substantial effect” on one’s earnings potential, with those with a bachelor’s degree earning a premium of roughly $30,000 each year relative to those with just a high school diploma.
But the College Measures report challenges conventional wisdom. For example, while the need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is considered a top priority, the study states that graduates with degrees in Biology often earn less than English majors, and that those with Chemistry degrees do not command the wage premium typically sought by those who major in engineering, computer/information science, or mathematics.
Other key lessons from the report:
· Some Short-Term, Higher Education Credentials are Worth as Much as Long-Term Ones: In Texas, the report states, graduates with technical associate’s degrees earned on average $11,000 more in their first year after graduation than did graduates with bachelor’s degrees.
· Where You Study Affects Earnings—But Less than Usually Thought
· What You Study Matters More than Where You Study
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.