New Analysis of Economic Value of College Majors

May 8, 2015

Many of the findings of the newest report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce will surprise exactly no one. The study, on the economic value of various college majors, analyzes the wages of 137 disciplinary areas, and finds, among other things, that:

  • The top-paying majors will bring graduates millions more over the course of a lifetime than the lowest-paying majors.
  • All but two of the 25 highest-paying majors are in science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields; the two outliers are in business fields.
  • Graduate degrees lead to higher earnings, especially in medical and health fields.

But lest you're distressed by the appearance of yet another round of data that appears to disfavor the humanities and other seemingly nonvocational fields, remember that "a college major isn't destiny," says the report's lead author, Anthony P. Carnevale. "The top 25 percent of humanities and liberal arts majors earn more than the bottom 25 percent of engineering majors.”

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