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New Data on Value of College Degrees, Majors

September 17, 2015

A new study confirms previous research finding strong long-term economic payoff to earning a college degree, and a larger payoff for majoring in a science-, mathematics- or engineering-related field. The study found that men who major in a STEM field and earn a bachelor's degree on average earned $700,000 to $800,000 higher lifetime earnings from ages 20 to 59 than did social science or liberal arts majors. The study also found that social science or liberal arts majors earned $400,000 more over their working lifetimes than did those with just high school diplomas. ChangHwan Kim, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Kansas, is the lead author of the study. It appears in the journal Sociology of Education.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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