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.

+ -

Expand commentsHide comments  —   Join the conversation!

Opinions on Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U

Back to Top