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Report: Business Majors Earn High Returns

June 28, 2022

Majoring in business has a high payoff relative to other types of programs, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The report, released today, found that most business programs lead to median earnings that are about 10 times the amount of students’ loan debt payments two years after graduation. However, these programs have lower financial returns than engineering, health and computer and information sciences programs.

Students who earned an associate degree in business have median annual earnings of $30,000 two years after graduation after debt payments. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business earn a median $43,200 after debt payments, and master’s degree holders earn $51,600.

“Strong financial returns are good news for the more than 700,000 graduates each year who pursue the most popular field of study for bachelor’s and master’s degree holders,” lead report author and Georgetown CEW director Anthony P. Carnevale said in a press release. “This information will help prospective students and their families assess the value of various business programs.”

The report also ranks business programs based on their financial returns. Associate degree earners at Excelsior College in New York and Union County College in New Jersey, bachelor’s degree earners at Bismarck State College in North Dakota, and master’s degree graduates at the University of Pennsylvania had the highest returns relative to peers at their level of higher education.

“Earnings and debt at the degree, institution, or program level tell only one side of the story. In a specific business program at a given institution, students can earn significantly more—or less—than the typical earnings for that institution or program,” Emma Wenzinger, report co-author and strategic communications specialist at Georgetown CEW, said in the release.

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Sara Weissman

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