Tuesday, May 24, 2011

College Majors and their Value

Many who read this blog or talk to me know that I feel very strongly about investing $100,000 in something that might not pay off in the long term.  Now Georgetown backs that up - but also demonstrates that I might be a little bit wrong.

Their study - What's it worth studies to value of a college degree by major for both undergrad and graduate degrees.

No real shocks here - just some good solid data.
"While there is a lot of variation in earnings over a lifetime, the authors find that all undergraduate majors are worth it,‟ even taking into account the cost of college and lost earnings. However, the lifetime advantage ranges from $1,090,000 for Engineering majors to $241,000 for Education majors"

So I am right that a major makes a huge difference in earnings - but the value of a college degree still is worth the investement regardless of the major - but you really need a graduate degree:

"Liberal Arts and Humanities majors end up in the middle of the pack in terms of earnings and employment. They are the third most popular major group, and earn median incomes of $47,000. Moreover, about 40 percent of people with these majors obtain a graduate degree, reaping a return of almost 50 percent. Liberal Arts and Humanities majors generally fare well in the workforce, ending up in professional, white-collar, and education occupations "
So go ahead and get a degree - but living on $47,000 a year is tough.  But you need to do what you love as long as you can still pay off those student loans......