College Education: Which Majors Pay The Most

So, a little bit of live blogging.  Last week in the comments I posited that the highest paying Majors were not the Majors that graduated the most students.

Let’s look.

According to Time, the top 10 paying Majors are:

Highest-Earning Majors

Thoughts?

7 of the top 7 Majors are engineering.  8 of the top 10.

The other two are very technical majors.

Graduates?

Top 10 Most Popular Majors:

Most Popular Majors

  • Business Management and Administration
  • General Business
  • Accounting
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Elementary Education
  • Marketing and Marketing Research
  •  General Education
  • English Language and Literature
  • Communications

Not one in common.  Not one.

My advice to Occupy?

Go to school and study a discipline that pays.

10 responses to “College Education: Which Majors Pay The Most

  1. NO NO NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO!

  2. Yikes, I hit send too early. Get a major that you LOVE. Do something you want to do for the rest of your life. Better to be satisfied and happy earning $50,000 a year than hating your job and dreading each day and earning $1,000,000. The key: make the decision with your eyes wide open. When I decided against Law school for academia, and then when I decided to focus on teaching over research, I knew that I would earn far less than otherwise would be the case. But I know I would love every minute of what I do. If you’re interested in philosophy, study it! If you decide your main value is earning money, then go into a field where you can earn money. But if you study philosophy, know the options (one big one for philosophy majors is law school, to be sure). I tell Poli-Sci majors that if they want this as their career, they need to keep a 3.5 GPA, probably need some kind of grad school OR they need connections (and we have courses and internships that have given many of them connections). Otherwise, they’ll have a useful college degree, but limited earning potential.

    In short, eyes open, choose what you love, know what the prospects are, but better to be relatively poor and loving life than super wealthy and stressed out and hating life.

    I also still think you’re wrong about the occupy people’s goal — I think they’re more for transparency and lack of manipulation of the system than getting money.

    • NO NO NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO!

      You can not simultaneously be FOR wealth redistribution and against studying something useful.

      But I know I would love every minute of what I do.

      Please understand, THAT is a form of compensation. I may make a ton of money, but I may not enjoy much of it.

      I think they’re more for transparency and lack of manipulation of the system than getting money.

      Sorry Scott, you’re off on that one. They are demonstrating against the 1%. They define the “they” as people who are in the top 1% wage earners. Yet these people continually engage in studies that don’t pay at all, much less provide value.

      You can’t have it both ways. You can not claim that you should live a life that is rewarding, fulfilling and “worthy” and then complain that you’re poor.Wealth is earned, most often, almost always, by massive sacrifices.

      And Occupy doesn’t wanna make those sacrifices.

      • I have talked to a lot of people in OWS (some there, others part of movements here) and they talk about corporate power and manipulation. Many in OWS are in the 1%, after all, and get support from those in the 1%. You’re mistakening a catchy slogan for their purpose.

    • In short, eyes open, choose what you love, know what the prospects are, but better to be relatively poor and loving life than super wealthy and stressed out and hating life.”
      I think the big difference here comes down to entitlement. What you seem to be saying here is to be content with your life choices. For the most part I don’t think Occupiers are, and they want others to make up for the consequences of their choices and their timing.

      I also still think you’re wrong about the occupy people’s goal — I think they’re more for transparency and lack of manipulation of the system than getting money.”
      They still panhandling? 😉 Not to beat a dead horse, but transparency and system fairness has to do with laws, and they’re not protesting any laws best I can tell.

      Plus, they seem more bent on costing people money and preventing others from earning a living than they are in making money or trying to create jobs. What they’re trying to do with the ports is just one example.

      • They’re protesting the nexus between big money and big government. One aspect of globalization is that corporate power has grown as borders become less relevant and companies not only can evade laws (or threaten to move in order to get laws changed), but they have more influence than ever over the political parties. President Obama is very connected to Wall Street, as many of the OWS protesters note.

  3. In my experience it was the engineers and the pre-med students who worked the hardest in college, so it seems only fitting that they get rewarded for the hard work.

    I still think there is a place for humanities majors – college is the last opportunity many people have to learn about subjects that interest them that might not be part of their career path.

  4. They’re protesting the nexus between big money and big government.

    I don’t think so Scott. I think they’re protesting wage gap and wealth gap. Further, they’re after traditional Liberal targets like “fair wage”, unions and other social programs as well.

    The point of this post is that these people want free college because they are unable to obtain work after college. I’m claiming that if they viewed college as it’s supposed to be used, to prepare an individual to enter the work place with marketable skills, they would be better off.

    How wonderful to have the tax payer foot the bill so that I can satisfy my hobby of Eastern European Philosophy post Renaissance major. Now, don’t get me wrong. It may be beneficial to have that kinda background and well roundedness. But for these kids to think that I need to foot the bill so they can just get any ol’ major that no one wants to hire is insane.

    I still think there is a place for humanities majors – college is the last opportunity many people have to learn about subjects that interest them that might not be part of their career path.

    I agree. I simply feel that the student should bear the financial burden. Wanna major in a hobby? Feel free. And, to be fair, as a hiring manager, I often take into account the complete collegiate career. But, I don’t hire Linguists specializing in Swahili to run nuclear plants. I look for nuclear engineers.

    • The thing about OWS is that it is a very diverse group. None of the OWS supporters I know support free education or having student loans repaid. I think especially on the right (Fox, etc.) the most extreme views are taken and attributed to OWS as a whole.

  5. Scott,

    ” Do something you want to do for the rest of your life. Better to be satisfied and happy earning $50,000 a year than hating your job and dreading each day and earning $1,000,000.”

    That is a not very accurate way to portray the situation. How about taking something you like and making zero because there are way too many people with 4 year degrees in Meteorology and Art History ? Now that is reality.

    There really should be mandatory counseling before a kid is allowed to go to college.

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