Monday, July 14, 2008

Expected Salary By College Major

Following up on my recent post on the expected salaries of college majors, below is a graph of the salary data from that post.

A few observations:
  • Proven quantitative skills command a premium in the marketplace.
  • Economics and Finance majors start off at about the same level, but Economics has much higher expected salary growth, eventually catching up and surpassing most engineers.
  • What you major in will likely have a profound impact on your potential future earnings.
  • The return on investment of a college education is highly dependent on what major you choose.
  • Some majors after 20 years never catch up to where other majors start.
It seems like this kind of information should be clearly presented to every high school senior and/or entering freshman at college and readily available on any career services website and office. This is particularly crucial for more quantitatively oriented majors as they build off of a specific sequence of coursework, beginning in a student's Freshman year. Delays on starting this sequence are almost certain to delay graduation and/or require summer school, creating potentially large costs for students -- both in terms of time, money, and foregone income. On the other hand, switching majors to a quantitatively oriented one may payoff handsomely in the long-run, even if it means delaying graduation by a year.

No comments: