What is your College Major worth? Top Earning College Majors

Did you recently graduate from high school and trying to decide what to major in? Well, outside of your interests, you may want to check out the Economic Value of College Majors report from Georgetown University, which provides a strong connection between the different college majors and their associated earnings. A four-year degree is worth it. The average wage premium for a Bachelor’s degree or better is 84%.

Summary of the report

  • They compared about 171 specific majors
  • The difference in earnings between the best and worst paying majors is more than 300 percent!
  • Highest-earning majors are in Engineering and Computer Science, earning $75,000 and $70,000, producing substantial earnings over an average 40-year career
  • Lowest-earning majors are in Education and Psychology and Social Work, earning $42,000
  • Graduate degrees in healthcare give the highest earnings boost (upto 190%)
  • Some majors see very little earnings returns to getting a graduate degree (e.g. computer engineering (16%))
  • Women are highly concentrated in Education (77%), Psychology and Social Work (74%), and Health majors (85%)
  • Men are concentrated in Engineering (84%), Agriculture and Natural Resources (70%), and Computers and Mathematics (69%)

Top 10 majors by earnings

At the median, these majors earn between $80,000 and $120,00

  1. Petroleum Engineering
  2. Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration
  3. Mathematics and Computer Science
  4. Aerospace Engineering
  5. Chemical Engineering
  6. Electrical Engineering
  7. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  8. Mechanical Engineering
  9. Metallurgical Engineering
  10. Mining and Mineral Engineering

Bottom 10 majors by earnings

At the medium, these majors earn between $29,000 and $40,000

  1. Drama and Theater Arts
  2. Studio Arts
  3. Communication Disorders, Sciences, and Services
  4. Visual and Performing Arts
  5. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs
  6. Social Work
  7. Theology and Religious Vocations
  8. Human Services and Community Organization
  9. Early Childhood Education
  10. Counseling Psychology

Both the full report and the selected findings are available at http://cew.georgetown.edu/whatsitworth

If you have questions about the report, email the Center at [email protected] or call 202-687-4922