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THE ECONOMIC VALUE

of

COLLEGE MAJORS
Anthony P. Carnevale

Ban Cheah

Andrew R. Hanson

Executive Summary
2015

The Economic Value

FACT SHEET

of College Majors

In this report, we analyze the annual earnings of college graduates by major.


Entry-level earnings are for ages 21-24. Mid-career earnings are for ages 25-59.
Earnings are reported in 2013 dollars.
Majors are aggregated into seven supergroups:

STEM
(Science,
technology,
engineering,
and mathematics)

Business

Teaching and
serving
(E.g., education
and social work)

Health

Arts, humanities,
and liberal arts

Career-focused
(E.g., industrial
arts)

Social
sciences

e also analyze the prevalence of majors among college-educated adults and how much graduate
degree holders earn based on their undergraduate major compared to Bachelors degree holders.

Finally, we analyze the 10 highest- and lowest-paying majors among 137 detailed major subgroups.
Graduate degree holders include workers between the ages of 25 and 59. Graduate degree
holders majors refer to their undergraduate major, not their graduate field of study.
Bachelors degree holders refers to adults between the ages of 21 and 59 with a Bachelors degree but no further education. Earnings data are reported for workers employed
full-time, full-year. Data on the prevalence of majors include all college-educated adults,
including those neither employed nor in the labor force.
High school graduates refers to workers between the ages of 21 and 59 with nothing
other than a high school diploma, employed full-time, full-year.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Lumina
Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, or their officers, or their employees.
3

FIGURE

Not all Bachelors degrees


are created equal.

Entry-level

$43,000

$41,000

$37,000

$30,000

At the entry level,

$29,000

health majors earn


$41,000 annually,
while humanities and
liberal arts majors earn

STEM

Health

Business

$29,000 annually.

Career-focused Arts, humanities,


and liberal arts

Median annual wages of college-educated workers (ages 21-24) by major supergroup (2013$)

Mid-career

$76,000
$67,000

$65,000

Among prime-age

$61,000
$51,000

workers,1 those who

$46,000

majored in STEM earn


$76,000 annually, while
those who had a teaching
and serving major earn
$46,000 annually.
STEM

Business

Health

All majors

Arts, humanities, Teaching and


and liberal arts
serving

FIGURE

Median annual wages of college-educated workers (ages 25-59) by major supergroup (2013$)

College graduates wages increase over the course of their careers,


while the differences in wages among majors grow larger.

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
1

Prime-age workers refers to those between the ages of 25 and 59.

FIGURE

Majors play a larger role in determining earnings than


the decision to go to college.

$3.4

MILLION

$1

The difference between the life-

MILLION

time wages of college and high


school graduates is $1 million;
the difference between the
highest- and lowest-paying
college majors is $3.4 million.

Difference in lifetime wages of


college and high school graduates

Difference in lifetime wages of


highest- and lowest-paying majors

FIGURE

Lifetime wage premium (in millions of 2013$)

Your major isnt


your destiny.

Some college graduates who have generally


low-paying majors earn more than some college
graduates with generally higher-paying majors:
the top 25 percent of education majors earn $59,000
or more annually, while the bottom 25 percent of
engineering majors earn $59,000 or less annually.

$59,000
Engineering
All majors
25th
percentile

Education

50th
percentile

75th
percentile

High school graduate


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Interquartile range of annual wages of college-educated workers (ages 25-59) by educational attainment and major group (2013$)

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
5

FIGURE

Business majors and STEM majors are the most


common and among the highest-paying majors.
Social sciences 6.9%
Health 7.5%
26.1% Business

Career-focused 11.9%
(E.g., industrial arts)

Arts, humanities, 13.4%


and liberal arts
Teaching and serving 14.5%
(E.g., education and social work)

19.6% STEM
(Science, technology,
engineering, and
mathematics)

FIGURE

Share of college graduates (ages 25-59) by meta-major

Most students choose a major that is connected


to the labor market.

20%

Majors with weak connections to

the labor market humanities and


liberal arts, social sciences, and arts
majors comprise only 20 percent
of college-educated workers.

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
6

FIGURE

Some majors are more likely to lead to graduate


school than others.

Biology and life


sciences majors
are the most
likely to earn a

57.7%

graduate degree.

50.0%

Biology and
life sciences

45.3%

Physical
sciences

Psychology and
social work

Three most likely majors to earn a graduate degree


Three least likely majors to earn a graduate degree

35.1%

23.2%

FIGURE

All majors

22.2%

Arts

20.8%

Business

Communications
and journalism

The benefit of a graduate degree is much greater


for some majors than others.
$32,000

Physical sciences

$27,000

Social sciences

$22,000

Business

$16,000

Psychology and social work

$15,000

Education

$13,000

Industrial arts, consumer


services, and recreation
0

$20,000

$40,000

Median annual wages

$60,000

$80,000

$100,000

Graduate degree wage premium

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
7

Whats It Worth?

FACT SHEET

Highest- and Lowest-Earning Majors


Almost all of the highest-paying majors are in engineering fields.
Rank

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Petroleum Engineering

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical


Sciences and Administration

Metallurgical Engineering

$98,000

Mining and Mineral Engineering

$97,000

Chemical Engineering

$96,000

Electrical Engineering

Aerospace Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

$87,000

Computer Engineering

$87,000

Geological and
Geophysical Engineering

$87,000

10

$136,000
$113,000

$93,000
$90,000

Pharmacy, pharmaceutical
sciences, and pharmaceutical
administration Bachelors
degree holders have the
only non-engineering major
among the top 10 majors
ranked by wages.

The lowest-paying majors are in education, arts, and social work fields.
128

Family and Consumer Sciences

$45,000

129

Drama and Theater Arts

$45,000

130

Elementary Education

$43,000

131

Theology and Religious Vocations

$43,000

132

Visual and Performing Arts

$42,000

133

Teacher Education: Multiple Levels

$42,000

134

Social Work

$42,000

135

Studio Arts

$42,000

136

Human Services and


Community Organization

$41,000

137

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education


majors earn $39,000 annually
mid-career, the lowest among
college graduates.

$39,000

Median annual wages of college-educated workers (ages 25-59) by major subgroup (2013$)
Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

129

Drama and Theater Arts

$44,538

108

Fine Arts

$48,871

113

Music

$48,686

135

Studio Arts

$41,762

132

Visual and Performing Arts

$42,465

117

Neuroscience

123

Art and Music Education

137

Early Childhood Education

130

Elementary Education

125

General Education

127

Language and Drama Education

116

Mathematics Teacher Education

$48,654

119

Science and Computer


Teacher Education

$47,785

118

Secondary Teacher Education

$48,078

120

Social Science or History


Teacher Education

$46,608

126

Special Needs Education

$45,440

133

Teacher Education: Multiple Levels

122

Communication Disorders
Sciences and Services

109

Art History and Criticism

121

Composition and Speech

110

Humanities

$48,190
$45,613

137 Detailed Majors


$39,097

$42,736

Selective Statistics
$45,572
$45,440

$42,194

Contents $45,654
10

Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and


$48,871
75th percentiles,
by Bachelors degree major

14

The graduate
advantage, mid-career
$46,608
earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th
percentiles by Bachelors degree major

30

All majors by group, ranked by


earnings
and popularity
$45,613

$48,686

124

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

131

34
Theology and Religious Vocations

128

Family and Consumer Sciences

111

Physical Fitness, Parks,


Recreation, and Leisure
Human Services and
Community Organization

38

Majors ranked by popularity for


Bachelors $41,113
degree holders

112

Psychology

39

Majors$48,686
ranked by popularity for
graduate degree holders

134

Social Work

115

Anthropology and Archeology

$48,679

114

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

$48,679

136

36

Lowest- and
highest-earning majors,
$42,736
Bachelors degree holders

$44,743

Lowest- and highest-earning majors,


graduate degree holders

$48,686

$42,194

MID-CAREER EARNINGS AT THE 25TH, 50TH AND 75TH PERCENTILES,


BY BACHELORS DEGREE MAJOR
0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

All Bachelors Degree Holders


Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agricultural Economics
Food Science
Forestry
Miscellaneous Agriculture
25th
percentile

Natural Resources Management


General Agriculture

50th
percentile

75th
percentile

Plant Science and Agronomy


Animal Sciences
Architecture and Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
Metallurgical Engineering
Mining and Mineral Engineering

Petroleum
Engineering
75th percentile
earnings
$243,000

Chemical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Aerospace Engineering
Geological and Geophysical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Engineering Mechanics, Physics, and Science
General Engineering
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Architectural Engineering
Engineering and Industrial Management
Environmental Engineering
Miscellaneous Engineering
Industrial Production Technologies
Miscellaneous Engineering Technologies
Biomedical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering-Related Technologies
Architecture
Engineering Technologies
Arts
Commercial Art and Graphic Design
Film, Video, and Photographic Arts
Fine Arts
Music
Drama and Theater Arts
Studio Arts
Visual and Performing Arts
0

10

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles,


by Bachelors degree major

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

All Bachelors Degree Holders


Biology and Life Sciences
Microbiology
Biochemical Sciences
Zoology
Environmental Science
Biology
Miscellaneous Biology
Molecular Biology
Botany
Ecology
Neuroscience
Business
Management Information Systems and Statistics
Business Economics
Finance
Operations Logistics and E-Commerce
Accounting
General Business
Marketing and Marketing Research
Business Management and Administration
International Business
Miscellaneous Business and
Medical Administration
Human Resources and Personnel Management
Hospitality Management
Communications and Journalism
Journalism
Advertising and Public Relations
Communications and Mass Media
Computers, Statistics, and Mathematics
Computer Engineering
Applied Mathematics
Computer Science
Statistics and Decision Science
Information Sciences
Mathematics
Computer and Information Systems
Miscellaneous Computer

11

Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles,


by Bachelors degree major

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

All Bachelors Degree Holders


Education
Miscellaneous Education
Physical and Health Education Teaching
Mathematics Teacher Education
Science and Computer Teacher Education
Secondary Teacher Education
Social Sciences or History Teacher Education
Art and Music Education
General Education
Language and Drama Education
Special Needs Education
Elementary Education
Teacher Education: Multiple Levels
Early Childhood Education
Health
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical
Sciences and Administration
Nursing
Treatment Therapy Professions
Miscellaneous Health and Medical Professions
Health and Medical Administrative Services
Health and Medical Preparatory Programs
Nutrition Sciences
Communication Disorders Sciences and Services
Humanities and Liberal Arts
History
English Language and Literature
Liberal Arts
French, German, Latin, and Other
Common Foreign Language Studies
Intercultural and International Studies
Area Ethnic and Civilization Studies
Other Foreign Languages
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Linguistics and Comparative
Language and Literature
Art History and Criticism
Humanities
Composition and Speech
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
Theology and Religious Vocations

12

Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles,


by Bachelors degree major

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

All Bachelors Degree Holders


Industrial Arts, Consumer Services, & Recreation
Transportation Sciences and Technologies
Miscellaneous Industrial Arts
and Consumer Services
Physical Fitness, Parks, Recreation, and Leisure
Family and Consumer Sciences
Law and Public Policy
Public Policy
Public Administration
Criminal Justice and Fire Protection
Pre-Law and Legal Studies
Physical Sciences
Physics
Geology and Earth Science
Oceanography
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
Nuclear, Industrial Radiology, and
Biological Technologies
Chemistry
Geosciences
Physical Sciences
Multi-Disciplinary or General Sciences
Psychology and Social Work
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Social Psychology
Psychology
Social Work
Human Services and Community Organization
Social Sciences
Economics
Political Science and Government
International Relations
Geography
Miscellaneous Social Sciences
Criminology
General Social Sciences
Sociology
Anthropology and Archeology
Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
13

The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

THE GRADUATE ADVANTAGE


The charts displayed in this section (the graduate advantage) show the
interquartile range of annual wages for each major group and subgroup.
| The Graduate Advantage
Each horizontal bar corresponds to a major group or Agriculture
subgroup. and Natural Resources
The columns
on the right correspond
Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major
The leftmost point on the bar shows the 25th percentile of the wage
to the percentage and absolute
distribution. The dot in the middle of the bar shows the median
difference between the median annual
Agriculture and Natural Resources | The Graduate Advantage
or 50th percentile of the wage distribution. The rightmost point
wage distribution of graduate degree
Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major
50th Percentile
Change degree holders.
on the bar shows the 75th percentile of the wage distribution.
holders
and Bachelors
0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Absolute
50th Percentile Change

Agriculture and
Natural Resources

$40,000

$80,000

32.9%

$120,000

Agriculture and
Natural Resources

Agricultural Economics

32.9%

29.0%

Forestry
Food Science

Food Science

Animal Sciences 0
Agriculture and
Natural
Resources
Natural Resources
Management

Animal Sciences

$40,000

$80,000

Major subgroups

Animal Sciences 0

Miscellaneous Agriculture

25th
50th
Natural Resources
Management
percentile
percentile

General Agriculture

$40,000
75th
percentile

Plant Science and Agronomy

$80,000

$9,800
Percent
54.5%

Absolute

32.9%
28.5%

$18,300
$15,800
$26,800

23.8%
31.6%

$16,000
$16,900

29.0%
23.5%

$18,000
$13,400

$15,800

$26,800

$16,900 $9,800
14.5%
27.6%
$14,700

31.6%

Food
Science
General
Agriculture

$18,000

$9,800
14.5%
50th
Percentile Change

$120,000

28.5%

Forestry
Miscellaneous Agriculture

Plant Science and Agronomy

14.5%

29.0%
$18,000

54.5%

Agricultural
Plant Science
and Economics
Agronomy

Natural Resources Management

$18,300

23.8%and Natural Resources


$16,000
Agriculture
| The Graduate Advantage
23.8% by Bachelors$16,000
Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles
degree major

Agricultural Economics

Forestry
Major
group

Percent
Absolute
$18,300

$120,000

23.5%

54.5% 0

$26,800

$13,400

Bachelors degree holders

28.5%

Graduate degree
holders
27.6%

$14,700
31.6%

$15,800
50th percentile
absolute change
$16,900

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

Miscellaneous Agriculture

0
25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

25th percentile

$80,000

$120,000

$13,400

$14,700

27.6%

General Agriculture

Bachelors
degree $40,000
holders
0

50th percentile
75th holders
degree

25th Graduate
50th
percentile percentile

23.5%

percentile

$80,000

50th
$120,000

percentile0

absolute change
75th percentile
Bachelors degree holders

50th percentile

The bottom 25 percent of colHalf of college-educated


The
top
25 holders
percent of college-absolute change
Graduate
degree
Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
lege-educated workers earn
earnCenter
more
than
educated
workers
earnSurvey
more
Source: workers
Georgetown University
on Education
andthe
the Workforce analysis of
U.S. Census Bureau,
American Community
micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
less than the 25th percentile.
median and half earn less.
than than 75th percentile.

15

14

Agriculture and Natural Resources | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Absolute

Agriculture and
Natural Resources

32.9%

Agricultural Economics

23.8%

Forestry

29.0%

Food Science

14.5%

Animal Sciences

54.5%

Natural Resources Management

28.5%

$15,800

Plant Science and Agronomy

31.6%

$16,900

Miscellaneous Agriculture

23.5%

General Agriculture

27.6%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$18,300
$16,000
$18,000
$9,800
$26,800

$13,400
$14,700
0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

15

Architecture and Engineering | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Architecture and Engineering

Percent

Absolute

25.0%
($243,000)

Petroleum Engineering

($207,000)

Geological and Geophysical


Engineering

($182,000)

$21,000

-5.4%

(-$7,000)

31.6%

$27,000

Aerospace Engineering

24.5%

Electrical Engineering

20.0%

Chemical Engineering

12.9%

$12,000

Metallurgical Engineering

11.1%

$11,000

Engineering and Industrial


Management

39.3%

Engineering Mechanics,
Physics, and Science

32.2%

Mechanical Engineering

23.0%

Mining and Mineral Engineering

8.6%

General Engineering

27.7%

Industrial and Manufacturing


Engineering

24.6%

$20,000

Civil Engineering

21.4%

$18,000

Miscellaneous Engineering

29.4%

Miscellaneous Engineering
Technologies

23.3%

Mechanical EngineeringRelated Technologies

27.6%

Industrial Production Technologies

19.4%

Environmental Engineering

15.8%

Biomedical Engineering

24.1%

Architectural Engineering

1.7%

Engineering Technologies

18.8%

Architecture

13.3%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$22,000
$19,000

$31,000
$26,000
$20,000
$8,000
$22,000

$22,000
$17,000
$19,000
$14,000
$12,000
$17,000
$1,000
$12,000
$9,000
0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
16

The Graduate Advantage | Arts


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$20,000

$40,000

$60,000

$80,000

$100,000

Percent

Absolute

Arts

22.9%

Commercial Art and


Graphic Design

23.7%

$12,000

Music

25.0%

$12,000

Drama and Theater Arts

34.4%

Fine Arts

22.4%

Film, Video, and


Photographic Arts

16.7%

Visual and Performing Arts

31.4%

$13,000

Studio Arts

29.5%

$12,000

0
25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$20,000
75th
percentile

$40,000

$60,000

$80,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$100,000

$11,000

$15,000
$11,000
$9,000

0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

17

Biology and Life Science | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

$200,000

Percent

Absolute

Biology and Life Sciences

63.3%

Zoology

80.7%

Biochemical Sciences

64.9%

$38,000

Biology

70.9%

$40,000

Microbiology

42.7%

Molecular Biology

62.0%

Miscellaneous Biology

49.5%

Environmental Science

24.7%

$14,000

Botany

27.4%

$14,000

Ecology

29.7%

$15,000

Neuroscience

26.3%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

$200,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$36,000
$47,000

$27,000
$34,000
$27,000

$13,000
0
50th Percentile
Absolute Change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

18

The Graduate Advantage | Business


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Percent

Absolute

Business

33.3%

Finance

39.9%

Business Economics

33.1%

Operations Logistics
and E-Commerce

38.0%

Management Information
Systems and Statistics

20.0%

Accounting

32.2%

General Business

36.6%

Marketing and
Marketing Research

29.3%

$18,000

Business Management
and Administration

30.6%

$19,000

International Business

32.5%

$19,000

Miscellaneous Business and


Medical Administration

32.0%

$19,000

Human Resources and


Personnel Management

28.0%

$16,000

Hospitality Management

33.7%

$18,000

0
25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$22,000
$29,000
$25,000
$27,000
$15,000
$22,000
$24,000

0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

19

Communications and Journalism | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$20,000

$40,000

$60,000

$80,000

$100,000

Percent

Communications
and Journalism

25.5%

Journalism

27.0%

Communications and Mass Media

24.0%

Advertising and Public Relations

20.0%

25th
percentile

$20,000

50th
percentile

75th
percentile

$40,000

$60,000

$80,000

$100,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

Absolute
$14,000
$15,000
$13,000
$11,000
0
50th Percentile
Absolute Change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

20

The Graduate Advantage | Computers, Statistics, and Mathematics


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Absolute

Computers, Statistics,
and Mathematics

25.6%

Applied Mathematics

27.5%

Computer Engineering

17.3%

Statistics and Decision Science

29.3%

Computer Science

20.6%

$17,000

Mathematics

24.5%

$18,000

Information Sciences

20.8%

$15,000

Computer and
Information Systems

22.3%

$15,000

Miscellaneous Computer

37.4%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$19,000
$23,000
$15,000
$23,000

$22,000
0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

21

Education | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$20,000

$40,000

$60,000

$80,000

Percent

Absolute

Education

33.3%

Physical and Health


Education Teaching

32.2%

$16,000

Secondary Teacher Education

33.6%

$16,000

Science and Computer


Teacher Education

34.1%

$16,000

Miscellaneous Education

23.0%

Mathematics Teacher Education

29.0%

Social Sciences or History


Teacher Education

33.3%

Special Needs Education

34.0%

$15,000

Art and Music Education

33.5%

$15,000

Language and Drama Education

33.8%

$15,000

General Education

31.1%

$14,000

Elementary Education

33.3%

$14,000

Teacher Education:
Multiple Levels

34.2%

$14,000

Early Childhood Education

36.6%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$20,000
75th
percentile

$40,000

$60,000

$80,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$15,000

$12,000
$14,000
$16,000

$14,000
0
50th Percentile
Absolute Change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

22

The Graduate Advantage | Heath


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Health

29.2%

Health and Medical


Preparatory Programs

$19,000

136.1%

$74,000

($291,000)

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical


Sciences and Administration

4.4%

Nursing

33.5%

Health and Medical


Administrative Services

44.7%

Miscellaneous Health and


Medical Professions

29.3%

Treatment Therapy Professions

11.7%

Nutrition Sciences

34.2%

Communication Disorders
Sciences and Services

44.4%
0

25th
percentile

Absolute

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000
Bachelors degree holders
Graduate degree holders

$5,000
$22,000
$25,000
$17,000
$8,000
$18,000
$20,000
0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

23

Humanities and Liberal Arts | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Absolute

Humanities and Liberal Arts

34.2%

History

47.6%

$26,000

Area Ethnic and


Civilization Studies

49.8%

$26,000

Intercultural and
International Studies

40.0%

Humanities

45.9%

Liberal Arts

33.5%

$18,000

Other Foreign Languages

36.5%

$19,000

English Language and Literature

29.4%

Philosophy and Religious Studies

34.4%

$17,000

Linguistics and Comparative


Language and Literature

36.7%

$18,000

French, German, Latin, and


Other Common Foreign
Language Studies

30.0%

Art History and Criticism

34.9%

Composition and Speech

30.5%

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

24.1%

Theology and Religious Vocations

18.7%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$18,000

$21,000
$22,000

$16,000

$16,000
$17,000
$14,000
$11,000
$8,000
0
50th Percentile
Absolute Change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

24

The Graduate Advantage | Industrial Arts, Consumer Services & Recreation


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Industrial Arts, Consumer


Services, & Recreation

25.4%

Transportation Sciences
and Technologies

29.7%

Miscellaneous Industrial Arts


and Consumer Services

18.9%

Physical Fitness, Parks,


Recreation, and Leisure

33.3%

Family and Consumer Sciences

33.5%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

Absolute
$13,000
$22,000
$12,000
$16,000
$15,000
0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

25

Law and Public Policy | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Absolute

Law and Public Policy

33.1%

Public Policy

41.1%

$27,000

Pre-Law and Legal Studies

51.9%

$27,000

Public Administration

20.8%

Criminal Justice and


Fire Protection

29.7%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$18,000

$13,000
$16,000
0
50th Percentile
Absolute Change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

26

The Graduate Advantage | Physical Sciences


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Percent

Absolute

Physical Sciences

50.0%

Chemistry

61.6%

Physics

25.0%

Geosciences

53.5%

Nuclear, Industrial Radiology,


& Biological Technologies

47.7%

Oceanography

31.5%

Geology and Earth Science

25.1%

Multi-Disciplinary or
General Science

42.4%

Atmospheric Sciences
and Meteorology

26.6%

$18,000

Physical Sciences

27.6%

$17,000

0
25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$32,000
$39,000
$20,000
$34,000
$31,000
$22,000
$17,000
$26,000

0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

27

Psychology and Social Work | The Graduate Advantage


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

Percent

Absolute

Psychology and Social Work

33.3%

$16,000

Industrial and Organizational


Psychology

26.4%

$17,000

Social Psychology

37.8%

Psychology

33.3%

Social Work

30.1%

$13,000

Human Services and


Community Organization

31.0%

$13,000

0
25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$19,000
$16,000

0
50th Percentile
Absolute Change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

28

The Graduate Advantage | Social Sciences


Mid-career earnings at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles by Bachelors degree major

50th Percentile Change


0

$40,000

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Percent

Absolute

Social Sciences

44.6%

Economics

43.6%

$33,000

Political Science and Government

49.1%

$31,000

International Relations

46.4%

Miscellaneous Social Sciences

42.7%

Geography

33.9%

Criminology

31.2%

$17,000

General Social Sciences

29.3%

$15,000

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

40.0%

Anthropology and Archeology

35.5%

Sociology

28.0%
0

25th
percentile

50th
percentile

$40,000
75th
percentile

$80,000

$120,000

$160,000

Bachelors degree holders


Graduate degree holders

$27,000

$29,000
$24,000
$20,000

$19,000
$17,000
$14,000
0
50th percentile
absolute change

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.

29

ALL MAJORS BY GROUP


RANKED BY EARNINGS AND POPULARITY

Bachelors Degree Ranking


By earnings

Graduate Degree Ranking

By popularity

By earnings

By popularity

Agriculture and Natural Resources


39

112

Agricultural Economics

54

125

107

72

Animal Sciences

73

67

40

116

Food Science

71

119

55

99

Forestry

62

108

85

67

General Agriculture

96

89

70

70

Miscellaneous Agriculture

89

106

75

78

Natural Resources Management

82

90

86

86

Plant Science and Agronomy

88

98

Architecture and Engineering


7

100

Aerospace Engineering

72

18

122

Architectural Engineering

57

133

41

34

Architecture

75

40

33

107

Biomedical Engineering

49

75

51

Chemical Engineering

38

12

31

Civil Engineering

22

33

17

Electrical Engineering

13

19

114

Engineering and Industrial Management

10

122

17

123

Engineering Mechanics, Physics, and Science

11

116

43

111

Engineering Technologies

67

127

22

128

Environmental Engineering

44

123

16

23

General Engineering

17

21

10

137

Geological and Geophysical Engineering

137

14

62

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

19

56

26

81

Industrial Production Technologies

45

115

24

Mechanical Engineering

12

18

37

113

Mechanical Engineering-Related Technologies

46

132

136

Metallurgical Engineering

128

131

Mining and Mineral Engineering

13

136

23

98

Miscellaneous Engineering

26

97

31

50

Miscellaneous Engineering Technologies

43

78

124

Petroleum Engineering

131

Commercial Art and Graphic Design

116

65

Arts

30

105

22

129

47

Drama and Theater Arts

124

64

98

58

Film, Video, and Photographic Arts

126

101

108

21

Fine Arts

125

36

113

36

Music

121

31

135

82

Studio Arts

134

93

132

97

Visual and Performing Arts

132

109

All Majors by Group


Ranked by Earnings and Popularity

Bachelors Degree Ranking


By earnings

Graduate Degree Ranking

By popularity

By earnings

By popularity

Biology and Life Sciences


64

89

Biochemical Sciences

30

41

74

14

Biology

31

93

129

Botany

103

118

100

106

Ecology

104

102

71

63

Environmental Science

83

69

56

92

Microbiology

40

58

79

77

Miscellaneous Biology

59

50

83

115

Molecular Biology

48

80

117

133

Neuroscience

120

112

68

105

Zoology

15

59

38

Accounting

37

25

87

Business Economics

25

95

58

Business Management and Administration

61

30

12

Finance

21

17

49

General Business

41

91

39

Hospitality Management

92

96

66

44

Human Resources and Personnel Management

77

61

62

74

International Business

66

86

21

45

Management Information Systems and Statistics

34

74

54

Marketing and Marketing Research

58

25

65

68

Miscellaneous Business and Medical Administration

70

105

32

94

Operations Logistics and E-Commerce

29

113

Business

Communications and Journalism


78

42

Advertising and Public Relations

108

85

77

Communications and Mass Media

101

16

73

27

Journalism

81

49

Computers, Statistics, and Mathematics


13

119

Applied Mathematics

14

111

34

33

Computer and Information Systems

52

53

46

Computer Engineering

18

52

11

11

Computer Science

24

14

27

75

Information Sciences

42

91

29

30

Mathematics

38

19

63

40

Miscellaneous Computer

60

82

20

117

Statistics and Decision Science

23

104

31

All Majors by Group


Ranked by Earnings and Popularity

Bachelors Degree Ranking


By earnings

Graduate Degree Ranking

By popularity

By earnings

By popularity

Education
123

49

Art and Music Education

119

44

137

53

Early Childhood Education

136

54

130

Elementary Education

129

125

General Education

127

127

61

Language and Drama Education

122

45

116

102

Mathematics Teacher Education

115

66

90

54

Miscellaneous Education

114

37

101

38

Physical and Health Education Teaching

102

42

119

108

Science and Computer Teacher Education

113

81

118

55

Secondary Teacher Education

112

48

120

76

Social Sciences or History Teacher Education

117

63

126

56

Special Needs Education

118

32

133

88

Teacher Education: Multiple Levels

130

73

Health
122

93

Communication Disorders Sciences and Services

107

30

76

65

Health and Medical Administrative Services

63

77

81

118

Health and Medical Preparatory Programs

62

72

25

Miscellaneous Health Medical Professions

78

23

46

Nursing

47

10

95

90

Nutrition Sciences

91

79

57

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration

39

48

35

Treatment Therapy Professions

79

35

96

71

Area Ethnic and Civilization Studies

72

55

109

80

Art History and Criticism

106

70

121

96

Composition and Speech

123

99

89

10

English Language and Literature

94

92

43

French, German, Latin, and Other Common


Foreign Language Studies

100

34

82

18

History

64

11

110

109

Humanities

84

103

94

101

Intercultural and International Studies

80

87

87

19

Liberal Arts

85

26

106

91

Linguistics and Comparative Language and Literature

99

68

124

110

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

131

120

102

104

Other Foreign Languages

93

83

103

48

Philosophy and Religious Studies

98

27

131

41

Theology and Religious Vocations

137

46

Humanities and Liberal Arts

32

All Majors by Group


Ranked by Earnings and Popularity

Bachelors Degree Ranking


By earnings

Graduate Degree Ranking

By popularity

By earnings

By popularity

Industrial Arts, Consumer Services, and Recreation


128

29

Family and Consumer Sciences

128

47

53

52

Miscellaneous Industrial Arts and Consumer Services

74

110

111

28

Physical Fitness, Parks, Recreation, and Leisure

109

43

28

60

Transportation Sciences and Technologies

33

100

80

13

Criminal Justice and Fire Protection

87

24

97

83

Pre-Law and Legal Studies

68

88

59

103

Public Administration

76

84

47

127

Public Policy

35

114

42

126

Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology

53

126

50

37

Chemistry

16

15

35

69

Geology and Earth Science

50

57

51

134

Geosciences

27

129

61

26

Multidisciplinary or General Science

51

28

44

120

Nuclear, Industrial Radiology, and Biological Technologies

28

117

36

130

Oceanography

36

130

57

135

Physical Sciences

65

134

15

73

Physics

20

29

Law and Public Policy

Physical Sciences

Psychology and Social Work


136

79

Human Services and Community Organization

135

92

45

121

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

55

124

112

Psychology

110

99

132

Social Psychology

90

135

134

32

Social Work

133

22

115

59

Anthropology and Archeology

105

51

84

85

Criminology

86

107

24

16

Economics

12

88

66

General Social Sciences

95

71

67

64

Geography

69

76

114

95

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

97

94

60

84

International Relations

39

60

69

125

Miscellaneous Social Sciences

56

121

52

15

Political Science and Government

32

104

20

Sociology

111

20

Social Sciences

33

LOWEST- AND HIGHEST-EARNING MAJORS


BACHELORS DEGREE HOLDERS
Rank

$48,871

Median Earnings

129

Drama and Theater Arts

108

Fine Arts

$48,871

113

Music

$48,686

135

Studio Arts

$41,762

132

Visual and Performing Arts

$42,465

117

Neuroscience

123

Art and Music Education

137

Early Childhood Education

130

Elementary Education

125

General Education

$45,572

127

Language and Drama Education

$45,440

116

Mathematics Teacher Education

$48,654

119

Science and Computer


Teacher Education

$47,785

118

Secondary Teacher Education

$48,078

Communications
and Journalism

120

Social Science or History


Teacher Education

$46,608

Computers, Statistics,
and Mathematics

126

Special Needs Education

$45,440

133

Teacher Education: Multiple Levels

122

Communication Disorders
Sciences and Services

109

Art History and Criticism

121

Composition and Speech

$46,608

110

Humanities

$48,686

124

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

131

Theology and Religious Vocations

128

Family and Consumer Sciences

111

Physical Fitness, Parks,


Recreation, and Leisure
Human Services and
Community Organization

$48,686

112

Psychology

$48,686

134

Social Work

115

Anthropology and Archeology

$48,679

114

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

$48,679

136

34

Major

$44,538

Agriculture and
Natural Resources

Architecture and
Engineering

$48,190
$45,613
$39,097

Arts

$42,736

$42,194

Biology and Life Sciences

Business

Education

$45,654
$48,871

$45,613

Health

Humanities and
Liberal Arts

$42,736
$44,743

$41,113

$42,194

Industrial Arts, Consumer


Services, & Recreation
Law and Public Policy
Physical Sciences

Psychology and Social Work

Social Sciences

Lowest- and Highest-Earning Majors


Bachelors Degree Holders

Median Earnings

$72,501

Major

$90,141

Rank

Aerospace Engineering

Architectural Engineering

18

Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering

12

Electrical Engineering

Engineering and Industrial Management

19

Engineering Mechanics Physics and Science

17

Environmental Engineering

22

General Engineering

16

Geological and Geophysical Engineering

10

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

14

Industrial Production Technologies

26

Mechanical Engineering

$97,743

Metallurgical Engineering

$97,372

Mining and Mineral Engineering

Miscellaneous Engineering

23

Petroleum Engineering

Business Economics

25

Finance

30

Management Information
Systems and Statistics

21

Applied Mathematics

13

Computer Engineering

Computer Science

11

$73,046

Information Sciences

27

$72,501

Mathematics

29

Statistics and Decision Science

20

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical


Sciences and Administration

Transportation Sciences and Technologies

28

Physics

15

Economics

24

$80,130
$96,156
$82,858
$93,215
$77,679
$80,787
$76,022
$80,787
$86,553
$81,452
$73,719
$86,883

$76,022
$135,754
$74,788
$72,501
$76,924
$82,858
$86,553
$82,858

$77,679
$112,519
$72,764
$81,143
$75,608

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
35

LOWEST- AND HIGHEST-EARNING MAJORS


GRADUATE DEGREE HOLDERS
Rank

$65,162

Median Earnings

116

$62,751

124

Drama and Theater Arts

$59,857

126

Film, Video, and Photographic Arts

$59,830

125

Fine Arts

$59,830

121

Music

$60,872

134

Studio Arts

$54,096

132

Visual and Performing Arts

$55,799

120

Neuroscience

$60,872

108

Advertising and Public Relations

$65,162

119

Art and Music Education

136

Early Childhood Education

129

Elementary Education

$56,965

127

General Education

$59,732

122

Language and Drama Education

$60,818

Communications
and Journalism

116

Mathematics Teacher Education

$62,751

Computers, Statistics,
and Mathematics

114

Miscellaneous Education

$64,104

113

Science and Computer


Teacher Education

$64,104

112

Secondary Teacher Education

$64,215

117

Social Sciences or History


Teacher Education

$62,144

120

Special Needs Education

$60,872

130

Teacher Education: Multiple Levels

123

Composition and Speech

131

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

137

Theology and Religious Vocations

128

Family and Consumer Sciences

109
135

36

Major
Commercial Art and
Graphic Design

Physical Fitness, Parks,


Recreation, and Leisure
Human Services and
Community Organization

110

Psychology

133

Social Work

111

Sociology

$60,872

Agriculture and
Natural Resources

Architecture and
Engineering

Arts

Biology and Life Sciences

$53,420

$56,625
$60,818

Business

Education

Health

Humanities and
Liberal Arts

$56,625
$50,727
$59,732
$64,915

Industrial Arts, Consumer


Services, & Recreation
Law and Public Policy
Physical Sciences

$53,858
$64,915
$54,893
$64,915

Psychology and Social Work

Social Sciences

Lowest- and Highest-Earning Majors


Graduate Degree Holders

Median Earnings

$97,000

Major
$112,181

Aerospace Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering

22

Electrical Engineering

Engineering and Industrial Management

10

Engineering Mechanics Physics and Science

11

General Engineering

17

Geological and Geophysical Engineering

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

19

Mechanical Engineering

12

Metallurgical Engineering

Mining and Mineral Engineering

13

Miscellaneous Engineering

26

$108,603
$100,618
$111,861
$108,191
$106,839
$103,173
$113,930
$101,498

Rank

$106,839
$108,603
$105,771
$98,410
$128,430

Petroleum Engineering

Biochemical Sciences

30

Zoology

15

Business Economics

25

$101,453

Finance

21

$97,395

Operations Logistics and E-Commerce

29

Applied Mathematics

14

Computer Engineering

18

Computer Science

24

Statistics and Decision Science

23

Health and Medical


Preparatory Programs

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration

Chemistry

16

Geosciences

27

Nuclear, Industrial Radiology, and Biological Technologies

28

Physics

20

Economics

$97,358
$104,259
$99,536

$105,644
$101,498
$99,915
$100,465
$128,207
$117,523
$103,573
$98,394
$97,395
$101,453
$108,603

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
37

MAJORS RANKED BY POPULARITY


BACHELORS DEGREE HOLDERS

30 Most Popular Majors (Rank)


Electrical Engineering (17) 1.68%

30 Least Popular Majors (Rank)


Agriculture and
Natural Resources

General Engineering (23) 1.32%


Mechanical Engineering (24) 1.32%

0.06% Food Science (116)


Architecture and
Engineering

Commercial Art and


1.44%
Graphic Design (22)
Fine Arts (21) 1.48%
Biology (14) 2.06%
Accounting (3) 4.63%

Arts

0.04% Engineering Mechanics,


Physics, and Science (123)

Biology and
Life Science

0.10% Engineering Technologies (111)

0.08% Mechanical EngineeringRelated Technologies (113)

General Business (2) 5.39%


Business

0.04% Petroleum Engineering (124)

Journalism (27) 1.11%

Elementary Education (9) 2.79%


General Education (8) 2.87%

0.03% Botany (129)


Communications
and Journalism

0.07% Molecular Biology (115)

Computers, Statistics,
and Mathematics

0.05% Applied Mathematics (119)

Education

English Language
2.51%
and Literature (10)
History (18) 1.64%

Physical Fitness, Parks,


0.98%
Recreation, and Leisure (28)

Health

Humanities and
Liberal Arts
Industrial Arts, Consumer
Services, & Recreation
Law and Public Policy

Multi-Disciplinary or
1.14%
General Science (26)

Physical Sciences

Economics (16) 1.86%


Political Science and
1.89%
Government (15)
Sociology (20) 1.58%

0.11% Humanities (109)


0.11% Multi/Interdisciplinary
Studies (110)

Criminal Justice and


2.19%
Fire Protection (13)

Psychology (5) 4.04%

0.11% Science and Computer


Teacher Education (108)
0.06% Health and Medical
Preparatory Programs (118)

Liberal Arts (19) 1.62%


Family and Consumer
0.92%
Sciences (29)

0.02% Neuroscience (133)

0.06% Statistics and Decision


Science (117)

Miscellaneous Health
1.20%
Medical Professions (25)
Nursing (4) 4.48%

0.02% Metallurgical Engineering (136)


0.02% Mining and Mineral
Engineering (131)

Communications and
3.52%
Mass Media (6)

Mathematics (30) 0.91%

0.03% Environmental Engineering (128)


0.01% Geological and Geophysical
Engineering (137)

Finance (12) 2.33%

Computer Science (11) 2.43%

0.05% Architectural Engineering (122)


0.08% Engineering and Industrial
Management (114)

Business Management
8.14%
and Administration (1)

Marketing and Marketing


3.15%
Research (7)

0.09% Agricultural Economics (112)

0.04% Public Policy (127)


0.04% Atmospheric Sciences
and Meteorology (126)
0.02% Geosciences (134)
0.05% Nuclear, Industrial Radiology, and
Biological Technologies (120)
0.03% Oceanography (130)

Psychology and
Social Work

Social Science

0.02% Physical Sciences (135)


0.05% Industrial and Organizational
Psychology (121)
0.02% Social Psychology (132)
0.04% Miscellaneous Social Sciences (125)

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
38

GRADUATE DEGREE HOLDERS

30 Most Popular Majors (Rank)


Electrical Engineering (13) 2.30%

30 Least Popular Majors (Rank)


Agriculture and
Natural Resources

0.08% Food Science (119)

General Engineering (21) 1.37%


Mechanical Engineering (18) 1.61%

Architecture and
Engineering

Business Management
3.94%
and Administration (5)
Finance (17) 1.69%

Arts

Biology and
Life Science

General Business (8) 2.91%

Business

Computer Science (14) 2.01%


Mathematics (19) 1.61%
Elementary Education (4) 3.94%
General Education (3) 4.13%

Communications
and Journalism
Computers, Statistics,
and Mathematics

Communication Disorders
0.95%
Sciences and Services (30)
Miscellaneous Health
1.12%
Medical Professions (23)

Chemistry (15) 1.92%


Multi-Disciplinary or
0.99%
General Science (28)

Social Work (22) 1.28%

Health

Humanities and
Liberal Arts

Sociology (20) 1.48%

0.02%

Geological and Geophysical


Engineering (137)

0.09%

Industrial Production
Technologies (115)

0.03%

Mechanical EngineeringRelated Technologies (132)

0.05% Metallurgical Engineering (128)


0.03%

Mining and Mineral


Engineering (136)

0.08% Botany (118)

Operations Logistics and


E-Commerce (113)

0.09% Applied Mathematics (111)


0.07%

Multi/Interdisciplinary
Studies (120)

0.10%

Miscellaneous Industrial Arts


and Consumer Services (110)

0.09% Public Policy (114)


Industrial Arts, Consumer
Services, & Recreation
Law and Public Policy

0.06%

0.08%
Psychology and
Social Work

Nuclear, Industrial Radiology, and


Biological Technologies (117)

0.04% Oceanography (130)


0.03% Physical Sciences (134)
0.06%

Social Science

Atmospheric Sciences
and Meteorology (126)

0.05% Geosciences (129)

Physical Sciences

Economics (12) 2.42%


Political Science and
3.31%
Government (7)

0.06% Engineering Technologies (127)

0.09%

Physics (29) 0.96%


Psychology (1) 6.41%

Engineering Mechanics
Physics and Science (116)

0.09% Neuroscience (112)

Liberal Arts (26) 1.03%

Criminal Justice and


1.05%
Fire Protection (24)

0.09%

0.10% Visual and Performing Arts (109)


Education

English Language
3.54%
and Literature (6)

Philosophy and
1.00%
Religious Studies (27)

Engineering and Industrial


Management (122)

0.03% Petroleum Engineering (131)

Nursing (10) 2.58%

History (11) 2.57%

0.07%

0.07% Environmental Engineering (123)

Marketing and Marketing


1.04%
Research (25)
Communications and
1.71%
Mass Media (16)

0.10% Forestry (108)


0.03% Architectural Engineering (133)

Biology (2) 5.49%


Accounting (9) 2.86%

0.06% Agricultural Economics (125)

Industrial and Organizational


Psychology (124)

0.03% Social Psychology (135)


0.07% Miscellaneous Social Sciences (121)

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
39

HELP READING OUR CHARTS


LOWEST- AND HIGHEST-EARNING MAJORS

This chart shows the 30 highest paying majors and the 30


lowest paying majors.
The leftmost column displays the rank
of the 30 lowest paying majors among
the 137 major subgroups. To the right of
that column is the median annual wages
(2013$) of that major subgroup.

The rightmost column displays the rank


of the 30 highest paying majors among
the 137 major subgroups. To the left of
that column is the median annual wages
(2013$) of that major subgroup.

The chart is sorted alphabetically


by the 15 major groups included
in the center. Each of the 15 major
groups is represented by a distinct
color. For example, architecture and
engineering majors are red.
LOWEST- AND HIGHEST-EARNING MAJORS

Lowest- and Highest-Earning Majors


Bachelors Degree Holders

BACHELORS DEGREE HOLDERS


Rank

Major

$48,871

Median Earnings

Median Earnings

Major

$90,141

Rank

Aerospace Engineering

Architectural Engineering

18

Drama and Theater Arts

108

Fine Arts

$48,871

113

Music

$48,686

135

Studio Arts

132

Visual and Performing Arts

117

Neuroscience

123

Art and Music Education

137

Early Childhood Education

130

Elementary Education

125

General Education

127

Language and Drama Education

116

Mathematics Teacher Education

$48,654

119

Science and Computer


Teacher Education

$47,785

118

Secondary Teacher Education

$48,078

Communications
and Journalism

$97,743

Metallurgical Engineering

120

Social Science or History


Teacher Education

$46,608

Computers, Statistics,
and Mathematics

$97,372

Mining and Mineral Engineering

126

Special Needs Education

$45,440

Miscellaneous Engineering

23

133

Teacher Education: Multiple Levels

122

Communication Disorders
Sciences and Services

109

Art History and Criticism

121

Composition and Speech

$46,608

110

Humanities

$48,686

124

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

131

Theology and Religious Vocations

128

Family and Consumer Sciences

111

Physical Fitness, Parks,


Recreation, and Leisure
Human Services and
Community Organization

$48,686

Psychology

$48,686

136
112

$44,538

$72,501

129

$41,762
$42,465

Agriculture and
Natural Resources

$96,156
Architecture and
Engineering

Arts

$81,452

$45,440
Business

$42,194

134

Social Work

115

Anthropology and Archeology

$48,679

114

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

$48,679

Engineering Mechanics Physics and Science

17

Environmental Engineering

22

General Engineering

16

Geological and Geophysical Engineering

10

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

14

Industrial Production Technologies

26

Mechanical Engineering

$135,754
$74,788
$72,501

Health

$76,924
$82,858

Humanities and
Liberal Arts

$86,553
$82,858

$42,736

$41,113

$76,022
Education

$48,871

$44,743

$73,719

Industrial Arts, Consumer


Services, & Recreation
Law and Public Policy
Physical Sciences

Social Sciences

Petroleum Engineering

Business Economics

25

Finance

30

Management Information
Systems and Statistics

21

Applied Mathematics

13

Computer Engineering

Computer Science

11

$73,046

Information Sciences

27

$72,501

Mathematics

29

Statistics and Decision Science

20

$77,679
$112,519

Psychology and Social Work

12

19

$86,883

$45,654

$45,613

$86,553

Civil Engineering
Electrical Engineering

$76,022

Biology and Life Sciences

Chemical Engineering

Engineering and Industrial Management

$80,787

$42,736

$42,194

$93,215

$80,787

$45,613

$45,572

$82,858

$77,679

$48,190

$39,097

$80,130

$72,764
$81,143
$75,608

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical


Sciences and Administration

Transportation Sciences and Technologies

28

Physics

15

Economics

24

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
34

40

35

s,

mer
n
y

0.09% Agricultural Economics (112)


0.06% Food Science (116)
0.05% Architectural Engineering (122)
0.08% Engineering and Industrial
Management (114)

MAJORS RANKED BY POPULARITY

0.04% Engineering Mechanics,


Physics, and Science (123)
0.10% Engineering Technologies (111)
0.03% Environmental Engineering (128)

This
chart shows the 30 most common majors and 30 least common
0.01% Geological and Geophysical
(137)
majors Engineering
for Bachelors
degree holders and graduate degree holders.
0.08% Mechanical EngineeringRelated Technologies (113)

MAJORS RANKED BY POPULARITY The majors are sorted

0.02% Metallurgical Engineering (136)

BACHELORS DEGREE HOLDERS

0.02% Mining and Mineral


The
leftmost column displays
Engineering
(131)

alphabetically by major group


(displayed in the center on
each page)in a stacked column.
Each of the 15 major groups is
Agriculture and
represented
by a distinct color.

rank of the
0.04% Petroleumthe
Engineering
(124)30 most com30 Most Popular mon
Majors
(Rank)
majors among the 137
0.03% Botany (129)
major
Electrical Engineeringsubgroups.
(17) 1.68%
Natural Resources
0.07% Molecular Biology (115)
General Engineering (23) 1.32%
MAJORS RANKED BY POPULARITY
0.02% Neuroscience (133)
Architecture and
Mechanical Engineering (24) 1.32%
BACHELORS DEGREE HOLDERS
Engineering
0.05% Applied Mathematics (119)
Commercial Art and
30 Most Popular Majors (Rank)
1.44%
Graphic
Design
(22)
0.06% Statistics
and
Decision
Electrical Engineering (17) 1.68%
General Engineering (23) 1.32%
Science (117)
Fine Arts (21) 1.48%
Mechanical EngineeringArts
(24) 1.32%
Commercial Art and
0.11% Science and Computer
1.44%
Graphic Design (22)
The rank ofTeacher
each major
subgroup
is
Biology
(14) 2.06%
Education
(108)
Biology and
Biology (14) 2.06%
Life Science

Fine Arts (21) 1.48%

displayed in parentheses.
(Rank)
Accounting
(3) 4.63%
0.06% Health and Medical
Preparatory Programs (118)
Business Management
8.14%
and Administration
0.11% Humanities
(109) (1)
Finance (12)
0.11% Multi/Interdisciplinary
Studies (110)
General Business (2)
0.04% Public Policy (127)
Marketing and Marketing
Research
(7)
0.04% Atmospheric
Sciences
and Meteorology (126)
Communications and
Mass(134)
Media (6)
0.02% Geosciences

Accounting (3) 4.63%

0.05% Architectural Engineering (122)


Agriculture and
Natural Resources

0.06% Food Science (116)

0.04%
Engineering
0.05% Architectural
Engineering (122) Mechanics,
0.08% Engineering
and Industrial
Physics,
and Science (123)

Arts

0.04% Engineering Mechanics,


0.10%
Technologies (111)
Physics,Engineering
and Science (123)

Management (114)

Biology and
Life Science

5.39%

Communications and
3.52%
Mass Media (6)

3.15%

Computer Science (11) 2.43%

0.01% Geological and Geophysical

Business

Business

Elementary Education (9) 2.79%


General Education (8) 2.87%

3.52%

History (18) 1.64%

Physical Fitness, Parks,


0.98%
Recreation, and Leisure (28)

History (18) 1.64%

0.11% Science and Computer


0.04%
Engineering (124)
TeacherPetroleum
Education (108)

Science (117)

0.06% Health and Medical

Health

Psychology (5) 4.04%


Economics (16) 1.86%
Political Science and
1.89%
Government (15)

Education

Humanities and
Liberal Arts

Physical Fitness, Parks,


0.98%
Recreation, and Leisure (28)

0.11% Humanities (109)

0.04% Public Policy (127)

0.02%
Neuroscience
(133)
0.04% Atmospheric
Sciences
and Meteorology (126)

Physical Sciences
Psychology and
Social Work

Social Science

Sociology (20) 1.58%

0.02% Geosciences (134)


0.05%
Applied Mathematics (119)
0.05% Nuclear, Industrial Radiology, and
Biological Technologies (120)

0.06%
Statistics
and Decision
0.03% Oceanography
(130)
0.02% PhysicalScience
Sciences (135) (117)
0.05% Industrial and Organizational
Psychology (121)

0.11%
Science and Computer
0.02% Social Psychology (132)
Teacher Education (108)
0.04% Miscellaneous Social Sciences (125)
0.06% Health and Medical
Preparatory Programs (118)

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey micro data, 2009-2013 pooled sample.
38

Health

Liberal Arts (19) 1.62%


Family and Consumer
0.92%
Sciences (29)

Preparatory Programs (118)


0.03%
Botany (129)
0.11% Multi/Interdisciplinary
0.07%
Biology (115)
StudiesMolecular
(110)

Arts, Consumer
Computers, Statistics, Industrial
Services, & Recreation
Law and Public Policy
and
Mathematics
Multi-Disciplinary or
1.14%

Miscellaneous
Health
0.02% Social
Psychology
(132) 1.20%
Medical Professions (25)
0.04% Miscellaneous Social Sciences (125)
Nursing (4) 4.48%
2.51%

Education

Criminal Justice and


2.19%
Fire Protection (13)

General Science (26)

0.02% Neuroscience (133)

0.02%
and Mineral
0.05% AppliedMining
Mathematics (119)
Engineering
(131)
0.06% Statistics
and Decision

Liberal Arts (19) 1.62%

Communications
Family and Consumer
0.92%
Sciencesand
(29) Journalism

0.02%
Metallurgical
Engineering (136)
0.07% Molecular
Biology (115)

Computers, Statistics,
and Mathematics

English Language
2.51%
and Literature (10)

0.02% Physical Sciences (135)


Elementary Education (9) 2.79%
0.05% Industrial and Organizational
General Education
Psychology
(121) (8) 2.87%

Language
eau, American Community Survey microEnglish
data, 2009-2013
pooled sample.

0.03% Botany (129)

Communications
and Journalism

Miscellaneous Health
1.20%
Medical Professions (25)
Nursing (4) 4.48%

0.02% Metallurgical Engineering (136)


0.02% MiningMechanical
and Mineral
0.08%
EngineeringEngineering (131)
Related
Technologies (113)
0.04% Petroleum Engineering (124)

Journalism (27) 1.11%

Mathematics (30) 0.91%

0.10% Engineering Technologies (111)

0.03% Environmental
Engineering (128)
0.03%
Environmental
Engineering (128)
Engineering (137)
0.01%
Geological and Geophysical
0.08% Mechanical EngineeringRelatedEngineering
Technologies (113)
(137)

General Business (2) 5.39%


Marketing and Marketing
3.15%
Research (7)

0.08%
Engineering and Industrial
30 Least Popular Majors (Rank)
Management
(114)
0.09% Agricultural
Economics (112)

Architecture and
Engineering

Finance (12) 2.33%

To the immediate left (for most popJournalism


(27) 1.11%
0.05%or right
Nuclear,
Industrial
Radiology,
and
ular)
(for
least popular),
the
Biological Technologies (120)
Computer
Science
(11) 2.43%
percentage
of college
graduates
with
0.03%respective
Oceanography
(130)
each
major
is
displayed.
Mathematics (30) 0.91%

and Literature (10)

0.06% Food Science (116)

Business Management
8.14%
and Administration (1)

2.33%

The rightmost column


displays the rank of the 30
30 Least Popular Majors (Rank)
least common majors by
0.09%
Agricultural
Economics (112)
the 137
major subgroups.

0.11% Humanities (109)


0.11% Multi/Interdisciplinary
Studies (110)

Humanities and
Liberal Arts

Criminal Justice and


2.19%
Fire Protection (13)

Industrial Arts, Consumer


Services, & Recreation
Law and Public Policy

Multi-Disciplinary or
1.14%
General Science (26)

Physical Sciences

0.04% Public Policy (127)


0.04% Atmospheric Sciences
and Meteorology (126)
0.02% Geosciences (134)
0.05% Nuclear, Industrial Radiology, and
41
Biological Technologies (120)
0.03% Oceanography (130)

42

43

The Economic Value of College Majors


can be accessed at
cew.georgetown.edu/report/valueofcollegemajors

THE ECONOMIC VALUE

of COLLEGE MAJORS

3300 Whiteheaven Street, NW, Suite 3200


Washington, D.C. 20007
Mail: Campus Box 571444
Washington, D.C. 20057
cew.georgetown.edu