College Majors that Pay Off
So you’re wondering how to make that college investment pay off?
College isn’t cheap – four years at a public university will run about $35,000, according to The College Board, while a private college could wipe out your savings to the tune of $120,000.
So what’s the best way to maximize the return on that investment? Part of the answer lies in selecting a major.
First, a bit of good news: Salaries have gone up. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average salary offer to all class of 2011 graduates now stands at $50,462, up 5.9 percent over last year’s average of $47,673.
Top Dollar Majors
And who’s earning the most? Engineering majors. But if you’re looking for the most job offers, you’d want to turn your attention to accounting.
Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have 2 years of experience; mid-career have 15 years. See full methodology for more.
Digging a bit deeper, the top 10 performing college majors all require a good deal of math – or something close. In fact, four of the top five on the list are engineering majors – all with starting salaries over $60,000. Computer science – ranked at number two -- is the only non-engineering degree making our top 10 list.
So what if you or your child is interested in doing good – maybe teaching or social work? Well, your child might love what they do, but chances are they won’t earn a six-figure salary – unless they combine it with some new technology application, something companies like Zinch and even SuperFutures have done. Majors such as elementary education, social work, horticulture, drama, and music reported annual salaries below $40,000.
Yes, even drama, where our own Iqbal Theba of the TV show, Glee, makes his living, falls to the bottom of the list. But that doesn’t mean students shouldn’t pursue a career. “You at least want to know what you’re up against if you’re going to pursue your passion in a challenging field,” says Iqbal Theba, who plays Principal Figgins on the Fox television series Glee.
He also advises: “Know your alternatives and your options.”
And Theba sure has them. His original college major? Engineering.
By the way, check out SuperFutures' programs to help you identify your college major and career options. And become a fan right now - support music in schools when you become a fan at www.facebook.com/superfutures.