Compare Salaries Across College Majors Across States With This Online Tool

If you’re studying liberal arts in college, you probably don’t expect to earn as much after graduation as your engineering or computer science friends. But because of our cultural avoidance of discussions about money and wages, you may (fortunately in this case) not be aware of the exact difference in earnings you can count on.

Sites like Payscale and Glassdoor often recommend looking for salary information or comparing jobs by title, but there is another site you can use if you are just starting your college career.

The Georgetown Center for Education and Workforce analyzed the wages of 15 broad majors (such as business, health and social sciences) and 137 subgroups (more specific majors such as livestock, music, and petroleum engineering). A report published in 2015 uses what the middle half of graduates are likely to earn (25th to 75th percentile). And it is presented as an interactive feature that allows you to compare salaries both in the country and in individual states.

The report notes that while the average difference between a high school graduate and a college graduate is $ 1 million over a lifetime, there has been a rise to $ 3.4 million between the lowest paid and highest paid majors (early childhood education and petroleum engineering). … And graduate students earn 28 percent more than those with only a bachelor’s degree.

To use the interactive feature, click on the state of interest and search for your specialty. The bachelor’s interquartile salary for nation and state will appear on the chart (if you click the circle in the middle of the columns, you will see the exact numbers), as will the graduate student salary, if available.

For example, I was looking for journalism in New York:

And in Michigan, where I grew up:

You can also view the data at the national level for sub-majors in the category:

Here are some more interesting takeaways from the report:

  • Bachelor’s degree holders earn an average of $ 61,000 per year over their careers.
  • Graduate holders earn an average of $ 78,000 per year.
  • Architects and engineers are paid the most in broad basic categories, while the oil industry pays the most in specialties.
  • Education is paid the least of the main main categories, and specialties of preschool education receive the least overall
  • STEM Professionals earn the most among entry-level college graduates at $ 43,000 per year, while Humanities and Humanities earn $ 29,000 per year.
  • Big business wages vary the most, from $ 43,000 per year at the 25th percentile to $ 98,000 per year at the 75th percentile.
  • The wages for education professionals vary the least, ranging from $ 35,000 per year at the 25th percentile to $ 59,000 per year at the 75th percentile.

It’s worth playing around with this tool on your own and viewing the full report , which provides details on the annual salary ranges. Use it to explore options or convince your child not to spend tens of thousands of dollars studying journalism.


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