08 September 2009

Engineering Majors Paid Well

Which undergraduate college majors lead to the highest starting and mid-career salaries?

Eight of the top fourteen were in engineering. Five more were in the kindred fields of physics, biochemistry, mathematics, statistics and computer science. Economics was the social science outlier, coming in fifth place.

At the bottom were those whose majors were training them to be artists, actors and musicians, teachers, social workers, clergy, and farmers. Also at the bottom were those majoring in hospitality and tourism and in Spanish.

More details here.

Notably, math, and philosophy/theology majors who take them both do very well on standardized graduate school admissions tests (such as the GRE, GMAT, and LSAT), better, in fact, than engineers. Yet, philosophy and theology majors tend to earn considerably less money in their lives than math majors. The median starting salary of math majors is $7,000 higher than that for philosophy majors, and the median mid-career salary of math majors is $16,900 greater for math majors than for philosophy majors. Theology majors are in the bottom ten for earnings. Philosophers were even outpaced by their frequent targets of derision, marketing majors.

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