Is Your Degree Worth the Money?
With a rising tuition and a weak job market, many graduates wonder if the degree they just received worth the financial and time investment. There is a good reason for that when they can not find jobs in their field of study.
Some attend college knowing exactly what they want to major in. Others range from clueless to slightly interested in a career goal but not knowing how to get there. The process of choosing a major — and discovering something that you are passionate about — can be an exciting one.
The new data from the U.S. Census Bureau clearly indicated the importance and the economic value of the undergraduate degree. The median earnings ranged from $29,000 for counseling psychology majors to $120,000 for petroleum engineering majors.
Undergraduate degrees in health professions ranked fourth, with a range from $40,000 to $105,000 and a median earning of $60,000. Obviously, the pay varied, depending the specific major. The average earning for graduates with a degree in Medical Laboratory Science was $58,000 (PDF link).
There is no doubt that an undergraduate degree is valuable, at least compared to a high school diploma. On average, people with a bachelor’s degree make 74 percent more than those with a high school diploma. The median income for high school diploma carriers is $32,000 compared to $55,000 to those with a bachelor’s degree.
Today, majors and degrees are more linked to occupation after graduation. Higher education can no longer isolate itself from this reality. Academic institutions that view themselves as large liberal arts centers of education are becoming more out of touch with the real world. Health professions majors remain to be closely linked to life after graduation. And the paycheck is not bad either!