Is college worth it? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is college worth it?

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Yes, college is worth it, according to a new study. But some courses of study are worth more, lots more, than others. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure rocketry is more rewarding monetarily than, say, working on a newspaper (presuming you can find one that's hiring.)

The good news? “While there is a lot of variation in earnings over a lifetime,” the center said in a press release, “the authors find that all undergraduate majors are ‘worth it,’ even taking into account the cost of college and lost earnings.”

And yet, for those applicants to college seeking the most bang for their buck — at least as defined as maximizing their lifetime earnings — the authors used census data to conclude that the top majors as ranked by highest median earnings included petroleum engineer ($120,000), pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences ($105,000) and mathematics and computer sciences ($98,000). The lowest? Counseling/psychology ($29,000), early childhood education ($36,000) and theology/religious vocations ($38,000.)

This New York Times article includes a link to an easy-to-read chart on the relative worth, in median income, of various college majors. The arts, journalism and teaching are on the low end of the totem pole.

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