by Dawn Dugan | shared from Salary.com
Is College Still Worth the Money? Maybe.
As the cost of education continues to skyrocket and job prospects remain less than robust in a tough economy, the answer to the question, “What are you majoring in?” seems more important than ever.
There’s no getting around it. Education is expensive. A four-year degree at a public university costs, on average, $37,343, while an education at a private school will set you back $121,930. While statistics show that a college degree will undoubtedly open doors and increase your earning potential, you need to choose your degree carefully to ensure you’re making a wise investment.
Last week, we highlighted 8 college degrees with a poor return on investment. This week, we’ll head to the other end of the spectrum and show you 8 college degrees with great ROI (in no particular order), as well as some examples of jobs within each industry.
To calculate ROI for a specific degree, we first determined the overall cost of the degree. We allowed the degree holder four years to graduate. Using data from a recent College Board study, we assigned a figure of $37,343 as an average cost of a four-year public liberal arts degree, and a figure of $121,930 for degrees earned at four-year private colleges. The total cost included tuition, room and board, and books, and did not factor in scholarships or grants. We then determined the median cash compensation over the course of 30 years of typical jobs requiring that degree using Salary.com data. We used current Salary.com figures, but added 4.3% per year to account for inflation and cost of living increases. To determine ROI, we subtracted the cost of the degree from the gains over 30 years, then divided that figure by cost.
If you love crunching numbers and solving complex problems, there are lots of career options for math majors with a great ROI. But of course you don’t need me to do the math! Here are three jobs commonly held by math majors (click on job title and/or salary for more information):
7. Information Technology
While the rest of us are happy when we find the computer’s “on” switch, IT majors actually know what’s going on inside. Here are three jobs commonly held by Information Technology majors:
6. Human Resources
Human resources majors serve as the gatekeepers to organizations, reviewing resumes, managing the hiring and firing processes, and developing policies that ensure employees are happy, healthy, and productive. Here are three jobs commonly held by human resources majors:
If you’re interested in how things are produced, distributed, and consumed, consider a major in economics. Three jobs held by economics majors include:
If you’re fascinated with the natural world, you can use that passion to make a good living by choosing to study biology. Three jobs held by biology majors include:
Were you the kid who drove your parents crazy taking the toasters apart and putting them back together? Engineering majors have excellent problem solving skills and a knack for developing products, devices, and systems. Three jobs held by engineering majors include:
If you’re interested in why people make the decisions they do, have excellent leadership qualities and the ability to persuade, and could sell ice to Eskimos, then consider majoring in marketing. Three jobs held by marketing majors include:
What could be better? For four years you do lots of writing and reading, you talk about writing and reading, then follow up with more writing and reading. Then, the sky’s the limit. Common jobs held by English majors include:
Make Your Money Count, But Do What You Love
When all is said and done, the best way to get the biggest bang for your education buck is to truly love what you do. But while few things contribute to your ultimate earning power like passion and excelling at what you do, it doesn’t hurt to know you’ll be able to pay off those college loans a little sooner!
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