Labor market outcomes by college major

From the Fed. Overall, college continues to pay off*, even looking just at early career earnings:

Of course labor market outcomes differ by major, sorted here by median wage mid-career:

Major Unemployment Rate Underemployment Rate Median Wage Early Career Median Wage Mid-Career Share with Graduate Degree
Pharmacy 3.7 28.7 40,000 115,000 58.8
Computer Engineering 2.5 20.1 65,000 106,000 39.9
Chemical Engineering 2.6 21.6 68,000 103,000 48.8
Aerospace Engineering 4.1 26.8 64,000 100,000 52.9
Electrical Engineering 4.6 22.3 65,000 100,000 44.8
Mechanical Engineering 4.3 21.0 63,000 98,000 41.0
Computer Science 4.7 23.5 62,000 95,000 32.3
Physics 5.3 31.7 48,500 94,000 68.9
Civil Engineering 1.9 17.5 60,000 90,000 37.7
Economics 4.1 39.8 55,000 90,000 42.2
General Engineering 5.0 23.5 60,000 88,000 36.2
Business Analytics 3.8 37.5 57,000 88,000 23.8
Industrial Engineering 3.4 17.3 64,000 87,000 39.7
Miscellaneous Engineering 4.3 29.4 60,000 85,000 44.1
Construction Services 6.1 34.0 56,000 85,000 10.4
Finance 3.5 37.0 52,000 85,000 30.5
Mathematics 5.8 30.6 50,000 80,000 52.2
Engineering Technologies 5.3 40.9 50,000 80,000 24.3
Architecture 4.3 26.6 45,000 75,000 37.4
Information Systems and Management 5.0 38.1 50,000 75,000 24.0
Biochemistry 3.1 33.5 40,000 75,000 70.8
Miscellaneous Physical Sciences 4.0 35.9 46,000 75,000 56.2
Political Science 4.2 51.5 42,000 75,000 51.7
International Affairs 4.7 49.7 45,000 75,000 42.6
Chemistry 3.9 35.4 41,000 74,000 65.0
Marketing 3.0 52.7 42,000 74,000 16.9
Advertising and Public Relations 3.7 47.7 40,000 72,000 18.3
Accounting 2.8 23.0 50,000 72,000 28.7
Miscellaneous Technologies 6.4 58.0 37,000 72,000 16.8
Communications 3.9 53.0 40,000 70,000 23.3
Geography 5.0 33.5 42,000 70,000 34.4
Nursing 2.0 11.4 50,000 70,000 26.4
General Business 3.7 56.4 45,000 70,000 23.8
Overall 3.9 42.9 40,000 68,000 37.5
Treatment Therapy 3.2 33.0 36,000 67,000 45.1
History 4.1 53.1 36,000 66,000 49.4
Environmental Studies 4.6 49.3 36,000 65,000 32.2
Journalism 3.7 42.5 38,000 65,000 25.3
Biology 4.6 44.6 35,000 65,000 63.2
Earth Sciences 5.3 43.1 40,000 65,000 46.1
Business Management 4.2 59.6 40,000 65,000 23.3
Medical Technicians 1.0 50.9 42,600 64,000 24.3
Philosophy 6.2 50.9 36,000 62,000 57.3
Interdisciplinary Studies 4.6 48.0 38,000 61,000 36.5
Agriculture 3.1 53.9 40,000 60,000 20.8
Animal and Plant Sciences 3.0 57.4 35,000 60,000 34.8
Mass Media 7.8 55.2 35,000 60,000 18.3
Foreign Language 4.2 46.2 35,000 60,000 50.0
English Language 5.3 50.6 35,000 60,000 45.5
Liberal Arts 6.7 58.4 33,400 60,000 27.8
Miscellaneous Biological Sciences 3.9 46.5 35,000 60,000 60.4
Criminal Justice 4.1 73.2 37,000 60,000 22.2
Public Policy and Law 1.7 62.8 40,000 60,000 44.8
General Social Sciences 4.6 52.3 36,000 60,000 37.9
Art History 3.8 56.5 38,900 60,000 41.2
Commercial Art and Graphic Design 4.9 36.2 40,000 60,000 10.9
Leisure and Hospitality 3.7 63.0 34,200 58,000 30.2
Performing Arts 3.7 65.7 30,000 58,000 37.6
Ethnic Studies 5.7 50.1 38,000 57,000 49.4
Anthropology 6.6 59.1 33,000 57,000 46.9
Psychology 4.1 49.7 34,000 56,000 50.3
Sociology 3.9 56.0 34,600 56,000 35.2
Fine Arts 5.6 58.4 33,500 55,000 22.5
Health Services 3.1 45.7 36,000 55,000 52.5
Nutrition Sciences 5.8 47.9 35,000 54,000 46.4
Secondary Education 2.3 23.5 38,000 50,000 48.4
Family and Consumer Sciences 4.3 44.6 32,000 50,000 32.5
Theology and Religion 1.0 46.9 32,000 49,000 42.2
Miscellaneous Education 1.2 17.5 37,000 48,000 55.3
General Education 1.7 22.2 36,000 45,000 47.4
Special Education 2.9 16.2 37,000 45,000 60.8
Social Services 3.5 31.5 31,300 44,200 47.4
Elementary Education 1.9 15.9 35,000 43,000 47.0
Early Childhood Education 1.7 19.2 32,100 41,000 38.2

* Your results may differ. No accounting for selection effects.

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2 Responses to Labor market outcomes by college major

  1. charlie says:

    How does that data reconcile with the fact student loans are increasingly not being paid?

    WSJ: 40% Of Student Loans Not Being Paid.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-than-40-of-student-borrowers-aren‘t-making-payments.

    Forbes: The U.S. Student Loan Debt Crisis Is Even Worse Than We Thought
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2019.

  2. Oryx says:

    On the other hand, data from the same report tells us,”The unemployment rate for young college graduates exceeds that of the general population, and about 41 percent of recent college graduates — and 33.8 percent of all college graduates — are underemployed in that they are working in jobs that don’t require a college degree.” (from IHE: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/02/18/41-recent-grads-work-jobs-not-requiring-degree)

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