Chart of the Week: How Much Is That College Major Worth?
With many high school seniors shifting their gaze towards college and what to major in, I thought this chart from Wall Street Journal might be a good conversation starter:
Assignment for students:
- Ask students to draw three insights from analyzing this chart. Some questions to get them thinking:
- Compare median pay of high school graduates with median pay of college graduates of all majors.
- Which majors tend to draw highest pay levels? Why do you think this is the case?
- What do you think differentiates folks at the 25th %ile of pay vs. 75th %ile?
- These are salary figures for bachelor’s degrees. What could you do to further increase your earning power?
- Should you choose a major strictly based on the pay levels? What other factors might you consider?
About the Author
Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.