College Education Still Pays Off, But It Depends on Your Major

College Education Still Pays Off, But It Depends on Your MajorUnemployment rates are still too high among recent graduates, but a new study insists that a college educations still pays off, especially if your major was education, engineering and “health and the sciences” — which leads to jobs in the growing field of healthcare.
Overall, unemployment rates for college graduates with work experience hover around 4.65 percent. But the unemployment rate for recent college graduates is higher at 7.9 percent, according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.
There are some surprises in the study.
For one, recent architecture graduates are seeing high unemployment rates (about 13 percent), despite a robust housing recovery and renewed expansions in commercial real estate.
Unemployment rates for recent graduates in information systems, concentrated in clerical functions, is high (14.7 percent), compared with mathematics (5.9 percent) and computer science (8.7 percent).
Not so surprising: Unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (9.8 percent) or law and public policy (9.2 percent).
“The Georgetown study confirms that a college education still pays off in an economy recovering from recession,” said the study’s press release.
Earnings, however, also depend on what employed college graduates took as a primary course of study.
Median earnings among recent college graduates range from $54,000 for engineering majors to $30,000 for arts; psychology and social work; and life and physical sciences.
The highest paying majors continue to be in engineering.
Moreover, graduate degrees are still worth it, the study also found. Sometimes, graduates may be required to take what’s known as the GRE – Graduate Record Exam – but in a lot of cases, some degrees are configured so you don’t need to take the GRE.
The overall unemployment rate for people with graduate degrees is 3.3 percent, ranging from a low 2.3 percent for those who obtained a degree in language and drama education and also obtained a graduate degree, to a high 6.9 percent for those who obtained a degree in architecture and also obtained a graduate degree.

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