By J. Smith
A new study reveals that a student’s choice of undergraduate major in college is directly related to his or her future earnings, with the highest-paying majors providing salaries of about 300 percent more than the lowest-paying, The Huffington Post reports. The report was based on “first-of-its-kind” Census data, which the study used to also show that majors are highly segregated by race and gender. So, maybe white males pick better majors and that’s why many of them out-earn other college graduates? Sure, that’s the reason.
According to the Post, petroleum engineering majors make about $120,000 a year, compared with $29,000 annually for counseling psychology majors. Math and computer science majors earn $98,000 while early childhood education majors earn closer to $36,000. “The majors that are most popular are not the ones that make the most money,” the director Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce told the Post.
“The study found that white men are concentrated in the highest-earning majors, including engineering and pharmaceutical sciences, while women gravitate toward the lowest-earning majors like education, art and social work,” the report stated. The fields with the highest unemployment are social psychology, nuclear engineering and educational administration and supervision. The field with the highest concentration of blacks is law and public policy, at a whopping 14 percent.
I think this is more of a commentary on what is valuable in society, and education clearly is not highly valued. If it were, people with teaching degrees would have higher earning potential, which would provide more incentive for great teachers to stay in the field, which would maybe give our students a better chance at being introduced to things like petroleum engineering. But that would be too much like right.