Your Major For Life (Top & Bottom Twenties)
Note: This post is part of our League Symposium on Higher Education in the 21st Century. You can read the introductory post for the Symposium here. To see a list of all posts in the Symposium so far, click here.
There’s been a fair amount of talk so far about whether or not the STEM majors are really all they’re cracked up to be. I decided to betray my blogger roots and actually look into it. How do STEM majors compare to non-STEM majors? Well, some of that is going to depend on how you’re looking at it, but basically everything you need to know is here. I decided to write a quick post listing the top and bottom twenty majors.
The formula I used is pretty simple: The 75th percentile income, plus the 25th percentile income, divided by two, times the employment rate (100% minus unemployment).
The Top Twenty Majors:
Petroleum Engineering ($124)
Mathematics & Computer Science ($99)
Nuclear Engineering ($97)
Pharmacutical Sciences & Administration ($96)
Military Technologies* ($92.2)
Mineral Engineering ($91.8)
Marine Engineering ($87)
Chemical Engineering ($85)
Actuarial Science ($84)
Aerospace Engineering ($82)
Materials Science ($73.4)
Electical Engineering ($72.7)
Mechanical Engineering ($73.5)
Geological Engineering ($78.5)
Metallurgical Engineering ($70.6)
Materials Engineering Science ($62.3)
Computer Engineering ($63.2)
Civil Engineering ($66.5)
The Bottom Twenty Majors:
School Student Counseling** ($30.0)
Library Science ($30.6)
Counseling Psychology ($30.8)
Miscellaneous Fine Arts ($31.4)
Visual & Performing Arts ($32.7)
Clinical Psychology ($34.6)
Early Childhood Education ($35.0)
Educational Psychology ($35.2)
Community Organization ($36.8)
Studio Arts ($37.7)
Social Work ($37.8)
Interdisciplinary Social Sciences ($37.9)
Teacher Education ($38.6)
Language/Drama Education ($39.0)
Elementary Education ($39.0)
Communication Disorders Sciences ($39.6)
Interdisciplinary Studies ($39.7)
Art & Music Education ($39.8)
* – Military Technologies has a notably high unemployment rate of above 10%. If I factored unemployment in more, it would fall down on the list considerably.
** – School Student Counseling has a listed uneployment rate of 0.0%. If I factored unemployment in more, it would fall down (or is that up?) on this list.
I ran three calculations, weighing employment/unemployment more in each one. I decided to go with the first listing because it was the most straightforward. The pattern holds regardless. You can access the spreadsheet here. It uses the ODS file format. OpenOffice and LibreOffice can read it. GoogleDocs inexplicably cannot. I am not sure where Microsoft Office stands on it at the moment.