Myths and Facts about Majors and Earnings

Highlights from New York Times career blog by ZAC BISSONNETTE Nov. 3, 2010

  • “A study conducted by PayScale Inc. found that history majors who pursued careers in business ended up earning, on average, just as much as business majors.”
  • “Most people will graduate with higher G.P.A.’s if they study something they are passionate about. High G.P..A’s help graduates land jobs, and there is a fairly strong correlation between class rank and career earnings. “
  • “There is a disconnect between students’ perceptions of what employers want and what employers actually want. “Read the whole article here: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/major/

PayScale Salary Survey ranked the earning potential for full-time employees in the United States with a B.A. — and no higher degree — for 130 Majors. Their chart weighs starting salaries and mid-career (15 years) salaries.

The top forty majors are all in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math).

History Majors and American Studies Majors rank nearly the same as Accounting, Marketing, and Business Majors (ranked 53 – 63 of 130 majors)

See the 2012 data for all 130 Majors here: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/majors-that-pay-you-back

Here are the same Majors ranked according to sense of satisfaction and meaningfulness based on replies from graduates of specific majors who reported that their job makes the world a better place.
http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/majors-that-change-the-world

Work and Your Wallet: 10 Reasons History Majors Rule the Business World from Nancy Zimmerman’s Blog: Money Coach in Canada, August 2011

“Martha Stewart. Lee Iacoca [Ford]. Tamara Vrooman [CEO of Canada’s largest credit union]. Lord David Sainsbury [CEO of largest supermarket chain in the UK]. Anita Roddick [Founder of Body Shop]. All history majors, and that’s just a cursory check.” . . . [Here’s] “the business case for hiring, promoting and prizing history majors”

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