Parents will be relieved to hear that the job market is improving for recent college graduates. But how likely grads are to get a job after school highly depends on their major.
An annual report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce found that college is still worth the cost for most students in the current economy. Unemployment rates for recent graduates in most majors declined last year. No matter the major, young professionals who graduated from college were more likely to be employed than their high school educated counterparts—except for those who majored in architecture or the social sciences.
Unsurprisingly, those who majored in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) had the best wage advantage over their high school educated competitors. Engineering majors earned on average $57,00 per year, almost twice that of the average high school graduate in the same field.
But some majors aren’t so lucrative. The study found that college was the least economical for graduates who majored in arts, psychology or social work. They earn only $31,000 per year on average—only $1,000 more than the average high school educated worker.
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