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All College Degrees Are Not Created Equal: The Highest and Lowest Paying Majors

Pride and Prejudice

It shouldn't surprise you that reading this book will not make your college students wealthy, unless they have first-edition copies

You can drive yourself crazy figuring which college is best for your kid. But the college journey is not necessarily as important as the destination when you factor in how much higher education costs these days. There are inexpensive schools, outrageously expensive schools . . . not to mention a scarily pricey school for wizards. Some schools churn out better-paid students than others, and some majors are simply more lucrative.

If you’d like your child’s degree to translate into something more than just memories of fun times when they get their diploma after four years, it’s worth knowing which majors have the best payoffs, and which have the worst (hint: the Brontë sisters will not your child a millionaire make).

Take a look at the five worst paying majors, followed by the five best:

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  • Child and Family Studies 1 of 10
    Child and Family Studies
    Starting Median Pay: $29,600 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $40,500
  • Elementary Education 2 of 10
    Elementary Education
    Starting Median Pay: $32,400 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $44,000
  • Social Work 3 of 10
    Social Work
    Starting Median Pay: $32,200 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $44,300
  • Culinary Arts 4 of 10
    Culinary Arts
    Starting Median Pay: $29,900 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $46,800
  • Special Education 5 of 10
    Special Education
    Starting Median Pay: $34,300 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $47,800 . . . Also on the worst-paying college degrees list are religious studies, athletic training, public health, and art. And now for the best-paying college degrees . . .
  • Aerospace Engineering 6 of 10
    Aerospace Engineering
    Starting Median Pay: $60,700 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $102,000
  • Materials Science and Engineering 7 of 10
    Materials Science and Engineering
    Starting Median Pay: $60,400 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $103,000
  • Electrical Engineering 8 of 10
    Electrical Engineering
    Starting Median Pay: $61,300 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $103,000
  • Chemical Engineering 9 of 10
    Chemical Engineering
    Starting Median Pay: $64,500 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $109,000
  • Petroleum Engineering 10 of 10
    Petroleum Engineering
    Starting Median Pay: $97,900 • Mid-Career Median Pay: $155,000 . . . also on the best-paying college degree list are economics, computer science, applied mathematics and physics.

 

Sources: Huffington Post + Monster.com

Images: Wikipedia + Creative Commons

 

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