There has been a good bit of discussion lately on the blogs, online newspapers, and educational websites about Georgetown University’s study: What’s it Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors. The study outlines college majors, their popularity, and their earning potential after graduation. If you are trying to decide on a specific career path and online education’s flexibility and convenience appeals to you, it might be good to examine the results of the study before choosing a specific course of study.

In this article, we will examine the most popular major (Business), the major who a high number of graduates end up working in that occupation (Health), and one of the highest paying majors (Computers and Mathematics). All of these majors can be completed online with online degree-granting accredited institutions.

Business

Business is the most popular major group; it accounts for 25% of all majors. Median earnings are $60,000 for those with a Bachelor’s who majored in Business. Business Management and Administration is the most popular major; Bachelor’s degree holders with this major earn $58,000 at the median range. General Business is the second most popular major with median earnings of $60,000. Accounting is the third most popular major and earns $63,000 at the median range.

There is also great variation within these majors; the major with the lowest median earnings is Hospitality Management, while the major with the highest median earnings is Business Economics. Earnings in Business can vary widely from $40,000 all the way up to $90,000 — a difference of $50,000. About 21 percent of people with these majors obtain a graduate degree and, as a result, get an average earnings boost of 40 percent.

Of people who received an undergraduate major in business, 25 percent work in management occupations, 18 percent work in sales occupations, 18 percent work in finance occupations, 12 percent work in office occupations, and 6 percent work in business occupations. By industry, 17 percent work in financial services, 12 percent work in professional and business services, 10 percent work in retail trade, 8 percent work in manufacturing, and 7 percent work in public administration. Of people who obtained an undergraduate major in Business that are in the labor force and employed, 90 percent work full-time. About 5 percent are unemployed.

Health

Frequently, knowledge is used widely across industrial sectors, but in limited cases majors have a tight relationship with an industrial sector. This is especially the case in the health services sector. For instance: Nursing majors lead to employment in the health services industry 84 percent of the time. Of Bachelor’s degree holders who majored in Medical Assisting Services, 77 percent work in the health services industry. 82 percent of Nursing majors end up in health practice occupations, but 6 percent are found in management occupations. About 31 percent of people with these majors obtain a graduate degree and, as a result, get an average earnings boost of 50 percent. Of people who majored in Health, 69 percent work in health practice, 8 percent in managerial, and 4 percent in office occupations. By industry, 72 percent work in health services, 6 percent in retail, and 4 percent in education services. Of Health majors who are in the labor force and employed, 77 percent work full-time. About 2 percent are unemployed.

Computers and Mathematics

This group includes the following majors: Applied Mathematics, Communication Technologies, Computer Administration Management and Security, Computer and Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Computer Networking and Telecommunications, Computer Programming and Data Processing, Computer Science, Information Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematics and Computer Science. Mathematics and Computer Science have median earnings of $98,000. Computers and Mathematics account for 5.1 percent of all majors. Median earnings for those with only a Bachelor’s degree who majored in Computers and Mathematics are $70,000. Earnings in Computers and Mathematics can vary widely, from $48,000 to $100,000 — a difference of $52,000. The major with the highest median earnings is Mathematics and Computer Science, and the major with the lowest median is Communication Technologies. About 32 percent of people with these majors obtain a graduate degree and, as a result, get an average earnings boost of 31 percent.

Of people who majored in Computers and Mathematics, 46 percent work in computers,16 percent in management, 7 percent in office jobs, 6 percent in sales, and 4 percent in business occupations. By industry, 26 percent work in professional and business services, 12 percent in financial services, 11 percent in manufacturing, 7 percent in information services, and 7 percent in education services. Of those with a Bachelor’s in Computers and Mathematics who are in the labor force and employed, 91 percent of those people work full-time. About 6 percent are unemployed.

If you are interested in researching other majors covered in the study, The Chronicle of Higher Education created an interactive tool that lets you look at all the degrees and their median earnings. Get free information from a list of online schools at Classesandcareers.com.

 

 

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