If you’re thinking of going back to school, or have a college-bound senior in high school, you should know the opportunity for financial payback from the career you choose. PayScale‘s 2013-2014 College Salary report is out, and the fiscal news is good for some careers (not so much for others).
If you’re considering petroleum engineering (or almost any field of engineering), the news is excellent. You can pay back your student loans and still buy a house. If you’re thinking of going into social work or special education — or any other type of teaching — you may have to pinch pennies for a while once you’re out of school.
Note that some jobs, not rated as lucrative now because of the economy (like in the tourism industry) may take an uptick in the next few years as the economy recovers.
The income chart on the site shows typical average starting salaries and mid-career salaries (in current dollars). The data is based upon PayScale’s Salary Survey for full-time U.S. workers who possess a bachelor’s degree and have majored in one of the 130 subjects listed on the chart (people with master’s or other advanced degrees are not included). Obviously, these results may not represent all graduates with these degrees. More than 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States were included in the survey. As a result, median salary figures may be skewed toward large state universities, since these schools have the largest attendance.
The site also shows which colleges offer the best programs for certain degrees (say, music or athletic training), and a section called “Choosing a Major,” which tells you what kinds of jobs might be available for your interest area (say, art history).
Maybe money isn’t the most important thing to you. If you’d rather change the world than roll in change, see the section called, appropriately enough, “Majors That Change the World.” No. 1? Nursing. No. 2? Special ed. If you want to make money and a difference, choose medical engineering.
There’s even a section of advice from those who have graduated and gone on to pursue their professions – and some of the advice is quite sage. Whether you’re thinking of going to college or already in your chosen career, this site makes fascinating reading.