Friday, October 12, 2012

Education Pays: Earnings and Employment by Field of Degree

A recent report released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that when it comes to employment and earnings, the field of study matters. The 2011 American Community Survey reveals that although business is the most popular major in the U.S., science and engineering degree-holders had the highest earnings and employment rates.
Computers, mathematics, and statistics majors had the highest rate of full-time employment at 66.6 percent. On the opposite side of the spectrum, education majors were least likely to be employed full-time, as 41.0 percent of these degree-holders worked on a part-time basis. As one might expect, visual and performing arts majors had the highest rate of part-time employment at 30.8 percent. 

The report also covers earnings by type of worker: private-sector, government, and self-employed. Computers, mathematics, and statistics majors were the most likely to work in the private sector, where 77.9 percent of these degree-holders earned their living in 2011. More than half (55.8%) of education majors worked in government -- the highest of any field -- while the degree-holders most likely to be self-employed were biological, agricultural, and environmental sciences majors (14.1%). 

Engineering majors topped the list for highest median earnings at $91,611 per year, followed by computers, mathematics, and statistics ($80,180); and physical and related sciences ($80,037).

Learn more about education and earnings by bachelor's degree field in the full report. Additional data are available here for work-life earnings by occupation and degree. Also, check out this infographic for related data on education and school enrollment. 

No comments: