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Highest Paid College Degrees

Posted By Jim On 08/18/2005 @ 7:51 am In Career | 2 Comments

Only a few days ago did I write my thoughts on low “return on investment” college degrees [3] did the folks at CNN Money write (or update) an article on the highest paid degree holders coming out of college [4]. The article says basically the same thing last year’s article said: engineers make the big bucks and they keep making it. There are, however, things in this article that they don’t mention that I think are worth thinking about.

The first thing that they should’ve looked into was the number of jobs available for those engineering degrees. Of course, for high-flying computer science majors the jobs are plentiful – but what about those aerospace engineers? I find it difficult to believe the number of aerospace engineering jobs come close to matching the number of mechanical engineering jobs.

Secondly, with inflation estimated at 3% a year (historically), five of the top seven jobs actually took a pay cut over the course of last year. Of the top seven, only aerospace engineers and industrial engineers saw their salaries increase faster than the cost of a soda (in theory).

Finally, take these studies with a grain of salt because when it’s on a national scale, it loses a bit of accuracy when you take into account cost of living differences, quality of educational institution differences, location of institution, and a whole host of other factors that will affect you specifically. It’s like when someone memorizes the probabilities in Roulette and soon learns that they work “in the long run” after dropping some money at the tables “in the short run.”


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[3] my thoughts on low “return on investment” college degrees: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/jobs-worse-return-on-academic-investment.html

[4] article on the highest paid degree holders coming out of college: http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/11/pf/college/starting_salaries/index.htm

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