There have been a number of surveys recently on the value of a college degree. Recently the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce study listed engineering as having the highest median wages while biology post-graduate education provided the highest salary bump over median undergraduate salaries.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers just released their first ever study analyzing how most of the people who graduated with a Bachelors degree in the United States fared last year in the job market. The full pdf with the results is here, but here are the key conclusions:
## How Much Does Doing a Bachelors Matter? Quite a Bit - Over 80% of bachelor’s degree graduates could point to a positive professional outcome within 6-months (a job, self-employment, military service, or continuing education).
4-year college graduates had an average salary of $48k / year, 48% higher than graduates with Associate Degrees (2-year).
Less than 50% of candidates graduating with Associate degrees had full-time jobs within 6-months. Nearly 37% were doing some part-time work or continuing their education, while 15% were either still seeking jobs or had decided to stop looking.
Private school graduates did meaningfully better than public school graduates, both in terms of career outcomes and starting salary.
In terms of employment and starting salary, Liberal arts schools do just as well as professionally focused schools and both of those do better than “balanced schools” that offer both.
This is slightly skewed by the fact that in some majors (pure sciences, math, languages), candidates are specifically interested in grad school.
The worst major from an employment standpoint? Biology.
The worst major from a salary standpoint? Theology ($29k / year).