Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
For SITD Junior Members needing college career advice, best and worst paid majors
The graph at the link is the usual link you see on the subject this time of year; engineering good, social “sciences” and humanities bad, at least in terms of money earned right after graduation.
Of course, there are some questions: the graph counts people with degrees in a field who get jobs in that field. Not all engineering majors get jobs directly in their fields (as we talked about a few weeks ago) – and not everyone with a degree in technology or engineering has a degree in the field (many of the best software engineers I’ve worked with had degrees in music).
And not everyone who goes into social “science”, humanities or even arts works in those fields after graduation, and fewer still do it for an entire career. How many history majors do you know who became managers? Most of us Twin Cities beer drinkers know the example of the CEO of Summit Brewing, who started out as a psych major. And in my own field – which is a bastard child of engineering and psychology – I’ve worked with people who graduated with degrees in music, computer science, folklore, math, graphic design, education, and not a few English majors like me.
Not a few very successful lawyers majored in theatre.
And the Elizabethan Poetry major who goes to work selling insurance, cars, real estate, institutional software, drilling equipment or a raft of other things can, with talent and hard work, make a ton of money – and never recite a single couplet.
The mania for matching degrees with post-graduate salaries is completely understandable, as education costs are hitting a peak even as the higher ed bubble starts to implode with all the grace of a whoopie cushion.
But it’s a little misleading, too.
How many of you are working in the field in which you got your BA?
How many of you could have even predicted where you’d be now, given your undergraduate degree?