There is a very interesting discussion happening in the Washington Post right now surrounding a study done by Georgetown University economist Anthony Carnevale but the bottom line is that Carnevale and his team reviewed previously unreleased census data over a long period of time and instead of focusing on the salary right after graduation they focused on lifetime earnings based on your major.

According to the study, the median annual earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree in engineering was $75,000. The median wage was $47,000 in the humanities, $44,000 in the arts and $42,000 in education or in psychology.

Peter Whoriskey of the Washington Post

In May the Washington Post first ran this story under the title On path to riches, no sign of fluffy majors, and more recently the Washington Post has run a follow up story filled with some additional facts from Carnevale’s study called  Want to earn more money? Study STEM.

“…if I get a certificate as an engineering tech – – not even an AA degree – – I’ll make more than 30 percent of the people with BAs,” Carnevale said. “That wasn’t true 30 or 40 years ago. The world changed at the end of the 1980-81 recession. It’s what you study, and what occupation that puts you into.”

Anthony Carnevale Interviewed by the Washington Post

In addition to being interesting stories, the commentary surrounding the articles (particularly the initial report) were very also very well realized as there was a great variety of opinion surrounding both why this is the case and also regarding the ramifications for us as a society.

Beyond that, it is also great to see STEM education receiving such a nice real world recognition in terms of not only earning power, but in as we live is a supply/demand economy, it is also great to see demand for STEM education being so high.

Hat Tip to eSchool News for first making us aware of this story.


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