Stars and Stripes stripes.com 25 Dec, 2020 23:45 am

More data is available about which college majors pay off, but students are not using it

More data is available about which college majors pay off, but students are not using it
Advocates stress that they want students to continue following their passions, but they also want them to be aware that earnings vary widely among graduates, affecting not only their quality of life but their ability to repay their student loans.

The California community college system has launched its own website showing median salaries of graduates in different fields; so has Florida." An analysis by the Georgetown center using College Scorecard data found that nurses with associate degrees from a community college in California make more than graduates of a dozen master's degree programs at Harvard University.Electrical and power transmission installers with associate degrees from a community college in West Virginia earn $80,400 in their first year, or more than twice the median income of bachelor's degree recipients generally.And 13% of 376 community college students surveyed could correctly rank four general categories of majors by salary, according to yet another study, by scholars at Stanford and the universities of Michigan, Chicago and California at Irvine; those students overestimated earnings by an average of 13%.

Some of the community college students also said they would change their majors; for every 1% increase in salary associated with a major, the likelihood they would choose that major rose between 1."Higher education is a really stubborn and inelastic institution," said Rachel Baker, a professor of education at the University of California at Irvine, and one of the researchers who surveyed those community college students.

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