College Majors and Making Money

Posted by Andrew Price

The site PayScale has just released new data on what kind of money you're likely to make based on what you studied in college. The top ten money-making majors are dominated by more kinds of engineering than you knew existed. And physics is probably only in the mix because physics majors can work as engineers pretty easily.Engineers have useful skills that are much in demand so they get paid a lot. That's fine I suppose. But look at the list of the bottom ten majors in terms of salary.The fact that social work, elementary education, and education are all among the least financially rewarded careers seems like a problem to me. Those are important public services that improve society as a whole. How many of those engineers from the first chart wouldn't have made it to college in the first place without a decent primary education?I know the world has already had some exhaustive debates about the merits of the free market and all that, but I can't help but feel that at some point in the future our enlightened progeny are going to look back on the whole system of paying people based on how well they satisfy the interests of rich people as kind of barbaric.