What impact should numbers/realities like these have what major a student chooses?
It shouldn’t affect the major someone chooses, but should determine the debt load a student takes on in order to get that degree. It does no good to attend a $30,000/year private school take on $120,000 in debt for a social work degree, but it might make sense for a petrochemical engineer.
It tells me I chose the wrong type of engineering…
It is charts like this – far more than misogyny – which explain things like the oft-debunked ‘gender wage gap’.
Undoubtedly a lot will have to do with what kind of debt load a student will graduate with. If I recall, a recent study shows that the average pastorate pays in the neighborhood of $36,000 per year, which is substantiated by the chart above. I personally know 2 M.Div. grads who have held off going into ministry simply because they would be unable to subsist on the low salary and the $50-60,000 of debt load they graduated with. Seminaries need to address this issue aggressively.
Seems to me that the legal beagles and the drs got left off this chart and that they make far more than any of the other professions listed.
I believe this chart is only talking about Bachelor’s degrees. Law and medicine both require graduate degrees to even enter the profession.
It may be more important that a student understand and accept what lifestyle is waiting for them in any of their career choices. If they feel created to be a social worker and prepare their minds and standard of living for such career, they will not only be just fine financially, they will have the joy of being who they were created to be. If a petroleum engineer expects and attempts to maintain a standard of living that is irresponsible or above his means, he will not have that joy. Mental preparation and satisfaction with the life around a career puts these numbers in their appropriate place.
Jason @ http://www.jasondykstrawrites.com
What’s important is thinking about what your degree will allow you do to after you graduate. Studying what you love is great, but college only lasts four years. You probably don’t want to have four great years followed by forty years of working at a job that you hate and pays little money because you don’t have any marketable skills and your major, however intrinsically interesting, has no direct application in today’s world.