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Students studying science or math in college have a higher employment rate and salary than other majors after graduation, according to a new report from the Department of Education.
The DOE report looked at four years of data on college graduates and found that STEM majors — science, technology, engineering, and math — on average earn $65,000, while non-STEM majors earned about $15,500 less. STEM majors were also more likely to be employed and hold only one full-time job, rather than a part-time job or multiple jobs.
Overall, the information clearly pointed to the advantages of studying a STEM field in terms of employment and salary. As the Associated Press reports,
The survey found a strong correlation between earning money and highly specialized degrees. More than 95 percent of grads who studied computer and information sciences, for example, were employed full-time at the time of the survey and earned $72,600 on average. Engineering students reported similar job and salary prospects. That's compared with a humanities graduate who was more likely to report working multiple jobs and earn a full-time salary averaging only $43,100.
According to the DOE survey, engineering and engineering technology was the highest paying degree, with an average annual salary of $73,700.
Here are the average salaries for STEM majors and non-STEM majors, as well as a breakdown of how much students with specific degrees earn:
- STEM major (overall) — $65,000
- Computer and information sciences — $72,600
- Engineering and engineering technology — $73,700
- Biological and physical sciences, science technology, mathematics, and agricultural sciences — $50,400
- Non-STEM majors (overall) — $49,500
- General studies — $53,700
- Social sciences — $46,700
- Humanities — $43,100
- Health care fields — $58,900
- Business — $55,500
- Education —$40,500
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