Education, Skills and Learning

College majors affect more than just average earnings

The proportion of students enrolling in college has increased dramatically over the past half century. Image: Unsplash/Charles DeLoye

Rodney Andrews

Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Texas

Scott Imberman

Professor of Economics and Education Policy, Michigan State University

Michael Lovenheim

Donald C. Opatrny ’74 Chair of the Department of Economics and Professor of Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations, and Public Policy, Cornell University

Kevin Stange

Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Share:

Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Education, Skills and Learning is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale

Stay up to date:

Education, Skills and Learning

Graph showing the financial returns to US college majors by potential experience for BA/BS degree
Engineering and architecture have the highest financial returns to college majors in the US. Image: CEPR
Graph showing returns relative to same percentile of liberal-arts distribution
Business and economics have a higher percentile return for US students. Image: CEPR
Graph showing the relationship between mean returns and variability in earnings by major
Graph showing the relationship between mean returns and variability in earnings by major. Image: CEPR
Figure showing the variation in mean earnings within major groupings
Figure showing the variation in mean earnings within major groupings. Image: CEPR

Have you read?

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:

Education, Skills and LearningWorkforce and EmploymentUnited States

Share:

Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

These are the world’s most sustainable universities

Stephen Hall

December 1, 2022

About Us
Events
Media
Partners & Members
Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2022 World Economic Forum