College majors affect more than just average earnings

College students at academic graduation

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
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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
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Related topics:
EducationFuture of WorkUnited States
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