Study Shows College Majors are Segregated by Race
Nyshia Taylor, YourBlackWorld.com
According to a new study by Georgetown University in Washington D.C. college graduates will make 84 percent more in their lifetime than those with only high school diplomas. The study also shows different majors can lead to significantly different median wages, and that majors are highly segregated by race and gender.
Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce stated, “It’s important that you go to college and get a (bachelor’s degree), but it’s almost three to four times more important what you take.” For example, petroleum engineering majors make around $120,000 annually, while counseling psychology majors make around $29,000 annually. Despite this, the most popular majors are not the ones that make the most money.
The study found that the highest earning majors are mostly occupied by white men, which include engineering and pharmaceutical sciences. On the other hand, women tend to gravitate toward the lowest-earning majors such as, art and social work. Fields in public policy have the highest concentrations of African-Americans (14 percent) and Hispanics (10 percent.) Overall, business was the most popular major, while arts and agriculture were the least popular.
Carnevale feels this data is extremely significant considering the high cost of college degrees and the large amount of debt a lot of students acquire while receiving one.
“We don’t have a system in the United States where we align what you take with career prospects,” Carnevale said. “Nobody ever tells you when you go to college what happened to the other people who took it before you.”
Being a recent college graduate myself I also agree this study can be useful for college students and those who will soon be entering college. Ultimately, I feel when selecting a major it is most important that the student chooses a major they enjoy and not what will make them the most money.