As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it is becoming more important for students to choose majors that not only interest them but also lead to high-paying careers. According to a recent report on the Economic Value of College Majors, STEM fields, including pharmacy, are the top majors for high pay.
This report highlights the importance of analytical skills in the job market and suggests that students who are not interested in STEM fields should consider taking courses in entry-level statistics or economics.
STEM fields, which include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, are known to lead to higher salaries for graduates. Pharmacy, in particular, ranks as the second-highest major in terms of economic value, following engineering.
This is due in part to the growing demand for healthcare professionals and the increasing role of technology in the field. As a result, STEM fields continue to see salary growth, in contrast to teaching and social services careers which remain stagnant.
In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the high pay in STEM fields, with a specific focus on pharmacy, and explore the various business degrees and salary variations that exist within these fields.
STEM Fields and Salaries
STEM fields, including pharmacy which ranks second in the Economic Value of College Majors report, continue to offer higher salaries compared to fields such as teaching and social services.
Graduating with a degree in STEM fields leads to a higher salary, with engineers earning the highest salary and petroleum engineering majors earning the highest mid-career salary at $136,000 annually.
The pay in STEM fields keeps growing while salaries in teaching and social services careers remain stagnant. A degree in petroleum engineering pays $4.8 million over a graduate’s career compared with early childhood education, which pays $1.4 million.
The unemployment rate for engineers and scientists is relatively lower than other fields at 3.8 percent. Engineering concentrations such as petroleum, chemistry or mining also pay well because these fields are tied to technology and play a crucial role in the economy.
The demand for graduates with majors in computer science and engineering remains strong.
Career growth and job market demand are two crucial factors that make STEM fields an attractive choice for college students. A degree in these fields not only leads to a higher salary but also offers opportunities for career growth.
The job market demand for STEM graduates is high, with only 20 percent of the college workforce majored in a STEM field such as engineering or mathematics.
Students not interested in a STEM field should consider taking a class in entry-level statistics or economics to boost analytical skills and appeal to the skill-gap shortage in the job market.
However, it is important to note that majors that bring a societal benefit, such as education, religious studies or parks and recreation, remain at the bottom of salary reports.
Despite this, STEM fields continue to dominate the job market, offering higher salaries and better career growth opportunities.
Petroleum Engineering: Highest Pay
The earnings potential for graduates with a degree in petroleum engineering is remarkable, with mid-career salaries reaching as high as $136,000 annually, which far exceeds the salaries of many other college majors.
This high earning potential is due to the specialized skills and knowledge required in the field, which includes a solid understanding of geology, drilling engineering, and reservoir engineering.
Job market projections for petroleum engineering are also positive, with the industry expected to grow by 3% from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Professionals in the field are needed to design and develop new methods for extracting oil and gas from the earth, as well as to improve existing methods and ensure they are environmentally responsible.
Skills required in petroleum engineering include strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, as well as knowledge of industry software and tools.
Overall, a degree in petroleum engineering is a solid investment for those seeking a high-paying and in-demand career in the energy sector.
Business Degrees and Salary Variations
Wages for graduates with a business degree can vary greatly, with potential mid-career salaries ranging from $43,000 to $98,000 annually. The variation in salary is due to a number of factors, including the specific concentration within the business field, the level of education attained, and the industry in which the graduate is employed.
For example, a finance major is likely to earn more than a business management major because it requires analysis and mathematics. Additionally, those who work in the financial services industry tend to earn higher salaries than those who work in other industries.
Majors that bring a societal benefit, such as education, religious studies, or parks and recreation, remain at the bottom of salary reports. While these majors may be fulfilling in other ways, those who pursue them should be aware that they may not earn as much as those who pursue other majors.
Salary trends have also shown that the mid-career annual salary for a college graduate has fallen by 11 percent in recent years, from $98,000 to $87,000. This decline may be due to a number of factors, including the increased number of college graduates entering the workforce, the availability of jobs in different fields, and the overall state of the economy.
Summary and Conclusion
The STEM fields, particularly engineering, offer high salaries for college graduates. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, petroleum engineering majors earn the highest mid-career salary at $136,000 annually. Other engineering concentrations such as chemical and mining engineering also offer high salaries due to their connection to technology and the crucial role they play in the economy. However, only 20% of the college workforce majors in a STEM field, and not everyone can pursue a STEM major. Students who are not interested in STEM should consider taking entry-level statistics or economics courses to boost their analytical skills.
Pharmacy is another promising career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for pharmacists in the US was $128,090 in May 2019. Pharmacists play a vital role in the healthcare system, ensuring the safe and effective use of medicines. A career in pharmacy requires a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and passing the licensure exam. The demand for pharmacists is expected to increase due to the aging population and the need for more medications.
Students can choose a lucrative career path by pursuing STEM fields or pharmacy. While STEM fields offer high salaries, not everyone can pursue a STEM major, and students should choose a major based on their interests and skills. Pharmacy is another promising career path that requires a PharmD degree and offers a high median annual wage. Regardless of the career path, it’s essential to follow one’s passion and interests to have a fulfilling and satisfying career.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the job outlook for graduates with majors in computer science and engineering?
Career paths in computer science and engineering are promising, with strong industry demand. Salary comparison shows higher pay in finance than business management. Job satisfaction is high due to involvement in technology and innovation.
What percentage of the college workforce majored in a STEM field?
The percentage of college graduates with a STEM major is only 20%, despite high demand for these fields. This is according to a report on the Economic Value of College Majors.
What can students interested in non-STEM fields do to boost their analytical skills and appeal to the skill-gap shortage in the job market?
To boost analytical skills and appeal to the skill-gap shortage in the job market, students interested in non-STEM fields can take advantage of internship opportunities and online courses. These options can provide practical experience and relevant training to increase their marketability to employers.
Why do majors that bring a societal benefit, such as education, religious studies or parks and recreation, remain at the bottom of salary reports?
Majors that offer societal benefits, such as education, religious studies, and parks and recreation, tend to have lower salaries due to the lack of demand and funding. The gender pay gap in STEM majors also exists, and automation could impact high-paying jobs.
What has been the trend in mid-career annual salaries for college graduates in recent years?
Mid-career salary trends for college graduates have declined by 11% in recent years, with STEM graduates experiencing higher salaries than non-STEM majors. The unemployment rate for engineers and scientists is also lower than other fields.