To Rake in the Dough, Major in Petroleum Engineering

Pysch major not the optimal choice for those seeking riches
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2011 3:40 PM CDT
Petroleum engineering isn't a bad major for those looking to bank a nice salary.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Debating between engineering and English? Prospective college students may want to factor in a new census-based survey of salaries and careers in USA Today that projects the lifetime earnings of 171 college majors:

  • No. 1: Petroleum engineering majors can expect to make $4.8 million over a 40-year career, an average of $120,000 a year.
  • Lowest pay, with degree: For counseling/psychology majors, it's $1.16 million ($29,000 a year).
  • No college degree: High school grads can figure on lifetime earnings of $770,000.

  • Demand: Among the top 10 majors with highest pay, four are also among the least popular majors: Math and computer science, naval architecture and marine engineering, metallurgical engineering, and mining and mineral engineering.
  • Humanities: English, history, and philosophy majors can expect to make about $47,000, but a graduate degree can raise that by 50% or so.
Click for the full story, or to see the "most useless" degree, or to read about the is-college-worth-it debate.

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