Chart of the Week: How Much Is That College Major Worth?

With many high school seniors shifting their gaze towards college and what to major in, I thought this chart from Wall Street Journal might be a good conversation starter:

NA-CF709A_MAJOR_9U_20150506181208

Assignment for students:

  • Ask students to draw three insights from analyzing this chart. Some questions to get them thinking:
    • Compare median pay of high school graduates with median pay of college graduates of all majors.
    • Which majors tend to draw highest pay levels?  Why do you think this is the case?
    • What do you think differentiates folks at the 25th %ile of pay vs. 75th %ile?
    • These are salary figures for bachelor’s degrees.  What could you do to further increase your earning power?
    •  Should you choose a major strictly based on the pay levels?  What other factors might you consider?