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Education The Almighty Buck Science

What's Your STEM Degree Worth? 148

Jim_Austin writes A recent study by economist Douglas Webber calculates the lifetime earnings premium of college degrees in various broad areas, accounting for selection bias--that is, for the fact that people who already are likely to do well are also more likely to go to college. These premiums are not small. Science Careers got exclusive access to major-specific data, and published an article that tells how much more you can expect to earn because you got that college degree--for engineering, physics, computer science, chemistry, and biology majors.
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What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

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  • Biased source? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @10:36PM (#47321145)
    At the risk of using an ad hominem fallacy, a university professor personally benefits when people choose to attend college. An economist at a university should recuse himself from issuing reports that encourage people to contribute to his pension fund.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @10:40PM (#47321167)

    Even for those in the bottom quartile of 'ability' (people that just limp into college).

    A quick calculation based on this data says that the break-even point in opportunity costs (include any foregone earnings over 30k) is $215k for an undergrad in the humanities and 320k for the social sciences, and $460k if you do anything in a STEM fields.

    So there you go: if your opportunity cost is less than 50K a year any under-grad degree, even if you are are not all that bright, may well pay off.

    We're kind of assuming that if you are in the bottom quartile graduate school is a bit out of your league; though I'm sure there are a LOT of bottom quartile business majors who get reasonable MBAs and totally throw off our expectations about income and smarts.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @02:06AM (#47322105)

    3.98 GPA and a more awards than you can shake a stick at.... And the only job I could find is with a shitty timeshare marketing company. No degree required for this job.
    They should either remove the "M" from STEM or stop telling gullible young smart guys that a STEM degree will lead to a higher paying job.

  • by hambone142 ( 2551854 ) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @03:49AM (#47322427)
    I disagree. I worked for one of those "large computer companies". Most of our technical staff had a Bachelor's degree. A few had a Masters. There was zero pay difference between the B.S. degrees and M.S. degrees. It's all based on job performance. Ph.Ds were actually a disadvantage. Most managers stayed away from them because of the perception that they would be "bored" doing normal engineering jobs.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.