Not all college degrees are equal, at least not when it comes to how much money you can make and how likely it is to find a job. A study at Bankrate has come up with a list of degrees, ranked based on how valuable they are.

How Did They Define “Most Valuable”?

Bankrate looked at the median incomes and unemployment rates of people based on which bachelor’s degree they obtained. They also took into account when someone went on to get a master’s degree or even a doctoral degree.

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Breakdown To Find “Most Valuable”

Here’s how Bankrate broke down the data in their study to determine the most valuable degrees.

  • Median Income – 70%
  • Unemployment Rate – 20%
  • Percentage of People with Advanced Degrees – 10%

The data came from the US Census Bureau American Community Survey. This 2017 data was obtained through the IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota research program.

Overall Findings

Overall they found out that graduates with degrees in STEM fields, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, typically can make more money and are less likely to be unemployed than those who may have majored in the arts.

Engineering degrees claimed 7 of the top 10 spots in the study.  Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering were ranked number one.

Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

The employment of naval architects and marine engineers is projected to grow 12% from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These careers are growing faster than average and are worth looking at going into college. On the other hand, drama and theater arts came in as the least valuable majors. More than 5% of degree holders were unemployed and the median income was $35,500.

Keep in mind that the median income for all those with a BA is $55,000 and the unemployment rate was 2.8% according to the data.

Top 10 Best Majors For High Paying Careers

According to the Bankrate study.

  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering with a median income of $90,000, unemployment rate of 1.6%, and 29% having advanced degrees.
  • Nuclear Engineering with a median income of $98,100, unemployment rate of 1.8%, and 56% having advanced degrees.
  • Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration with a median income of $100,000 unemployment rate of 2.2%, and 58% having advanced degrees.
  • Genetics with a median income of $85,000, unemployment rate of 1.2%, and 76% having advanced degrees.
  • Electrical Engineering with a median income of $99,000, unemployment rate of 2.7%, and 46% having advanced degrees.
  • Architectural Engineering with a median income of $74,000, unemployment rate of 1.5%, and 29% having advanced degrees.
  • Aerospace Engineering with a median income of $90,000, unemployment rate of 2.3%, and 49% having advanced degrees.
  • Computer Engineering with a median income of $92,000, unemployment rate of 2.8%, and 40% having advanced degrees.
  • Electrical Engineering Technology with a median income of $76,000, unemployment rate of 1.8%, and 30% having advanced degrees.
  • Materials Science with a median income of $90,000, unemployment rate of 2.0%, and 66% having advanced degrees.

10 Least Valuable Majors

According to the Bankrate study.

  • Drama and Theater Arts with a median income of $35,500, unemployment rate of 5.2%, and 26% having advanced degrees.
  • Visual and Performing Arts with a median income of $32,000, unemployment rate of 4.1%, and 23% having advanced degrees.
  • Composition and Rhetoric with a median income of $37,800, unemployment rate of 4.4%, and 29% having advanced degrees.
  • Linguistics and Comparative Language And Literature with a median income of $40,000, unemployment rate of 3.9%, and 45% having advanced degrees.
  • Fine Arts with a median income of $37,000, unemployment rate of 4.8%, and 24% having advanced degrees.
  • Film Video and Photographic Arts with a median income of $37,000, unemployment rate of 6.5%, and 15% having advanced degrees.
  • Miscellaneous Fine Arts with a median income of $38,000, unemployment rate of 5.7%, and 20% having advanced degrees.
  • Music with a median income of $36,000, unemployment rate of 3.1%, and 42% having advanced degrees.
  • Mass Media with a median income of $40,000, unemployment rate of 6%, and 16% having advanced degrees.
  • Cosmetology Services and Culinary Arts with a median income of $35,000, unemployment rate of 3.3%, and 12% having advanced degrees.

When it comes to choosing a college major, this can be a good list to go by if you are looking for the most valuable. There are other factors that go into the decision such as what your interests might be as well as what is available to you. However, this list can help you really think about what you want to do and what type of career you might have.

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