A college degree is worth at least $1 million throughout a career. But with some degrees – particularly those in STEM, business and health fields – the economic return is much greater.
Science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – majors on average earned $43,000 annually at the entry level, compared with $41,000 for health majors and $29,000 for arts, humanities and liberal arts majors. But by midcareer – when the college graduates are between 25 and 29 years old – STEM majors were significantly out-earning other majors, at $76,000 annually. Business and health majors followed at $67,000 and $65,000 a year, respectively. On average, entry-level jobs that require a bachelor's degree pay $33,000 annually, and $61,000 by midcareer. Overall, business and STEM majors were both the most common and among the highest-paying majors, the report found.