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Can Money Really Reflect The Value Of College Majors?

Can Money Really Reflect The Value Of College Majors?

Starting a college education is an exciting decision that can enrich your life for decades into the future. There are many ways to look at the value of a college education, including money and personal growth. If you are concerned about the years of effort and expenses required to obtain a post-secondary education, give yourself the benefit of reviewing the value of advanced study.

1. Engineering Majors Earn The Highest Incomes

For students who are interested in maximizing their income, engineering is an excellent choice. Engineering majors tend to earn more than many other graduates. In fact, some specialized engineers (e.g. petroleum) have earned +$90,000 salaries upon graduation according to a Wall Street Journal report. For those who enjoy the precision of science, math and engineering, there are many wonderful ways to make an excellent income and make the world a better place.

According to The Hamilton Project, engineering majors tend to earn over $2 million over the course of their careers. In contrast, English Language and Literature majors tend to earn $1 million over the course of their working career.

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Lifetime Earnings By College Major (The Hamilton Project)

    2. Reduced Likelihood of Unemployment

    Unemployment is an unpleasant experience by any measure. Not only do you have the prospect of lost income, but you also have to contend with the unpredictable job search process. The unemployment rate for college graduates in the US peaked at about 4% in 2010 according to a Business Insider report.

    Avoiding the anxiety and discomfort of unemployment is a significant benefit! According to Robert L. Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, “Research suggests that being unemployed doubles a person’s chance of a major depressive episode and that unemployment is also highly associated with domestic violence and alcohol abuse.” (source: Unemployment takes tough mental toll, CNN).

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    3. Increased Access To Six Figure Jobs

    Earning a six figure income is one of the rewards available to college graduates. For example, most project managers with six figure salaries have a four year degree. Other highly paid careers such as medicine, law and engineering also require a college education. While there are significant numbers of people earning high incomes without a college degree, it is a much more difficult to earn a high income.

    4. Understanding The World

    For many fields of study- including the liberal arts and social sciences – you gain a much deeper understanding of the world. My university studies focused on history and it enhances every aspect of my life. Whether I’m seeking to understand the latest revolution, the economic forces that influence our choices or the impact that leaders have, history has enriched my life deeply. My knowledge of history also enhances my enjoyment of travel and ability to understand different countries.

    If you are studying the social sciences, humanities or another field that prompts your friends and family to ask “what are you going to do with that?”, don’t worry. Smart motivated people who understand the world usually find good opportunities.

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    5. Improved Critical Thinking Skills

    Improving the quality of your thinking and reasoning skills is one of the greatest benefits you receive in college. In writing an essay, you acquire the habit of evaluating evidence and contributing your perspective. In a science class, you learn how to collect and organize data and other tools of the scientific method. These skills protect you from being taken in by people who play fast and loose with the facts. Developing effective critical thinking skills is a life long activity, get started now with 9 Ways to Train Your Mind to Think Critically.

    6. Prepare For Life As An Active Citizen

    The freedom to vote and participate in politics is a great responsibility. The broad perspective you earn from college studies – especially those in the liberal arts and social sciences – make you into a better citizen. Richard Sigurdson, former Acting Dean of Arts at The University College of the Cariboo, emphasizes the broad social and personal benefits of studying the liberal arts in his essay Why Study Liberal Arts?

    A liberal arts education will enhance your knowledge and improve your understanding of the world and its people. Many say that knowledge leads to wise action, perhaps even to goodness. Thus, an Arts education may help you to perceive and to understand your shortcomings, allowing you to become a better citizen, friend, spouse, parent, human being. Arts courses often enable students to reach beyond their own experiences and imagine worlds far distant in time and space. By opening your eyes, ears and mind, a good Arts education can strengthen in you the virtues of tolerance, sympathy, and respect for others.

    7. College Graduates, Regardless of Major, Earn More Than High School Graduates

    On average, earning a four year college degree significantly increases your income over the course of your life. This finding has been proven again and again by numerous researchers. Additional higher education tends to result in higher incomes. The chart below comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    Earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

      Featured photo credit: Trinity College Dublin/Gigglekid via pixabay.com

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      Bruce Harpham

      Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

      30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

      Summertime can be a real strain on your wallet. The sun is out, there are people to see, places to be; it’s no wonder you might be short of funds during these sunny months. Not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg.

      Take some time to go through this list of 20 cheap summer activities and make some realistic goals to complete as many as you can.

      Video Summary

      1. Visit a strawberry festival

      Summer is prime time for tasting strawberries. More often than not, an area that grows strawberries will have a strawberry festival. Indulge yourself in strawberry pies, jams, cakes and more!

      2. Have a picnic

      Take your partner or your family to the local park and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Designate each person to bring one food item of their choice to add to the fun.

      3. Camp in your back yard

        The summer heat can sometimes make it hard to sleep. Why not enjoy the heat outside in the yard? Pitch a tent or gaze into the night sky.

        4. Take long walks

        Discover something new where you live. Take the afternoon off from your chores and go for a long walk. You may be surprised by what you discover.

        5. Break a world record

        Breaking a world record doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You could even break one on your lunch hour. Give it a go!

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        6. Go on a bike ride

        The number of bike paths on roads in big cities has increased dramatically over the years. Take advantage, and enjoy the summer breeze.

        7. Join a gym class

          The gym is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but why not go with a friend a join a class? Spinning, yoga and step classes are always more fun with friends, and a lot of gyms allow you to pay-as-you-go.

          8. Find a new hobby

          The summer is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Serotonin (our body’s natural “happy” hormone) is produced by the sunshine and will be at a yearly high, which is great for when we want to tackle something new.

          9. Join a sports team

          Not all sports teams are competitive and require huge amounts of your time. Join in the fun with like-minded people, get fit, stay healthy and make some friends along the way.

          10. Make a slip ‘n slide

            Gather your friends, some plastic sheeting, a hose, washing up liquid if desired, and make a huge slip ‘n slide just like these guys. Granted, yours won’t be as big, but you get the idea… it’s fun!

            11. Make a treasure hunt for your kids

            Today’s digital world sees our children more often than not playing inside than outside. Why not create a sense of adventure by making a treasure hunt? Only rule? It has to be outside.

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            12. Visit a free festival

            Towns and cities are awash with free festivals, with themes from film to science. Scout your local area and discover something new.

            13. Visit the zoo

              Let’s face it: we love animals. While browsing news websites and social media networks you’re bound to come across a few pictures of cats. Take a trip to your local zoo for a better experience.

              14. Take a road trip

              Enjoy the open road with a few friends and take a road trip somewhere–anywhere. Just go out and enjoy the sunshine!

              15. Play ultimate frisbee in the park

                Frisbee is always great fun down the park, but why not turn it into more of a competitive sport by playing ultimate frisbee?

                16. Make your own ice cream

                Ice cream is a very versatile dessert. Make a sandwich, enjoy a cone, or simply just enjoy a bowl full. Better yet, making your own ice cream allows you to create any flavor you want.

                17. Invite your neighbors over for a BBQ

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                  When was the last time you invited your neighbors over? Do you even know them? Now’s your chance. Just ask each person to bring a food item so costs don’t mount up for you.

                  18. Get a summer job

                  For many students, summer is the time for relaxation and fun. But who said earning money and being productive isn’t fun? You only get out what you put into a situation.

                  19. Attend a charity event

                  Attending a charity event is a great way to raise funds and awareness for a cause, meet new people, and generally have a good time. Search for your local charity event today.

                  20. Visit a national park

                  National parks are a great way to explore nature and learn something new. You could even volunteer and make a difference in helping restore natural habitats.

                  21. Visit your local comedy club

                    Local comedy clubs are extremely underrated. They are cheap to attend and no doubt you’ll have a barrel of laughs.

                    22. Make your own hammock

                      Hammocks are very relaxing, are perfect for summer afternoons and are surprisingly easy to make.

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                      23. Read in your new hammock

                      Now you have your very own hammock, the only thing left to do is enjoy it. Grab your favorite book and read to your heart’s content.

                      24. Watch a movie outside

                      Movies are great. Relaxing outside in the evening is great. Put them together and you’ve got a perfect combination. In D.C, Maryland and Virginia this summer, for example, you can enjoy a huge number of movies outside.

                      25. Take a hike

                        Hikes are a great way to keep fit and see more of Mother Nature. There are countless trails available for you to explore. Why not try some this summer?

                        26. Learn how to fly a kite

                        As a child, you probably had a kite and haven’t touched it since. Why not dust it off and attempt to fly it? It’s tricky, but well worth the challenge.

                        27. Work out at the park

                        American cities are full of parks with ample space for a work out session. No doubt you’ll be happier to work out in the sun rather than a crowded gym.

                        28. Take your dog to the beach

                          One of the many joys of owning a dog is taking him or her for long walks during the summertime. This joy is enhanced when visiting the beach, for both you and your dog.

                          29. Make a summer smoothie

                          Healthy, delicious and perfect for the summer. Not only that, there are countless recipes ready for you to try.

                          30. Attend a free yoga session at the beach

                          No experience needed and all skill levels are welcome. Take yourself and a buddy down to the beach and try some yoga. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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