There is more bad news for liberal arts majors who already have a hard time with job searches because they are perceived to have no ready skills for most employers. College graduates with petroleum engine degrees make an average of $120,000 in their first year out of school. That is on par with what many law school and MBA degree holders get.
The next nine best paying degrees are, according to a survey by Georgetown, “Pharmacy/pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration ($105,000); Mathematics and Computer Sciences ($98,000); Aerospace Engineering ($87,000); Chemical Engineering ($86,000); Electrical Engineering ($85,000); Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering ($82,000); Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering and Mining and Mineral Engineering (each with median earnings of $80,000).”
The bottom of the earnings ladder are: “Counseling/Psychology ($29,000); Early Childhood Education ($36,000); Theology and Religious Vocations ($38,000); Human Services and Community Organizations ($38,000); Social Work ($39,000); Drama and Theater Arts, Studio Arts, Communication Disorders Sciences and Services, Visual and Performing Arts, and Health and Medical Preparatory Programs (each at $40,000).”
The survey shows several things. The first is that curing crazy people or saving people’s souls is much less valuable than the work to explore and produce oil. Pharmacists offer drugs instead of therapy which may be a more financially efficient way to cure the mentally ill. This reduces health care costs, which is already a major goal of the federal government.
There is no time in the past where people who can act, paint, or help the less fortunate have been paid well except for stars like Lady Gaga and Harrison Ford. They are one in a million, so people who go into the arts must love them or are able to put hope before reason.
The Georgetown study shows that we live in a world of engineers whether they help produce oil and ore, iPads, or military ships. It is a wonder the colleges offer liberal arts majors at all. Those who graduate with them will only add to the rolls of the unemployed.
Douglas A. McIntyre