Posted August 06, 2012 by

8 College Degrees That Will Earn Your Money Back

As the cost of education continues to skyrocket and job prospects remain less than robust in a tough economy, the answer to the question, “What are you majoring in?” seems more important than ever.

There’s no getting around it. Education is expensive. A four-year degree at a public university costs, on average, $37,343, while an education at a private school will set you back $121,930. While statistics show that a college degree will undoubtedly open doors and increase your earning potential, you need to choose your degree carefully to ensure you’re making a wise investment.

Last week, we highlighted 8 college degrees with a poor return on investment. This week, we’ll head to the other end of the spectrum and show you 8 college degrees with great ROI (in no particular order), as well as some examples of jobs within each industry.

Methodology

 calculate ROI for a specific degree, we first determined the overall cost of the degree. We allowed the degree holder four years to graduate. Using data from a recent College Board study, we assigned a figure of $37,343 as an average cost of a four-year public liberal arts degree, and a figure of $121,930 for degrees earned at four-year private colleges. The total cost included tuition, room and board, and books, and did not factor in scholarships or grants. We then determined the median cash compensation over the course of 30 years of typical jobs requiring that degree using Salary.com data. We used current Salary.com figures, but added 4.3% per year to account for inflation and cost of living increases. To determine ROI, we subtracted the cost of the degree from the gains over 30 years, then divided that figure by cost.

8. Math

If you love crunching numbers and solving complex problems, there are lots of career options for math majors with a great ROI. But of course you don’t need me to do the math! Here are three jobs commonly held by math majors (click on job title and/or salary for more information):

ACTUARY II
Median Salary: $70,029
30-Year Earnings: $4,130,308
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 110%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 33%

OPERATIONS RESEARCH ANALYSIS MANAGER
Median Salary: $146,456
30-Year Earnings: $8,637,969
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 230%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 70%

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE/RECEIVABLE MANAGER
Median Salary: $76,241
30-Year Earnings: $4,496,691
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 119%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 36%

7. Information Technology

While the rest of us are happy when we find the computer’s “on” switch, IT majors actually know what’s going on inside. Here are three jobs commonly held by Information Technology majors:

WEB APPLICATIONS DEVELOPER
Median Salary: $80,584
30-Year Earnings: $4,752,841
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 126%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 38%

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST
Median Salary: $109,604
30-Year Earnings: $6,464,440
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 172%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 52%

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGER
Median Salary: $107,578
30-Year Earnings: $6,344,946
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 169%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 51%

Continue reading . . .

Article by Dawn Dugan and courtesy of Salary.com

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