Tag Archives: higher education

College Degrees That Pay the Most

When it comes to choosing a college major there are many things to consider. Not least among these considerations is finding the college degrees that pay the most that are in a field you are interested in. Everyone wants to do something they like doing but reality is individuals need a job that will pay the bills and help them meet their financial obligations. So we ask the question which college degrees pay the most? Are all college degrees about equal? Well we know right off the answer to that is no. A doctor or lawyer doesn’t make the same amount of money as a elementary education teacher. But aside from these most well known professions let’s take a look at some of the less known professions and college degrees that pay the most.

A recent article in The Kansas City Star, “Documenting major gaps in salaries” found at kansascity.com researchers take a look at the income gap between different higher education degrees as well as income gap between male and female and the income gap between ethnic groups. Their findings are interesting and we will summarize their findings here. Across the board any higher education degree averages a higher net income over a lifespan but income statistics show that there is a huge income gap in the amount of individual income increase varies greatly depending on the field of study.

Here is a list of the higher education degrees that can lead to the highest paying jobs:

  • Petroleum Engineer – $120,000
  • Pharmacy – $105,000
  • Math and Computer Sciences – $98,000
  • Aerospace Engineer – $87,000
  • Chemical Engineer – $86,000
  • Electrical Engineer $85,000
  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineer – $82,000
  • Mechanical, Metallurgical (study of metals), mining and mineral engineering – $80,000

For comparison sake lets look at the higher education degrees with the lowest median earnings:

  • Counseling/Psychology – $29,000
  • Early Childhood Education – $36,000
  • Theology and Religion – $38,000
  • Human Services and Community Organization – $38,000
  • Social Work – $39,000
  • Performing Arts, Health and Medical Prep Programs – $40,000

Another consideration, especially in trying times like today is which career fields have the lowest unemployment rates. The top higher education fields with the lowest unemployment rates include: Geological and geophysical engineering, military technologies, pharmacology, and school student counseling. The jobs that have the highest unemployment rate include: social psychology, nuclear engineering, and educational administration.

One last topic that was discussed in the article was the income gap between gender and individuals from different ethnicity. Women make less than men in virtually every major but the example stated in the article is for a chemical engineering degree where women make $20,000 less than their male counterpart. When it comes to ethnic differences there was also a huge income gap. These figures are comparing finance majors and they show that Caucasians earned a yearly average of $70,000 compared to $56,000 for Asians and Hispanics compared to $47,000 for African Americans.

There are many things to consider but pay is always a top consideration however, an individual should also take into consideration their interests as well as natural talents and abilities. Just having a degree in a specific field doesn’t automatically mean you will excel at it or enjoy it. Before choosing a major talk to people in the industry your are considering, get a feel for what the jobs are like, how much time is required and what the work load and how much time and energy is required for success. Make sure that it is a job you will be able and willing to do.

Source: kansascity.com/2011/05/26/2907002/documenting-major-gaps-in-salaries.html

What Is the Value of Higher Education?

In the first half of June, online material discussing the value of higher education has been dramatically contradictory.This post will discuss some reasons behind this and some basic suggestions on how to understand the articles. I’ll take them in chronological order.

Article 1

On June 3, an opinion piece in Inside Higher Ed called “Higher Education’s Big Lie” by Ann Larson, a writing fellow at Hunter College with a Ph.D. in English, argues that a) its debatable whether college degrees will be required by the majority of future jobs; b) many students who begin a college degree will not complete it, while many still do not have access to college; c) the investment in a college education may not pay off.

Larson exemplifies the third point with the story of a student who wracked up $60,000 in student loans and whose degree—from a private nonprofit college—did not give her access to the type of job that would allow her to repay the loan. She claims that academia is silent about the issue of unpayable college debt that many students face, although, she says, another writer for the same publication in which her article appears has documented it.

Her goal is to have everyone rethink the idea that higher education can “facilitate social mobility,” and sites a study from 2008 to support this, and in her conclusion, she claims, again, that “these are all factors unacknowledged in the push to convince people” to invest in higher education.

Article 2

On June 14, a brief note by Jacques Steinberg, a reporter who focuses on education, called “More Employers to Require Some College, Report Says” in the New York Times ‘Education’ section gives a summary of the “Help Wanted” report, released on June 14 by the Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), Georgetown University.

This article emphasizes the growing need of workers with at least an associate’s degree (a two-year degree, largely available at community colleges). Although the article quotes the study’s main author, Anthony P. Carnevale, as saying that “the demand for workers with postsecondary degree continues to surge,”—that is, not only associate’s degrees, Steinberg says nothing about any need for bachelor’s degrees.

Article 3

On June 15, Charles Wallace, a financial writer, contributed “Two-Thirds of All Future Jobs Will Require a College Education“—another summary of the CEW report—in AOL’s Daily Finance. This article shares statistical data from the report and quotes another author of the report, Jeff Strohl, several times.

Wallace reports that of the 47 million jobs created by the year 2018—a combination of new jobs and replacing workers who move on—some college training and/or an associate’s degree will be required for about 30 percent, and a bachelor’s degree will be required for about 33 percent. He adds that the study anticipates demand for workers with college degrees exceeding supply by 3 million by 2018, and that a Ph.D. is still worth more than a bachelor’s degree, with is worth nearly twice as much in lifetime earnings as a high school diploma.

Parsing the Articles

Article 1 is by a non-specialist, and it’s an opinion piece. It suffers from being published before important new information about the state of education and the job market was available, as well as from the use of old sources. Larson’s claim that nobody’s paying attention to students left with unpayable loans flies in the face of the large amount of attention being paid this year to this very problem in looking at for-profit schools, and undercuts her position.

Article 2 by Steinberg is simply too brief a summary that—both for brevity and by means of a slanted headline—casts the report in quite a different light than it appears when the data on bachelor’s degrees is taken into account.

In article 3, it appears that Wallace gave the report a closer read and a fairer shake, and—by using up-to-date information, discussing it at some length, and concentrating on data rather than anecdotes—appears to be the most useful take on the value of higher education of the three.

The study itself, “Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018,” is available here. The Executive Summary states:

“America is slowly coming out of the Recession of 2007—only to find itself on a collision course with the future: not enough Americans are completing college . . . By 2018, we will need 22 million new workers with college degrees—but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million post-secondary degrees . . . At a time when every job is precious, this shortfall will mean lost economic opportunity for millions of American workers.”

Who Profits from For-Profit Schools?

In May, I wrote about for-profit schools, and over the Memorial Day weekend, I found a valuable source. The PBS program “Frontline” ran a special in May called “College Inc.” On this special, they explored the for-profit education industry. The program features interviews with school personnel, students, supporters, and critics.

Widely-publicized issues with for-profit schools—that students receive degrees for which they are not prepared because, for example, they have no practical experience in the field; that students come out with enormous amounts of debt and no job prospects; that students enroll in schools that are not accredited, not realizing that their degree will not have the value they expect—are explored on the program.

The University of Phoenix, currently the largest college in the United States, is explored, as is the for-profit education business from the point of view of the investor.

The possible reshaping of how Federal financial aid to hold the for-profits to a higher measure is also explored. Nearly half of the students who defaulted on student loans within three years of graduation calls into question the value of a for-profit degree to boost a student’s earnings.

And those in charge of accreditation of universities are also looking more closely at how the accreditation process works with for-profit schools.

To view the program, which is available online, go to this special section of the PBS website. While you’re there, you may also want to look at the responses from the colleges, and check out the 1053 viewer comments.

And, because one of the most striking stories in the special is that of a student who ended up with $200,000 in student debt and unable to get the job she trained for because the school did not have the proper accreditation, you may wish to read our article on “Financial Aid Options for College.”

Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act was originally passed in 1965, as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s attempt to “strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and provide financial assistance for students in post secondary and higher education.” The original reform made it easier for many to pursue secondary education by generating low-interest student loans, increasing the funding that is provided to universities, and creating scholarships. This legislation was designed to be open for review and change approximately every five years from its origination, in order to accommodate growth and improvement in the reformation of education.

The Higher Education Act has been reauthorized in the years 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2008, and 2009. In 1998, the amendment prevented individuals with drug charges from receiving federal financial aid for school. Next, in 2003, the changes made to the Higher Education Act were intended to assist minority groups accomplish their educational goals. Then, the 2008 Higher Education Act made an amendment that would offer loan repayment forgiveness for disabled people. In other years of reconsideration, little changes were made and the existing legislature was reauthorized.

More recently, in 2009, Obama signed for some technical changes to occur in the Higher Education Act, which updated some language and political issues. Authorization of the program that is currently in effect is set to expire in 2013. However, with the current state of our economy, many people expect to see changes occur with the Higher Education Act before then. In 2010, the government plans to put a large focus on items pertaining to post secondary education loans and loan repayment.

Most Common Misspellings

What words have the most common misspellings? Spelling comes easy for some, and not so easy for others. But, even those who believe they can spell really well still have difficulty with some words. Many of the words that have duplicate letters are often misspelled like vacuum-many people often think it has two cc’s instead of two u’s. Or how about occurrence? When things occur there is only one r, so many people forget to add the additional r in occurrence or sometimes think it is spelled occurrance. If you want to know more tips and tricks on how to remember some of the most common misspelled words check out our newly posted grammar lesson.
Educationbug.org strives to help keep you educated and give you information that can help students, teachers, and administration in learning and providing a fun and exciting learning environment. You are never too young or too old to learn a new trick or two. We continually post articles for everyone from preschool to higher education.

Online Education

It is incredible how much education the internet provides for us. Not only can we search for answers to most any question but we can also find out about what is happening around the world. The internet has also become a great gateway for education. Many high schools offer college courses that are broadcast live via the internet from universities. Many colleges and universities are offering more and more options to take online courses vs. attend traditional classrooms. Which is opening up a college education to many people with busy schedules that do not fit in regular day time classes. Businesses worldwide are able to save a lot of money by offering webinars instead of flying their employees to a conference and supplying them with transportation, hotels, and meals. Home schools nationwide are flourishing and have so many wonderful options right at their fingertips.

The opportunities for higher education online are nearly endless. If you are not currently taking advantage of these options or would like to know more read our recent article about online education.

Returning to School and College Majors

For some adults even the idea of returning to school is frightening. I know, because I am one of them. I had been out of school for many years and working in an industry I thought would last forever. As time past things changed, many people started to turn to the internet to find the type of services we provided. As this happened I realized that if I wanted to be able to compete in a job market I better get my college degree, after all I was not getting any younger. I was very pleasantly surprised as I walked into each and every one of my classes that I was not the only adult. It has become such a common thing that you do not even get any funny looks or snickers. Silly me, I thought I would be the laughing stock of the campus. And there are people even older than me. Adults return to college for many different reasons. No matter what your reason may be, or how old you are, or if you never finished high school, or what excuses you have used in the past if you have ever considered going back to school you should do it now.

Once you decide to go to college you will need to choose a college major. But don’t sweat it if you do not really know what type of degree you want. Just choose one of interest to you. If it doesn’t wind up being something you like or you find a passion or interest in another area, change it. The important thing is you pursue your education. Our article on the most popular college majors may surprise you.

Education Funding

Education funding has always been a topic of debate. With the financial crisis of 2008 many more topics and issues have come up. In our recent article posted on educationbug.org we discuss some of these issues.
Do we have equitable education funding? Do we have adequate education funding? Should education be funded by property tax? What about school vouchers? Our latest article discusses some of these issues.
You may find our other articles about financial aid interesting as well. Click on the highlighted links to learn more.

Obama’s Call to Higher Education

I have recently been reading a number of articles about our President’s new call to higher education, asking every American to pursue some form of education beyond high school. Which has led me to to some research on standardized testing and college placement exams. In the next few posts I would like to share some of what I have learned about these tests.
Advanced placement courses were introduced in 1955, in just over 100 schools nationwide, as a way for high school students to take more challenging classes that would prepare them for college. The advanced placement exams are now offered in over 15,000 schools across the U.S.. There are currently 34 advanced placement courses available including calculus, English, several foreign languages, physics, economics, biology, economics, and psychology. Each test currently costs about $86 but there are a number of grants available for low income students.
In order for the student to get credit for the AP course they must score at least a 3 out of 5 points. These scores may be reported to colleges to provide them with information about a students educational abilities. Most students who take AP courses take more than one and often take them in their junior and senior years of high school. It is proven that students who are encouraged to take AP courses and do well will continue on to college.
There have been some criticism about the AP testing and courses not being as fair, or as available, to lower income students, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans.
College Boards have taken an interest in auditing and overseeing the AP courses to insure they are held to a higher standard than national standardized testing. These courses are designed to be more challenging, prepare students for college, and reward them for taking their education seriously.

Higher Education

Higher education like every other business has been effected by our economic downturn. Not only resulting in funding issues and reduced enrollment but some colleges have had to close their doors, perhaps for good.
This week the House of Representatives unveiled a proposed fiscal stimulus plan, which include simplified tax breaks for education and a tax credit system for college costs. Details include:

  • Families with children in college may receive up to $2,500 per year per child in tax credit.
  • Plan raises income ceilings, allowing families with incomes of up to $160,000 a year to receive credit.
  • Delta Project report says college students are paying more, but getting less for their money, than in the past.

Although this has not been finalized and it will not solve everything I felt some good news in education was worth passing on.