What College Majors Are Worth the Money?


Hey hun! Whatchya doin? Oh just nailing my most valuable possession
to the wall. Jazzy Bear! No, not the dog. My college diploma. Oh, right. Yep. This little piece of paper cost me about $320 per square inch. Wow. That’s almost as much as a Manhattan apartment. It does make you wonder… I mean, would I be happier if I chose another
major? Or gone to trade school instead?? At least you’d know you can’t hammer a
screw into the wall. Huh. I just thought it was fancy nail. [MUSIC] It’s not exactly a news flash that college
is expensive. Graduates our age have an average of $37,172
in student loan debt–and they have to start thinking about their own kids’ college. If Philip and I had a baby this year, at around
4% inflation per year, his or her in-state tuition would run us about $162,000. There isn’t ONE explanation why tuitions
are inflating like a microwaved peep. But there are some strong theories. Supply and demand. Over the last 40 years, having an undergraduate
degree went from being considered an option to a necessity, and the MORE people want something,
the more the people selling it can charge. Another theory puts the blame on student loans. Wait..how does that make sense? Well, they’re scary easy to get. Colleges have no incentive to control costs
because they know the federal government and other loan agencies will keep fronting the
money. And finally, administration costs have ballooned
as much as 60% in the last 25 years. A lot of that gets blamed on perks that colleges
are adding to attract customers–I mean, students. Davidson College offers free laundry service. Michigan Tech has an on-campus ski resort! Of course, education is about more than just
dollars and cents, but there’s no denying college is a financial investment. You’re paying all this money now in the
hopes that you’ll be able to make it back later. So… will you? For most people, yes. The question is how long it will take, and
that depends on your degree. So which majors pay for themselves the fastest? Let’s RUN THE NUMBERS! We’ll start with the median income for somebody
with only a high-school diploma. Compare that to a college graduate with, say,
a Communications degree. That’s an extra $15,000 per year! Not bad, but how much did it cost? The average cost of tuition, room, and board
at an in-state university is $80,360. So our Communications major will break-even on
their investment in about 5.3 years. A Psychology Major
will take 11 years to break even, an Arts Major will
take 8.8 Years, the most popular major, Business, will break even in 3.2, and the most lucrative undergraduate major of all, Engineering, will pay for itself in just 2 years! Okay, but what about graduate school? While it’s true that some postgraduate degrees
can push your income into the next tax bracket these percentages don’t tell the whole story. Take law school. The average law student graduates with somewhere
between $85,000 and $125,000 in extra debt on top of their undergraduate loans. While the top students at the most prestigious
universities can pull down big bucks right away, they’re in the minority. Almost half of law grads earn a median starting
salary of only $65,000 a year. That’s just a $15,000 pay bump for an extra
$100,000 of debt. Okay, how about med school? That’s gotta pay off big time, right? Well, the median salary for a general practitioner
is $175,000 a year, but the average cost of medical school at a public university is around
$200,000. When you factor in your undergraduate loans,
and the interest that debt is racking up while you’re in residency, it’s very common
for doctors to end up paying almost half a million dollars for 25 years for those two letters behind their name. If all this is sounding scary or discouraging,
just remember that statistically, it does pay to go to college in the long run, whatever
your major. And there are things you can do early on that
will ease the debt burden down the road. SHOP AROUND. Most universities can supply you with information
about how much their alumni make in the workforce. They might even connect you with graduates
of your same major who can answer your specific questions. And when comparing prices, make sure you factor
in the cost of living. Some cities are so expensive to live in it
can double the amount you’ll have to borrow. Consider community college. There’s a stigma that it’s only for people
who can’t get into “real” college, but it’s actually a pretty smart decision. You can slash your undergraduate debt in half,
and not get locked into a lifelong financial commitment at the wise old age of 18. That’s what Philip did, and today we have
the exact same diploma from the same university, but mine cost more than twice as much. And lastly, look into alternative financing. There are companies and colleges that are
trying out a new-fangled approach called Income Share Agreements in which the student agrees
to pay a fixed percentage of their salary for a fixed period of time. Unlike a loan which relentlessly accrues interest
through good times and bad, ISA’s don’t punish the borrower for making less money
than they hoped. They’re basically betting on you to do well,
and sharing some of the risk if you don’t. Now, most people don’t choose their major
for purely economic reasons. People wanna do what they love and what they’re
good at, and no Powerpoint presentation is gonna change their minds. And there are benefits to college that you
can’t quantify, like broadening your horizons, or meeting your future husband. Being money smart doesn’t mean basing your
life around money. It just means taking simple precautions early
on so you can chase your dreams without weights around your ankles. And that’s our two cents. [MUSIC]

100 thoughts on “What College Majors Are Worth the Money?”

  1. Job experience and marketable skills are more valuable than a college degree. Really wish I didn't major in Music. It was a waste of time.

  2. There are other ways to avoid debt after college. I attended an Early College High School in Texas where I received my High School Diploma and my Associates Degree at a Community College. If you were accepted into the school, the school district would pay for your whole tuition and books. Afterwards, I applied to a 4 year University to go straight into my Bachelors and currently im using state grants, federal grants and scholarships to pay it off. Since I received lots of help, I’m getting money back in my pocket and plan to use it for PA school. My goal is to graduate with little or no debt after PA school. 😁😁

  3. We had a program in high school where you could go to a technical school tuition free for elective credits. It was a fantastic program that wasnt very well taken advantage of but those who did graduated high school with various trade certifications and 0 debt right out of high school. Lpn, cosmetology, welding, they even had ground school.

  4. I know a guy that got his associates in Medical Laboratory Technology, went to a one month Preventive Maintenance program, and made 100k his first year as a technician. Also Application Soecialists make bank.

  5. Nice, I computed my time to break even at 2 years, and that's exactly what your video says it should be.

  6. One thing not mentioned with the doctors is that in some states or hospitals they have great loan repayment plans for example I live in North Dakota if you graduate med school from here and practice medicine here for 5 years the state reimburse the entire cost of medical school for you

  7. What college means to someone can't be quantified just by money, partying, making friends, being in the classroom environment, it's a once in a lifetime experience

  8. Hearing "only 65K a year" is crazy when you compare to europe where you can expect to get 35000€ when getting out with a master's degree and having at least 15k of taxes to pay for that…

  9. I'm still going to have to shell out around 17k the first year of community college until i get access to in-state tuition because i'm not a resident of the state the college is in and i don't have any support system to help me live on my own and you can't get any stable job that will pay you a living wage like that meaning i'll have to take out maintenance loans meaning i'll just end up in massive amounts of debt like everyone else even though i transferred from community college. There you go it doesn't even matter what you do anymore you end up in the same situation regardless. Funny because of the federal guarantee status of these loans you can't even take out a couple grand to try and start some business

  10. Important note that many community colleges have teachers from universities double dipping to pay the bills by teaching there. Same subjects, same material, same teachers, lower prices.

  11. This is assuming alot…. Lands good job, after college. Doens't have a child, doesn't have a moetgage/ marriage, doens't have health problems. This also doesnt count in inflation, compounding interest on student loans, etc… Who was this video made by a high school kid?

  12. Psychology is officially the most useless major. Don't waste your time studying it like I did. Video proves this

  13. as someone from a third world country i think america have a problem with their education system just saying

    not that I’m saying my country doesn’t have one but ours is A LOT cheaper but then again our income per capita is very low

  14. Going to community college really depends on where/if you plan on transferring into another college and if the credits transfer. I had a high school friend go through 2 years of community college only to transfer to my Engineering College and have to spend 4 years there while I got 2 years earlier then she did.

    So be careful out there High School Class of 2019 (military’s a great option if you don’t know what to do with your life yet)

  15. A wise man told me that you can get just as much “education” at a community college as you can at Harvard. There’s more information at any library than a person could consume in a lifetime.

    The perks of going to Harvard, is that you can say that you got into Harvard, and that automatically indicates that you’re in the top 1% of intelligence. Other than that, education is education, and very often, experience trumps over degrees.

  16. Community College sounds great until the classes you payed for do not transfer to your university's general education or your specific degree program. 🙈🙉🙊

  17. Oh my god. And i thought the schools here are expensive (israel)
    Its about 10,000₪ (3,000$) per year for university
    And 30,000₪ (less than 10K $) per year for a fancy college
    Some colleges tho are same price as a university
    Im beginning my first year for MIS degree on November
    Hopefully gonna end up debt free!

  18. For people who say that people who go to Community College are not smart, didn't plan their future, or couldn't get into a good college need to realize it's not true. I had a 3.9 GPA, was the top of my class had a plan and had multiple scholarships lined up along with getting accepted into a great school. But I didn't go. I went to community college instead because it was more affordable and I tested out my degree before I committed. Turns out my degree wasn't what I expected and I ended up saving myself over $20,000+ in debt. Now I'm pursuing a second degree and I have $0 debt to my name.

  19. Thanks to parents who taught me to manage money, part time/summer jobs, academic scholarships, and grants. So far I’m debt free!

    Good thing, cause I’m not gonna make a lot in what I’m planning to go into.

  20. Training U.S. doctors faster by cutting out college:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/training-us-doctors-faster-by-cutting-out-college/2013/02/22/1c934da8-1255-11e2-be82-c3411b7680a9_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bc1ed6751ae4

    BECOME A DOCTOR WHILE LIVING IN EUROPE​:

    https://utmostedu.com/become-a-doctor-without-college/

  21. I’m gonna be a freshman going into computer engineering/computer science in my home town, got a grant that’ll cover the tuition not room and board but I’m glad my future don’t look too bad. I might consider taking classes next summer at my local community college to try to cut down an extra year of spending tho.

  22. Very interesting video (this should be explained to every high school student). However I wonder if some of these number lose accuracy because you compare median earnings with average prices for education.
    Maybe the top earners out of law school also paid way more and therefore law school would pay itself faster than what your calculations show.
    Actually the best way to know would be to randomly ask 1000s of law graduate ten years after graduating to see how they did compared to how much they paid.

  23. I almost think an undergraduate degrees cost should be adjusted based on future potential earnings and job prospects for that major. Like a nursing degree or an engineering degree would cost more than a liberal arts degree or whatever…or a psychology degree.

  24. “most people don’t choose their college major based on purely economic reasons”

    me sitting here with my economics degree 🤷🏽‍♀️😂

  25. In Vietnam, parents still support their children in student loans. Because when you think about it, leave your children alone with the debts isn’t a helpful way to “support” them. It might be better to support them to give them opportunities to be better.

  26. They missed one important point when they listed the average salaries for various professions that will be used to pay off the student loan debt. They should have said IF you can find a job in this profession the average salary is…..
    Many graduates do not find jobs in their chosen field and end up having to take much lower-paying jobs than they expected. Yet they still have the amount of debt that they expected to pay down with a higher salary.

  27. English/Language teacher. No debt. Also, I did not choose a prestigious university. A degree is what you make of it, especially if it is a non-medical based degree. Most of my friends from HS went out of town even though our local university had their degree choices. They spent triple the money they would have saved had they stayed in-town living at home.

  28. I would take community college one step further. After completing the 10th grade in high school, if a student finds herself not exactly liking high school, forget all those advanced placement classes, get a GED and go straight to community college. Advanced placement classes require an additional test just to get college credit, while community college classes give credit out right. So why stick around in a high school you don't like when you can get a head start on getting ahead in life? I wish I did it that way!

  29. Bless my dear country Finland where university tuition is…. wait for it… free! You also get state support and a loan with a low interest.

  30. Get rid of government backed student loans, and then you'll see what happens. Colleges charge whatever because they know they will get the money back regardless.

  31. You have to add the years it took you to get your major to the “break evens”. Suddenly that BA goes from 5.3 to 9.3 of your best years, your 20s.

  32. People always hate on liberal Arts like they don't create and change the culture all of the time. Not everyone is meant to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer…. everybody has there place. I will admit there is an over saturation of liberal arts degrees, but any over saturation is bad.

  33. You need to have an aptitude and passion for science and math to do a STEM degree. The vast majority of people lack this.

  34. I got a merit scholarship for my community service for 18,000 and then got an additional yearly grant of 4,500 for my college. I’m halfway through college majoring in neuroscience. I also work full time in the summer as a nursing assistant which i’ve been doing since junior year of high school to get my foot in the door in the healthcare profession (I went to a tech high school and got multiple certifications for healthcare jobs). I make enough at my job to live comfortably and did not have to go to college after highschool , but I really love neuroscience and want to be a doctor. My plan is to take a gap year after I graduate to join the Air Force so that way I can reap the benefits and get medical school covered.

  35. What is Community College? How does it work and why is it different from normal college? Sorry, non-American here.

  36. To all of those who bash on college…

    1-Getting a job is about knowing the RIGHT people to land you the job.

    For example: That sorority you hate on? They have a huge advantage in that sorority sisterhood is forever, and future bosses who were in greek life know that. So they hire based on that more frequently than you'd think. (Not in greek life bc it's not for me but I know this happens)

    2- It's also based on internships. If you go to college, get a degree and then automatically expect a job, you're doing college wrong. You need to do work yourself and with your career center in your college to line up internships with the help of your professors. Colleges CAN help you with internships.

    Experience equals jobs, college gets you experience, therefore college helps you get jobs.

  37. I am a Communications major and I graduated in the green as in no debt and extra money when I was done… Haven't found a fulfilling job though.

  38. The whole feds paying for college dig, I feel is bs, because they said right after it: they have no incentive to lower it. Why is it in other countries they can have some from of free college but not us… The richest country in the world.

  39. It makes me depressed, knowing that in our society we value education based on how much money it can bring you and not whether or not it makes you grow as a person.
    Society: life isn't all about money
    Also Society: the value of can education is all about the benjamins.

  40. My daughter followed my lead (I learned after getting a worthless aviation degree) and got an associates degree in nursing. Two years later she's making 46.00 per hour, more than I ever did in nursing, but I made 40.00 in my specialty when I left this past March, now I'm finally flying airplanes. So 80-95 grand a year with an ADN. A nursing degree from Harvard doesn't make you anymore of a nurse than one from a community college and no one cares where you went to school.

  41. I'm so very thankful I went to college and medical school during the 90s'. It blows my mind how much tuition/board and room costs are today for college/university.

  42. Fuck america that's all I will say. This is still slavery but in different context. Plus they fail to mention even if you get that BA degree then you actually work more hours & overtime to be making that 15k more than if you didnt. You must ask, Is 15k a year extra worth all my rest & leisure time? I'm 30. Trust me it's the best. In your early 20s you're a beast but that too dies.

  43. The reason why I went straight to a 4-year university is because you can't get the same research opportunities at community college as you can at a big research university. So, even if you transfer from community college and you want to start doing undergraduate research, you're 1-2 years behind those who started upon graduation from high school.

    But I understand that for people whose families make less money than mine, community college may be a better choice. 1-2 years is a closable gap. I just want people to be aware of the downsides.

  44. Well. I'm from a country where all education, including college is free because the government pays for it with the taxes.

    Here students mostly only take loan to support themselves (food, rent etc.) through university, that is if the monthly allowance from the government aka free money isn't enough to do so. And, if you graduate in time, even some of that loan will be forgiven and you'll never have to pay it back.

    So like that's our education system's priorities in a nutshell. Not to put us in a huge debt but to like actually offer us an education…

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