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4 charts showing what college is worth

4 charts showing what college is worth

The college’s scorecard and its mountains of data are ripe in order to give an idea of ​​the value of the degree – if you can make your way through it. We decided to delve deeper into the data to see how colleges and programs develop when it comes to the salaries of recent graduates and their payments later in the graduates ’careers. And you can see how your favorite college or major is developing with these four interactive charts.

Note that the colleges included in our analysis were identified as the “major campuses” of the College Scorecard, a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Education. changes earlier this year. Income and student indebtedness are based on medians in each category to limit the impact of exceptions. Income is based on the salaries of former students who received federal aid, and debt refers to debt on a federal loan.

Which schools pay off?

Source: US Department of Education College College Performance Map

Two years after their students cross the stage after graduation – regardless of the length of their degree program – schools specializing in medicine and technology report that their graduates earn the highest salaries.

A private nonprofit institution of the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia reports that the average salary of its recent graduates is more than $ 168,000. At the bottom of the list are beauty schools and hairdressers, and Paul Mitchell School in St. George, Utah, reports that the average salary of graduates is just $ 7,500 two years after graduation.

The main differences

Source: US Department of Education College College Performance Map

How do the curricula coincide with each other?

Two years after graduation, the average salary of new dentists is about $ 200,000.

In fact, a career in the medical field ranks six first in the ranking of salaries, which are joined by strong indicators of engineering and technology programs. Although medical ethics and plastics engineers aren’t usually the careers kids scream about when asked during a third-day career day.

“These are some of the ones that pay off, especially at the undergraduate and graduate levels,” says Martin Van der Werf of Georgetown University of Technology and Medical Programs. He is the Director of Editorial and Educational Policy at the University Center for Education and Workforce, who has released his own analysis College Scorecard data earlier this year.

Have you ever heard of naval architects? Recent graduates in this field receive a decent salary of almost $ 80,000. Van Der Werff believes this is not as surprising as it seems at first glance. Maritime academies tend to have some of the highest payouts.

“It’s a very niche institution,” he says. “You didn’t expect this, but you can get a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. Not many people study it, but they get paid very well. ”

Cosmetology graduates are at the bottom of the list. But the lowest average salary is received by students of libraries and archives – not quite $ 15,000.

While the humanities programs are in the middle of the rankings, Van Der Werf’s work has shown that observers should not discount their students ’salaries in the future.

“I think the reaction to the fact that the humanities gives you a degree that doesn’t pay off in the market doesn’t pay off in the market,” he says. “We believe that humanities graduates receive postgraduate diplomas… which tend to pay off more than just an undergraduate degree.”

Note that these data are not divided according to the level of educational programs (graduate students, bachelors, graduates, etc.), unless indicated in the College Scorecard data (note “Higher Medical Studies” in third place).

A distant view

Source: US Department of Education College College Performance Map

Prospective students are interested in how much return on investment they can get from their degrees, and this chart looks at long-term payback. It shows the average salary of students 10 years after admission against the average amount of debt assumed by the students of each school.

One is Olin College of Engineering, a small private university in Massachusetts where former undergraduate students earn an average of nearly $ 133,000 over 10 years of their career, borrowing only about $ 16,000.

So, at a time when student debt has turned into a crisis and the value of degrees is questionable, how does Olin achieve this ratio of income to debt?

One factor is that none of its approximately 350 students pay the full $ 80,000 for tuition, says Emily Roper-Dotten, dean of the College of Admissions and Financial Aid. Arriving students receive an automatic stipend of $ 57,000. Once needs-based assistance comes into play, Roper-Dotten claims students can only be left with about $ 3,500 in annual loans.

Given that Olin College students are graduating quickly – the last four-year graduation rate is 97 percent – and its hands-on program, Roper-Dotten says students are set on a high salary and low debt.

“Olin was founded mostly as an act of charity,” she says. “We have the opportunity to resist the rising cost of education because we have the opportunity to focus more on getting funds than on training than our peers should have.”

Drilling down

Source: US Department of Education College College Performance Map

This scattering chart takes everyone a step further by understanding the debt and long-term profits of colleges based on their academic programs. As programs unfold, it becomes more apparent that bachelor’s programs in medicine and technology provide some of the highest average student salaries in 10 years, while graduates have relatively low student debt.

The central mass of the plot consists of programs where students earn between $ 35,000 and $ 60,000 and issue loans from $ 17,500 to $ 27,000. The trend persists as the data transitions to graduate school.

Van Der Werf advised prospective students to take a closer look at which specific programs, rather than the general field of study, are inferior when it comes to salaries. For example, if a student is vaguely interested in the medical sciences, he offers to explore which major will be paid the most.

While the data shows that a college diploma allows students to generally raise their salaries, he says there can be no benefit to a degree if students don’t graduate from it.

“The problem is that many people start college but don’t graduate,” van der Werf says. “Make sure you have commitments, finances that need to be completed, because if you don’t finish and take out loans, you’ll think the whole process isn’t worth it in the end. Instead, you will have more credit, more debt, more headaches. ”

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