San Jose Mercury News: College Students Choosing Majors Now Have Starting Salaries at Hand

Posted Oct. 22, 2013 by the San Jose Mercury News.

By Katy Murphy

With just a few clicks, American college students can see that on average fine artists earn $29,000 straight out of school while electrical engineers who spent their days hunkered over circuit boards start at $57,000 and are less likely to be out of work.

A tough job market and growing student-loan debt have inspired keen interest in whether graduates are finding jobs and how much they make. Now, using new U.S. Census information, economists are attaching hard numbers to the career prospects and earnings potential of college majors.

“The earnings differences among these different fields of study are very wide, so what you take matters a lot,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce …

San Jose State senior Krysta Shaw is one of several students who started with a highly marketable major before changing to one that made her happy — musical theater. “I started school as a math major, and I was like, ‘I hate my life. I cry all the time. How could this possibly be worth it?'”

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