This College Choice Could Make You $3Million Richer

This College Choice Could Make You $3Million Richer

iStockPhoto/The Fiscal Times
By Beth Braverman

The differences in starting salaries for STEM majors versus those who study the humanities have been widely publicized. Now, a new study looks at how those differences add up over a lifetime of earnings – and the results are staggering. 

The lowest paid graduates, early childhood education majors, earn just $39,000 annually mid-career, while the highest paid petroleum engineering majors, make an average of $136,000 per year. Over a career, that difference amounts to more than $3 million, according to the report The Economic Value of College Majors by economists at Georgetown University. 

Among the major fields of study, architecture and engineering students earn highest average salary--$83,000 per year, and education majors earn the lowest--$45,000 per year. 

Related: 10 Public Universities with the Worst Graduation Rates 

The study finds that generally it’s still worth it to go to college. The average bachelor’s degree holder makes $1 million more over a lifetime than a person with just a high school diploma. 

A separate report released last fall by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the value of a bachelor’s degree has reached an all-time high of around $300,000. Researchers found that it takes about 10 years to recoup the cost of a degree, a historically low level, down from close to 25 years in the late 1970s and 1980s. 

So those education majors should still go to college, but they might be smart to look for more moderately priced options and to be more wary about taking on debt than their engineering peers.

Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

Healthcare workers with ChristianaCare test people with symptoms of the coronavirus in a drive-thru in the parking lot of Chase
Jennifer Corbett
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over the Missouri Sky after taking off from the Whiteman Air For..
© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”