This article originally appeared in MarketWatch.
Students, listen: Business degrees are the most popular bachelor’s and master’s degree in the United States, but do they pay off?
A new report from Georgetown University’s Center for Education and Workforce examines the return on investment (ROI) of 5,500 business programs in more than 1,700 colleges.
The value of business programs has been found to be high compared to most other programs, although not as high as the returns associated with health, engineering, and computer and information science programs.
Looking at students’ incomes relative to their federal student debt, the authors found that although there are some differences between institutions and degree levels, most business programs lead to average incomes that are about 10 times greater than debt payments. of graduates two years after graduation. .
“The strong financial return is good news for the more than 700,000 graduates each year who follow the most popular field of study for bachelor’s and master’s degree holders,” said Anthony Carnevale, lead author of the report and director of the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce.
“This information will help prospective students and their families assess the value of various business programs,” he added.
In some schools, the return on investment is high: a master’s degree student who has attended the University of Pennsylvania will make $ 165,600 after debt payments, followed by Dartmouth College ($ 162,000), Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($ 159,600), Columbia University of New York ($ 157,200), Stanford University ($ 156,000) and the University of Chicago ($ 148,800).
What do business majors do after graduation? Approximately 12% of business majors between the ages of 22 and 27 become accountants and auditors, who pay an average profit of $ 57,000.
Some become financial and investment analysts and sales agents for securities, commodities and financial services. Graduates in these roles earn $ 71,000 a year. Management analyst roles are also an option for business majors. In that role, they earned $ 67,000.
The type of degree matters: Two years after graduation, the holder of an associate’s degree in business has earned an average annual salary of $ 30,000 after debt payments, based on available data. Two years after graduation, however, a bachelor’s degree in business earned $ 43,200 after paying off debt; Masters holder won $ 51,600.
“Profits and debts at the degree, institution or program level tell only one side of the story,” said Emma Wenzinger, co-author of the report and strategic communications specialist at CEW in Georgetown. “In a particular business program at an institution, students can earn significantly more – or less – than the typical income for that institution or program.
After all, men still have a salary advantage two years out of college.
According to the report, although women make up approximately half of the student population, they still do less. About 47% of bachelor’s degree holders between the ages of 22 and 27 are women, earning an average of $ 44,600 a year. Men, on the other hand, make an average of $ 50,500 a year.
At the master’s level, the gap is widening: 43% of business master’s holders are women, earning $ 75,600 a year on average. The men made $ 99,000.
For those with masters in business, Asian workers have the highest average annual earnings ($ 100,000), followed by whites ($ 92,000), Hispanics ($ 77,700) and blacks ($ 65,000). report.
Write to [email protected]