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8 College Degrees providing the lowest Return on Investment

Education Return on Investment


There has always been an ongoing debate and discussion whether or not a college degree is worth the money, effort and time. The question that most people ask is what is more expensive than going to college. For many years the answer to this simple question was not going to college.

Over the years many studies and research has been done and shown that individuals who earn college degrees will significantly earn far more than those individuals who only have high school diploma by at least $1 million or more over the course of a life time.

Given the slow global economic recovery and given the fact that the cost of education is increasing at a far quicker pace than inflation, many people are beginning  to ponder and question how they should spend their education dollars. Currently,  there is a global trend of increasing students loans and students are having to face up to the reality of having to pay back these loans and high monthly payments, individuals are beginning to question whether or not a college degree is actually worth it.

The fact of the matter and from research done on this subject, the reality is that college degrees will provide individuals a far higher earning potential as well as broaden the career opportunities. However, having said that, the high cost of education today is forcing individuals to think a little more carefully about the degrees and career paths they want to take. When you look at the return on investment of a college degree, you will discover that not all degrees are equal. There are those degrees and careers that will make individuals happy but they fail when it comes to return on investment.

An article by Dawn Dugan and published on salary.com investigates the question and dilemma facing many high school graduates and even working professionals looking to continue with their education or perhaps considering a career change, whether or not a college degree is worth it. It also looks at which college degrees are not worth the return on investment.



Even though this study looks into the USA cost of education and return on investment, the same methodology can be applied in any country globally. To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for a specific degree, they first determined the overall cost of the degree.

The study made the following 4 assumptions:

1. They allowed the degree holder four years to graduate.
2. Using data from a recent College Board study, they assigned a figure of $37,343 as an average cost of a four-year public liberal arts degree, and a figure of $121,930 for degrees earned at four-year private colleges.
3. The total cost included tuition, room and board, and books, and did not factor in scholarships or grants.
4. They then determined the median cash compensation over the course of 30 years of typical jobs requiring that degree using Salary.com data. Using the most recent Salary.com data and figures, but added 4.3% per year to account for inflation and cost of living increases.

To determine ROI, they then subtracted the cost of the degree from the gains over 30 years, then divided that figure by cost. Here are the results:


8. Sociology

Individuals who choose a to enter the field of sociology are, in general, compassionate people with an interest in helping their fellow man. Unfortunately, that kind of benevolence doesn’t usually translate to wealth. Here are three jobs commonly held by sociology majors:

Median Salary: $47,121
30-Year Earnings: $2,779,195
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 73%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 21%

Median Salary: $39,630
30-Year Earnings: $2,337,376
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 61%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 18%

Median Salary: $47,210
30-Year Earnings: $2,784,444
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 73%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 21%


7. Fine Arts

Artists are respected, revered and celebrated i  our society. However, the trick is to being able to achieve this status while they’re still living. We are all aware of the term, “starving artist” didn’t come from nowhere. Here are three jobs commonly held by workers with a fine arts degree:

Median Salary: $48,401
30-Year Earnings: $2,854,689
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 75%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 22%

Median Salary: $47,753
30-Year Earnings: $2,816,470
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 74%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 22%

Median Salary: $37,819
30-Year Earnings: $2,230,563
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 58%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 17%


6. Education and teaching

Teaching is without a doubt the one of the noblest professions in the world. And while it stands to reason that communities would pay vast sums of money to the chosen few who shape the minds of future generations, sadly, it does not always quite work out that way. My personal opinion and feeling is that teacher should be on the top of the wage salary chart given their importance in our society. Here are three commonly held jobs in education:

Median Salary: $27,910
30-Year Earnings: $1,646,131
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 43%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 13%

Median Salary: $52,241
30-Year Earnings: $3,081,172
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 82%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

Median Salary: $54,473
30-Year Earnings: $3,212,815
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 85%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 25%


5. Religious Studies/Theology

Talk about finding your calling. While devoting your life to religion and dedicating your life to the service of others is commendable, however, it is not going to provide you a lot of disposable income after you earn your degree. Here are three commonly held jobs theological jobs:

Median Salary: $47,957
30-Year Earnings: $2,828,502
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 75%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 22%

Median Salary: $51,127
30-Year Earnings: $3,015,174
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 80%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

Median Salary: $61,811
30-Year Earnings: $3,645,610
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 96%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 29%


Education Return on Investment 1


4. Hospitality/Tourism

This is often a career that does not give enough praise for those individuals who work like dogs in order to make sure that everything runs like clockwork while everyone else is enjoying the fruits of your labor. Sad to say that there is not always a lot of financial benefit after earning your degree. Here are three commonly held hospitality jobs:

Median Salary: $55,476
30-Year Earnings: $3,271,972
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 87%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 26%

Median Salary: $65,076
30-Year Earnings: $3,838,180
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 102%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 30%

Median Salary: $42,533
30-Year Earnings: $2,508,595
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 66%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 20%


3. Nutrition

Given the obesity problems in the world today, it is extremely difficult work making sure individuals eat the right foods,  preparing nutritious meals and/or checking to make sure the nation’s food supply is up to standard. But all that hard work and education necessary to land this job might not turn a huge profit.

Median Salary: $53,679
30-Year Earnings: $3,165,985
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 84%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 25%

Median Salary: $56,711
30-Year Earnings: $3,344,813
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 89%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 27%

Median Salary: $64,019
30-Year Earnings: $3,775,838
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 100%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 30%


2. Psychology

Research and studies are beginning to show evidence and a growing trend  of doing work for others with minimal pay just doesn’t pay. If anyone out there can get inside the head of influential individuals and try to ascertain why these type of careers just don’t pay enough given the work that is done.

Median Salary: $22,738
30-Year Earnings: $1,341,086
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 35%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 10%

Median Salary: $43,384
30-Year Earnings: $2,558,787
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 68%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 20%

Median Salary: $52,200
30-Year Earnings: $3,078,754
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 81%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%


1. Communications

One would imagine that the glamorous newsrooms and TV studios of today are full of wealthy and famous journalists. Sorry to burst that bubble and fallacy. Even though this type of career demands a high level of education and training, the slaty earned by individuals in this field just does not pay off. Check these communications jobs out:

Median Salary: $52,549
30-Year Earnings: $3,099,338
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 82%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

Median Salary: $37,393
30-Year Earnings: $2,205,438
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 58%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 17%

Median Salary: $50,455
30-Year Earnings: $2,975,834
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 79%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 23%

We hear the phrase being bantered about that money isn’t everything. Many individuals doing these jobs and following these careers have a full and meaningful life, however, given the increasing cost of education it is important to face up to the reality and decide if you will get your money’s worth and a realize a positive ROI with your education dollars.


About the author – Dawn Dugan

Dawn Dugan is the founder of Drop Science Ltd., which specializes in business-related writing for the human resources, management, professional/personal coaching, legal, and finance industries. After receiving a B.A. in English/Writing from St. Lawrence University, she started her career as a staff editor of trade magazines at Cahner’s Publishing in Boston, Massachusetts. Since then she has been the editor of an award-winning magazine, the director of publications at a national association, and has owned and operated a newspaper. Dawn is the author of Effective Executive Compensation, is the ghostwriter of more than a dozen books, and has written articles, press releases, newsletter, e-books, manuals, advertising copy, website copy, brochures, video and audio scripts, sales letters, and promotional materials for a wide variety of clients.

Source: salary.com


Benefits associated with Vocational Training and Trade Schools

Trade schools are institutions that students sign up for so that they are trained to be able to attain technical knowledge relating to specific fields. Students get the opportunity to boost their understanding and education with regards to the innermost specifics of their subjects of study as well as broaden their scope of professionalism. As opposed to being trained on general things like they do on campus, students experience an intense instruction linked to a specific specialty. These schools are efficient, productive and cost-effective to attend.

During global economic recessions or downturns, trade schools offer students the opportunity to upgrade their skills and expertise. The cost of trade schools, in general, are far cheaper than larger institutions who offer 4 year degree programs, including universities and colleges. With intense and focused training at trade schools, it provides students the ability to receive practical knowledge and experience and enhance their likelihood of employability once they graduate.

Trade schools are have their advantages given the fact that they allow students to study exactly what they desire and need to know regrading their speciality of choice. Trade schools courses are also shorter thereby reducing the total expense of further training and education. Its also provides students the confidence and security to manage their careers and enter the workforce far sooner. Trade schools provide training in areas that cannot be overtaken by mechanization of companies and factories. Training and courses such as driving, masonry, and artisan cannot be mechanized.


FET College 3


Given the cost of degrees offered by universities and colleges, trade school offer students low cost options to be trained in specific fields and specialties and give them the opportunity to enter the labor force sooner. At the same time, given the fact that trade school courses are generally shorter, students are able to continue their education and training while they are working or on part-time basis.

Numerous research studies have been carried out comparing the success of trade schools students as compared to their traditionally-educated and trained peers. Virtually without exception, studies have proven that vocationally trained employees earn more, earlier in their preferred careers as compared to four-year college graduates within the same field, and in addition match them in salary and advancement years later. Despite the fact that these findings do vary somewhat dependent on the profession involved, the general conclusion remains to be the same – trade school degrees and certifications definitely provide those who earn them an advantage over their competitors.

Trade schools provide a more practical education rather than theoretical. For anybody who is the kind of person who does not take pleasure in listening to lectures and memorizing academic material, however , excelled at learning practical solutions to “do” things, you are definitely going to prosper with vocational training. The conventional trade school course instructs students whereby they require students to practice the tasks which will be essential in their profession, as opposed to asking them to read about them in a textbook.


Skills Development 0


For individuals who either battled academically in high school, or who failed to graduate, gaining admission to a trade school is less difficult than a traditional university. Even though many accredited trade schools do want applicants to possess a high school diploma, many will recognize relevant work experience, letters of recommendation from managers.

Prior to making the choice to enroll in a trade school, you need to examine the disadvantages and advantages of vocational training. Additionally, it is recommended that you do as much research as possible into your career goals, and decide if a vocational education is regarded as being the most effective way to get your foot in the door. What you will find out is that employers in certain career fields have a preference for hiring graduates with trade school degrees, while others give preference to university students or people who have worked their way up as an apprentice.

All things considered, trade schools can without doubt get you ready for a thrilling, successful career in a wide variety of fields. It is essential to remember, however, the fact that vocational programs are neither the only approach, nor necessarily the best way, to reach your goals in every field.


Tips on how to succeed in college

college degree


Rest assure you are not alone if you are finding college difficult. College is a major step up from high school and is particularly a time-consuming and thought-provoking experience. Not to worry, there are several techniques that can assist you to get through this time and score well in your classes.

Without a doubt the most effective way to succeed in college is simply by adopting and implementing good study habits. Do not be shocked should you be assigned countless pages of reading material to prepare for your classes and assignments. You need to figure out how to read fairly quickly and effectively. Ask any post graduate student or qualified graduate, if you can learn and adopt good study habits then life is going to be much easier. Consider taking notes while do your assigned reading in addition to summarizing the main themes and topics as you progress, in particular the ones you have issues with. Taking notes and summaries will help you memorize your course material. It will, additionally, provide you with good notes to read through prior to taking those big exams.

Time management is critical. Most individuals have a problem studying five hours straight without a break. These long session of study could potentially cause a great deal of strain. Arrange your time schedule and try plan to study at different times of the day. Study a few hours ahead of class or squeeze some study time in ahead of lunch or dinner. By splitting up your study time, it will will give you sense and feeling being refreshed prior to hitting the books again.

One other way to succeed in college is to become a member of study groups. Study groups are not only an effective way to socialize with your classmates and develop new friendships, but they also will give you a support structure. Getting together with individuals who know very well what you are going through can certainly be a relief. Compare notes, discuss the main themes of your course material and take a look at possible ways to study or new approaches to memorize course material.

In addition, don’t be afraid or hesitate to approach your professors and teaching assistants. Find out their office hours and stop by your professor or teaching assistant at least once during your course. This will not only provide you with an opportunity to ask questions but additionally give the impression that you are serious about the course and would like to learn all you can. Get them to suggest other reading materials should you be captivated by the subject and course. Seek out career advice, particularly if are considering becoming a university professor or planning to enter into that particular field of study as a professional.

Find a tutor to assist you to enhance your grades. A large number of colleges provide you with free tutoring services. In most cases tutors are fellow students that happen to be older than you or farther along in their college program. Tutors can assist you to better grasp and understand your course material. They can provide you with guidelines to enhance your study habits. Furthermore, they can, in addition, offer you suggestions about the best way to deal with assignments and frantic class schedules.

Be sure to be a part of clubs and hang out with your friends. Never underestimate the great benefits of play time. From time to time it is advisable to talk to people that have other interests other than your college program. College is extremely important however it cannot be the focus of your entire life. You need a little downtime. Try volunteering and don’t forget to look after your health and exercise. Sport and physical activity is an excellent technique to relieve stress.

College is no easy task. Spend some time to organizing yourself along with your study habits. You will discover that this will give you confidence and make it easier to succeed in college.


Is College Education Really worth the Expense?



Given the fact that college educational costs are dramatically escalating, an increasing number of students are wondering whether or not it is worth choosing to continue with a higher education. The truth is, a college degree continues to be an intelligent investment decision.


Greater Earning Opportunity


It is a known fact that for every dollar an individual spends on college or higher education, will definitely enjoy the benefits of a far higher income return over their lifetime. Ask any investment broker or advisor and they will all agree the fact that the cost benefit analysis is a positive one. In a similar fashion, individuals with a bachelor’s degree generate, on average, 1.6 time more income over a lifetime compared to those with simply a high school diploma. Given the competitive world and current job market, the average earnings of individuals with only a high school diploma is falling. Given this reality, you simply cannot afford not to continue your education a pursue a college or other higher education degree.


Superior Employment Prospects and Rewards


College or university graduates are certainly not just more prosperous – they possess a more expansive selection of careers from which to choose.

The sheer number of work opportunities that necessitate a college degree is growing. On top of that, a number of employment opportunities demand a specialized college degree. The fact remains that employers basically value college graduates higher simply because they possess the skills and knowledge base that high school graduates do not have.

Aside from that, the whole process of enrolled in college generally exposes students to subject matter and areas they otherwise would not have taken into consideration as a consequence opening avenues for rewarding and fulfilling careers.

Acquiring a college degree is an advantage, no matter what major you ultimately choose or industry you intend to enter. And in many cases, should you seek out a job which does not necessarily require a college degree, your training will most likely net you far better pay and benefits when compared with a person with a lower educational background.

As a final point, careers available to college graduates tend to be more prestigious, offer higher salaries, and provide excellent benefits along the lines of health insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits. These types of benefits are essential to accomplish financial security and stability, particularly if you have a family.


Significantly better Quality of Life


Many studies have revealed that college or university graduates, without a doubt, benefit from a significantly better health and quality of life, and as a consequence, pass these positive aspects onto their children.

As opposed to individuals with merely a high school education, college graduates have longer life spans, superior diet and health, significantly better access to healthcare, superior economic stability and security, far more prestigious job opportunities, considerably better job satisfaction, far more self-confidence, a great deal more savings, and a lot more time for hobbies and leisure activities. College at the same time has a tendency to produce individuals who are more rational, open-minded, consistent, and cultured.

Aside from that, the offspring of college graduates reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, perform considerably better in school, and are generally more likely to attend college, when compared to the children of high school graduates.

Last but not least, we simply cannot overlook the fact that college can – and ought to be – fun! Enrolled in college offers incredible opportunities to come in contact with new people, acquire new skills, and enable you to discover your own personal areas of interest.

College can also be a terrific environment in which to grow personally, culturally, as well as intellectually. College students, more often than not, also have the chance to study abroad or perhaps to take part in other exciting learning experiences. Aside from that, the college environment encourages students to discover academic disciplines, join student organizations, interact with professors, share ideas within a safe environment, and deal with challenging problems. All of these prepare students to be productive citizens.




Are you currently pondering just how you are going to afford college? Perhaps you should be asking yourself if you can afford not to go, given every one of the benefits associated with a college education.

With the help of grants, scholarships, and financial aid available, college is accessible to just about anyone. And given today’s technology and internet, distance learning or online degrees can be earned whilst working full-time.


Things to ask Before You Choose a College

The path to a successful career is generally a long and winding road with many different dead ends and wrong turns. Quite possibly you might have encountered a few of these occupational detours–unnecessary training programmes, fragmented job opportunities, and surfing the world wide web, searching for the optimal profession. However with a college, you could be on the fast track to a fulfilling career in a respectable field. “I received training in precisely what employers are searching for, I didn’t waste time taking courses that I did not really require for the job market.” said one student

If you are thinking on the subject of earning a certificate from a career college it is imperative that you ask questions prior to enrolling. It is advisable to truly feel confident about your decision ahead of embarking on your studies.

As stated by educational experts, below are a few criteria to assist you while you assess the pros and cons of a college:



Exactly what career and technical training would you like to obtain? For anybody who is enthusiastic about medical support careers, it is advisable to think about a colleges that focuses on that type of preparation. Search for a recognised college with a good reputation.

Will the education you obtain be sufficient training for your job? If you are considering being a pharmacy technician, for example, it is advisable to gain technical knowledge and practical skills along the lines of dosage calculations, drug distribution systems, and product recognition.



Is the school accredited and will you be handed a certificate of completion? Accreditation signifies that the institution’s programs and policies have already been evaluated and meet the requirements set by an outside agency recognized by the Department of Education or specialized industry group. This helps to ensure that you are going to receive a quality education with high standards and gives credibility to your certificate of completion, for potential employers.

Is the college conveniently located? Search for a college which has campuses in a variety of locations and / or counties; and is easily accessible by public transportation along with freeways. Verify and make sure parking is available.

Does the school have cutting-edge classrooms and state-of-the-art equipment? Modern classrooms and labs with advanced equipment implies that you will have the various tools you need to be ready for the first day on the job.

Exactly what are the requirements for admission? Generally, candidates have to complete an application form and attend a personal interview with admissions representatives, in addition to visiting the campus. Should you need a GED, a number of schools will help you in preparing for and taking this high-school equivalency test if you happen to be approved for testing by the school administration. In the event that you do not possess a high school diploma or GED, some programs simply require that you pass a nationally recognized ability-to-benefit test.



Ask yourself exactly how you will pay for your training or program? Colleges are quite affordable, and educational funding is accessible to individuals who meet the requirements. The financial aid office can certainly help qualifying students make application for the funds they require. You will also have a number of options for tuition payment. Grants and low-interest financial loans can assist individuals with financial needs.



Does the college provide you with career development or employment assistance? It is advisable to search for a school that provides the assistance of a career services department to assist you find employment when you finally graduate. For both students and alumni, this could possibly include things like interviewing techniques and resume preparation; job leads and networking workshops; and time management planning.