Tag Archives: return on investment

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.

 

Methodology

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:

SOCIAL WORKER
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%

CORRECTIONS OFFICER
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%

CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY COUNSELOR
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:

MUSEUM RESEARCH WORKER
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%

GRAPHIC DESIGNER
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%

PAINTER/ILLUSTRATOR
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:

DAYCARE CENTER TEACHER
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%

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER
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%

HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
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:

RELIGIOUS EDUCATOR
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%

CHAPLAIN — HEALTHCARE
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%

ASSOCIATE PASTOR
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:

MEETING/EVENT PLANNER
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%

HOTEL RESIDENT MANAGER
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%

CATERING MANAGER
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.

DIETICIAN
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%

FOOD SERVICES MANAGER
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%

FOOD SCIENTIST
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.

HUMAN SERVICES WORKER
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%

CAREER COUNSELOR – HIGHER EDUCATION
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%

BEREAVEMENT COORDINATOR
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:

COPYWRITER
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%

NEWS REPORTER
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%

MARKETING COORDINATOR
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