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Updated College Scorecard w/Earnings data by Program/major

Gator88NEGator88NE 6489 replies204 threads Senior Member
The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday released data on first-year earnings of college graduates, for the first time broken down by program level. The information, collected from federal tax data, is the most comprehensive and likely accurate information on different college programs currently available.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/11/21/federal-government-releases-earnings-data-thousands-college-programs

You can go to UF's scorecard and now see accurate salary info for each major.

https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/school/?134130-University-of-Florida

No surprise, the top 9 are all CS/Engineering, with the 10th being Nursing.

The scorecard also gives debt by major. At UF, there isn't that much of a difference, based on major (for a BS). The lowest debt major is "Wildlife and Wildlands Science and Management" at $13,250, while one of the higher ones may be an Engineering major (they typically take 1 or 2 semesters longer) with around $20K.

You can also compare majors by college.
Georgia Tech System Engineering: $73,500 (debt: $23,500)
UF System (Industrial) Engineering: $72,100 (debt: $18,883)
UCF Industrial Engineering: $49,000 (debt: 18,250)

Lots of interesting ways to look at the data, but don't read too much into it.

The largest field of study?
Biology, General-BS: 471 Graduates
Psychology, General-BS: 418
Finance and Financial Management Services-BS: 370

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Replies to: Updated College Scorecard w/Earnings data by Program/major

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2951 replies49 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    Crunching/publishing this data is certainly a step in the right direction.
    You can go to UF's scorecard and now see accurate salary info for each major.

    This data set shows salary info by field of study, not major. There can be many majors in one field of study.


    Other caveats to this data...data set includes only those students who took out Federal Direct Student Loans and/or received Pell grants, so data shown are not necessarily representative of the school. So in the UF example, if you look at the financial aid and debt section, it shows that only 27% of students took out Federal Direct Student loans, so this entire analysis is missing 73% of the students (not sure where/if Pell grant students are included)


    Also, the graduation rate measured is an eight year rate....a rate that so far really isn't used anywhere else, so comparisons to CDS or other data sources will not be possible.

    But again, a step in the right direction.
    edited November 2019
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2951 replies49 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2019
    Adding to the the above post: The percentage of students receiving Pell Grants is in the Student Body section. For UF, that is 26%, so the info of these students is also included in this scoreboard data, along with students who took out Federal Direct Student Loans....and of course there will be overlap between these Pell grant and Federal Direct loan groups.
    edited November 2019
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  • Lat8erGator1Lat8erGator1 23 replies3 threads Junior Member
    This is great information and there is a gigantic disparity between the salaries in STEM, business majors and "the rest."

    A lot of the liberal arts grads aren't even making $30,000 a year after graduation from the flagship school in the state. That's information up and coming students need to take into consideration especially if they plan to get in debt for their major.
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6489 replies204 threads Senior Member
    True, but Liberal Art majors do tend to build up their carriers over time. It's the first 10 years where they lag behind the most.

    At the end of the day, you have to do what you love and where your talents are at. But if you do choose a liberal arts major, please, please, don't take on a lot of debt.
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  • Lat8erGator1Lat8erGator1 23 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I think a lot of the low salaries are also students who are locked out of the STEM, Business majors because they are transfers, or find they can't cut the math and are forced to funnel into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences where there is room for them. They end up directionless in their career, majoring in soft majors like English or Psychology that trains them for nothing and then they get any jobs they can get.
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  • fl1234fl1234 198 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @Gator88NE I know that this is completely countercultural and I will get slammed for it by the community, but I disagree that people have to 'do what they love'. That is one (of many) contributors to the current 'student loan debt crisis'. People getting degrees that have little market value and taking out large loans to do so is a real problem. It often forces them to go to graduate school only to go further into debt.

    Not everyone's passion is marketable, and at the end of the day we have to make livings and pay back what we owe. I believe that some people that cannot make a living on their passion can fulfill those passions outside of the marketplace as a side job, volunteering, hobby, etc. It doesn't have to be their chosen field of study or employment. Obviously, if a person's passion is marketable and the person has the necessary talents, as you said, that is ideal and is where you likely find highly successful people.
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  • moscottmoscott 896 replies108 threads Senior Member
    @fl1234 There are numerous successful executives who espouse the same sentiment. Your "passion" isn't worth a nickel they like to say. Instead they recommend doing what you're good at. Now in many instances they might be the same.
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6489 replies204 threads Senior Member
    Only about 31% of the degree's(BS) awarded at UF are in STEM. Another 12% are Business (including finance and accounting). So, over 1/2 are not STEM or Business and that's OK.

    At UF, where cost are at a minimum (as is student loan debt), the issue isn't the choice of degree, it's one of initiative and effort.

    If you choose Psychology because you love the major and want a career that leverages the degree, that's fine. If you choose it because it's "easy" and your plan is to get through college with minimum effort, it's a good bet you're not going to be a success out of college (at least not till you grow up).

    Economics is another good example. It has two tracks. The harder requires calculus and higher math, and is very rigorous (and it's the required path if you want to get into a master's/PhD program). The easier track, requires far less math and is much less rigorous. Fine if you want to be a politician or work in the family business, otherwise I question your choice of major.

    No matter your major, you need to have a plan for after college. If you want a career in economics, understand that it's going to require grad school and plan accordingly. If you want to major in History, but not go to grad school, then understand what type of jobs are available and plan for it.

    If you're not sure what you want to do, pick a major you like, but that is rigorous (i.e. work hard at it, don't get by with C's and B's) and understand your career options, before you graduate.

    It's OK to be 17 or 18 and not understand what you want to do with the rest of your life. However, that's not an excuse to that the easier path and avoid the work. Work hard at your major. If you don't like it, switch majors (which is fairly easy for most majors at UF), but keep grinding.
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  • Lat8erGator1Lat8erGator1 23 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I don't really understand why "Psychology" is so popular for the undecided. If you are aimless and lazy, major in business at UF. "Marketing" is pretty easy and would position someone well for a sales type job after school.. Almost all of the required classes are online and consist of 3 multiple choice tests. Very little if any writing. The math required is one simple business for calculus survey class. The job opportunities are much better.

    It's a no brainer.
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  • fl1234fl1234 198 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Good comments by @Lat8erGator1 and @Gator88NE.

    I believe that there is a prevailing notion that the kids are told that they just need a degree, doesn't matter what it is in. Maybe that used to be the case, but as has been said here, it may not be any more. So many people are getting bachelor's degrees that it is not a differentiator, or even the minimum requirement any more. It has become where even MBAs and other graduate degrees do not differentiate.

    @Lat8erGator1 there are still some difficult (weed out) classes that Marketing majors have to take. Namely, Financial and Managerial Accounting as well as the intro finance class, Business Finance. One semester of 'business' calculus is required as well. Those 4 classes are enough to deter, or weed out many from the college of business.
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  • Lat8erGator1Lat8erGator1 23 replies3 threads Junior Member
    That's a good point about the weed out classes. I suppose some kids are just not wired for math or anything quantitative or they changed interests or had personal problems. There are many reasons why kids fail these classes or self-select out of them.

    I'd imagine a lot of these kids were in the bottom 25% of SAT/ACT scores. The Business weed out classes are nothing like the engineering and hard science (pre-med) weed out classes, but I'm sure some kids just can't cut it. Really, any student that gets admittance to UF should be able to do a water-down Business Calculus class. But guess not.

    People always talk about prestige and going to the best school but they don't always consider where *they* personally will be the most successful in the long run. I'd venture to guess an engineering or business major that flunks out of the weed out classes at UF and then aimlessly goes to psychology shouldn't have gone to UF in the first place.

    Perhaps if they went to FIU or FAU or another school where their stats were in the upper 25%, they may have graduated with the degree they wanted and been much better off in the long run.
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6489 replies204 threads Senior Member
    Those Business weed out classes are no joke. Even for engineering students. My daughter was an Industrial Engineering major and dreaded taking two of those courses...
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  • rickle1rickle1 2174 replies18 threads Senior Member
    great info!
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  • chgoodiechgoodie 29 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @fl1234 Agree 100%. This is what I tell my D who wants to be in the performance industry. Get that Engineering degree (if you can survive) and do acting recreationally to fulfill your 'passion'. Have to pay the bills somehow.
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