Monday, June 17, 2013

What is a Geography Degree Worth?

The Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce has just released a document on the economic value of college majors ( . Although a US based study, the report still has relevance for UK graduates in what is increasingly an international market for the best jobs. The report also highlights gender and ethnic differences in subject areas as well as the types of employment people in different subject areas tend to get. The first clear result is that in the US any degree is better than none in terms of deferential earning power. Although classified as a Social Science, geography does quite well in comparison with other subjects in its grouping coming in fourth behind economics,statistics and political science with a median income of $54,000. Economics tends to inflate the median and average for this grouping  having a median earnings of $70,000. In the Physical Sciences, Geological and Earth Sciences have a median income of $62,000. an important consideration to bear in mind is the time scale and the position in their working life or career fro each individual in the survey. some degrees lead to a clear career path and act as entrances to major industries that can inflate the earnings fro particular subject areas. It may not come as a surprise that the highest earning subjects are Petroleum Geology followed by Pharmacy and then Administration (I do find that one a hit worrying but that may just be me!) It is also interesting that the subject areas of Counseling Psychology and Early Childhood Education are amongst the lowest earnings despite the importance of such work - an interesting illustration of the problem of  social worth versus economic value maybe? .

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