Is A Bachelors Degree Worth It

Is a Bachelor’s Degree worth it?
Deciding to go to college for a bachelor’s degree is a tough choice. It’s a big investment for most Americans and everyone wants to know whether it is worth it or not. The first thing you need to consider is what is driving your decision? Is it just because everyone else is going? Or is it because of all the good parties? Or just to get away from your family?

If you are thinking on these lines, then your reasoning is flawed. You want your bachelor’s degree to be worth it? Then you need to think about the academics of your interest. How well does a school address these interests? What will your job prospects be when you graduate?

What is the Starting Salary for a Bachelor’s Major?
When determining the worthiness of a bachelor’s degree, the major selection will potentially be the most crucial decision. This will end up deciding where and at what salary you start off in the job market. Take a look at the average starting salaries of class of 2012 graduates, by field of major:


Field of Major

Average Starting Salary

Engineering

$62,655

Computer Science

$59,221

Business

$53,900

Health Sciences

$49,196

Communications

$43,717

Math and Sciences

$42,471

Education

$40,668

Humanities

$36,988

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Engineering majors started off with the highest salary in the market in 2012, whereas humanities and social sciences graduates were over $25,000 behind them. To enter a field, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in that specific area. Some employers, however, are willing to accept students with college education in other areas than the one they are applying to work in.

Where Can You Work with a Bachelor’s Degree?
The worthiness of your degree is directly related to the job prospects it generates for you. At the end of the day, you should be most concerned with the sort of jobs a particular degree might get you along with the work environment and career growth, job titles, descriptions etc. Let’s take a look at the type of jobs different majors might open up for you.

Top 6 Business, Financial Operations and Sales Bachelor’s-level Occupations


Occupation

Projected Job Openings, 2010-2020

On-the Job Training

Work Experience

Accountants and Auditors

452,100

None

None

Management Analysts

274,300

None

1 to 5 years

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

191,800

None

None

Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products

159,700

Moderate-term

None

Securities, commodities, and financial services agents

133,700

Moderate-term

None

Financial Analysts

104,200

None

None

 *Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The highest number of job openings for business, financial operations and sales occupations is for accountants and auditors. People in these jobs usually prefer working with numbers, people or both. Their organizational and analytical abilities help in their decision making and planning in the corporate sector.

Top 6 Education, training, and library bachelor’s-level occupations


Occupation

Projected Job Openings, 2010-2020

On-the Job Training

Work Experience

Elementary school teachers, except special education

573,200

Internship/residency

None

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

355,600

Internship/residency

None

Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education

249,300

Internship/residency

None

Special education teachers, preschool, kindergarten and elementary school

113,300

Internship/residency

None

Kindergarten teachers, except special education

79,300

Internship/residency

None

Special education teachers, secondary school

51,100

Internship/residency

None

Education, training and library occupations are likely to have nearly 1.5 million jobs between 2010 and 2020. Individuals in these occupations tend to enjoy interacting with people, networking and instructing. They have good communication skills, critical thinking abilities, patience and creativity.

Top 6 Computer Science and Math bachelor’s-level Occupations


Occupation

Projected Job Openings, 2010-2020

On-the Job Training

Work Experience

Computer systems analysts

222,500

None

None

Software developers, application

197,900

None

None

Software developers, systems software

168,000

None

None

Network and computer systems administrators

155,300

None

None

Computer programmers

128,000

None

None

Information security analysts, web developers and computer network architects

110,300

None

1 to 5 years

Computer science and math bachelor’s level occupations will be about 1.1 million between 2010 and 2020. People who go for a major in this field are usually fond of analyzing and solving problems. Their technical ability and strong mathematical skills equip them with the skills necessary to perform well in their jobs.

Top 6 Arts, media and related bachelor’s – level Occupations


Occupation

Projected Job Openings, 2010-2020

On-the Job Training

Work Experience

Public relations specialists

127,200

Moderate-term

None

Graphic designers

123,800

None

None

Producers and directors

49,700

None

1 to 5 years

Writers and authors

47,600

Long-term

None

Interpreters and translators

40,300

Long-term

None

Editors

37,000

None

1 to 5 years

Art, media and related fields are typically considered to be creative and interactive. Jobs in this sector might require artistic or musical abilities along with good communication skills. It must be noted though, that people in this field tend to create their own unique career path, working for themselves. Writers, music designers and composers and authors are among occupations with a high percentage of self employment, as per BLS.

Top 6 Architecture and Engineering bachelor’s - level Occupations


Occupation

Projected Job Openings, 2010-2020

On-the Job Training

Work Experience

Civil Engineers

104,400

None

None

Mechanical Engineers

99,600

None

None

Industrial Engineers

57,500

None

None

Architects, except landscape and naval

50,900

Internship/residency

None

Electrical Engineers

47,800

None

None

Electronics engineers, except computer

40,600

None

None

People who pursue a career in the fields of architecture and engineering typically enjoy solving complex problems, math and analysis. Some occupations might require communication, project management, technical and creative skills as well. Job descriptions vary a great deal in this category, providing you with a variety of occupational requirements.

Top 6 Healthcare and community and social service bachelor’s-level occupations


Occupation

Projected Job Openings, 2010-2020

On-the Job Training

Work Experience

Child, family, and school social workers

128,300

None

None

Clergy

79,900

Moderate-term

None

Mental health and substance abuse social workers

69,400

None

None

Medical and clinical laboratory technologists

52,100

None

None

Directors, religious activities and education

44,500

None

1 to 5 years

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists

37,300

Short-term

None

These healthcare occupations along with others in the field add up to a total of 533,000 jobs, according to BLS 2010-2022 forecast. People who work in this profession are typically fond of helping each other out. Good communication and interpersonal skills are an added benefit for most occupations in this field and are a requirement of a few. Critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills also come in handy for people related to this field.

Top 6 Life, Physical, and social science bachelor’s-level occupations


Occupation

Projected Job Openings, 2010-2020

On-the Job Training

Work Experience

Environmental scientists and specialists, including health

43,200

None

None

Biological technicians

37,900

None

None

Chemists

29,900

None

None

Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers

17,100

None

None

Survey Researchers

9,900

None

None

Soil and plant scientists

8,600

None

None

Between 2010 and 2020, the above occupations, along with others in the field are expected to have about 193,000 job openings. Professionals in this area of study usually enjoy research and problem solving. They require good critical thinking skills and the ability to work well as part of a team. The aptitude for math and other technical subjects is generally considered an added benefit.

What Makes a College Degree Worth it for you?
The decision regarding the worth of a bachelor’s degree involves taking a number of factors into account. Projected job openings, entry level jobs, starting salaries, work-life earnings and work environment matter a lot, but these are not the only things that matter. A worthy bachelor’s degree should help you in developing yourself along with your career, incorporating your interests with the academics and giving you a lot more than just monetary return.

 

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