Gotta love the news sometimes. Every year, around this time, all the major media outlets seem to get a sick pleasure out of reminding me how worthless my college degree is (BA in Psychology). Talk about rubbing salt in a wound. Here’s a snippet from a USAToday article…
An analysis of the projected lifetime earnings of 171 college majors provides a clearer picture of what one bachelor’s degree means compared to another in the labor market. And the answer can be as much as $3.64 million.
That’s the difference between what petroleum engineering majors can expect to earn over a 40-year career ($4.8 million) and what counseling psychology majors could earn ($1.16 million).
Per the article, the median income of a petroleum engineering major is $120,000, while the median income for a psych major is $29,000. Now, I know I ain’t no math major, but that sure seems sucky.
As much as I wish I could refute the findings of the USAToday article (or Darwin’s post), I can’t. It would be like me saying that the average height of US men can’t be 5’10 because I’m 6’2. Krystal and I may be exceptions to the rule, but that does not mean the rule doesn’t exist. And this rule says english, history, & psych careers are typically less lucrative than accounting, biology, and engineering careers whether we like it or not.
I, however, refuse to let my degree limit my potential. I can’t change the past, but I sure can change my future. Humility, common sense, and an intense desire to succeed can take just about anyone, regardless of major, from Average Joe to Upper-Middle-Class-Joe. Our identities should not be wrapped up in our majors, but in our character. Be an exception, not the rule.
In sum, choosing psychology was probably a bad choice.
What was your major? If you did college again, would you do it differently?