A recent study compares earnings by college majors, and concludes the choice of your major can make a significant difference in your pay potential. Also, note the significant difference in earnings a college degree gives you over a high school degree.

In the current tough job market, a college degree still provides a critical advantage. Newly minted college grads face an unemployment rate of around 8.9 percent, while those with high school degrees only are facing a much higher rate of 22.9 percent.

However, not all college majors are equal. Choosing the wrong major can make you twice as likely to end up unemployed. Researchers found that the highest rates belong to recent graduates in architecture (13.9 percent), the arts (11.1 percent), and the social sciences (8.9 percent). The undergraduate degrees with the lowest rates of unemployment are health (5.4 percent), education (5.4 percent), and agriculture and natural resources (7 percent).

Likewise, median earnings vary according to the degree earned. Engineering majors earn a median salary of $55,000 per year, while arts, social, and psychology majors’ median earnings are $33,000.

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