Choosing College Majors Based on Income Potential

In terms of average income for UC graduates, the highest earners are in computer science, nursing, and engineering, with average annual salaries around $100,000 after five years. On the other hand, majors such as history, English, philosophy, foreign languages, public administration, anthropology, and art have lower average incomes, ranging from $50,000 to $60,000 after five years. 

UC Graduates Average Income List

Choosing College Majors through Income Potential

University of California Graduates’ Average Income List and Practical Advice

STEM majors—such as computer science, engineering, physics, and mathematics—offer relatively high incomes for UC graduates. For those interested in liberal arts, economics and business are popular choices that also provide competitive salaries. It is important to note the significant difference between the average and median salaries of computer science majors, indicating an uneven income distribution in this field. While some graduates earn very high salaries, others earn much less. In contrast, nursing and education majors have similar average and median salaries, suggesting a smaller income gap within these professions.

By examining the University of California's average income data as a reference, we aim to provide a valuable perspective on different majors through the lens of post-graduation earnings. This analysis will enhance your understanding and assist you in making informed decisions during your university selection process.

Is Art Degree Education Worth It?    

According to the average income data from UC Schools, finding employment in the fine arts major can be challenging for UC students. However, it's crucial to note that there is a significant income disparity among art majors nationwide. Top art professionals command substantial salaries, while the income gap between different art positions is considerable.

art major degree

Therefore, it's essential to research art schools and universities that are supportive of art students. For instance, Carnegie Mellon University's Music + Technology program is worth exploring for students with musical expertise. This interdisciplinary program, offered jointly by Carnegie Mellon's School of Music, School of Computer Science, and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, prepares students for careers in various fields such as audio engineering, music composition, and music programming.

Furthermore, the reputation of art colleges also plays a vital role. While some, like the California Institute of the Arts, may offer lower salaries, others boast higher earning potentials. For comprehensive advice on employment and school selection across different majors, feel free to reach out to our professional consultants for personalized assistance.

College Admissions Counselor Advice: Research Your Prospective Industry When Applying for College

The income associated with students' majors is intricately tied to the industries they intend to pursue in the future. Hence, discussions about majors should always consider the corresponding industry landscape. For instance, in the field of art employment, an art director working in the software publishers industry can expect an average annual salary of $180,280, whereas in the news and newspapers sector, the average annual salary is $145,150.

Top Paying Art Director

Furthermore, the geographical location of a major also plays a significant role. Using art majors as an illustration, employment opportunities in California, New York, Texas, and Florida are notably favorable. Conversely, in some states, employment prospects in the field may be scarce or nonexistent.

Employment of art directors by state

The college application process can be very stressful, and choosing universities and majors can be overwhelming. If you're unsure about your future options, it's natural to feel confused or anxious. However, there are many resources available to assist you during the college admission process. Guidance from admission professionals can significantly assist you through the applications. To help you in making a more informed decision, join our FREE webinar on "Mastering Your University Path: Expert Strategies for Choosing and Planning the Perfect Major" for valuable insights and support.


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