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Which Degrees Pay You Back?


A recent report suggests that most four-year college degrees allow graduates to recoup the cost of education in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, of the more than 38,000 degree programs, nearly two-thirds (65%) of graduates earn enough to make up for their college fees within a decade, and 46% have achieved the same results within five years of graduation.


However, out of all college programs (10,000), almost a quarter of graduates have insufficient income to pay for their education costs within 20 years of completing their studies.


Around 6,000 of such programs are at the associate's degree level and have no financial advantage over a high school diploma. This means that more than 350,000 students are enrolled, generally taking on large debts to pay for all education expenses and graduating from these projects, but there is little or no financial benefit!


Although a bachelor's degree takes longer to complete and is generally more expensive than a shorter degree program, 65% of graduates earn enough to recoup the cost of education in 10 years or less, which is 75% of the participants of all graduates. Only 10% of bachelor's programs (5% of four-year students) show that their graduates earn less than a typical high school graduate within two years of earning their degree.


Degree programs in public institutions are most likely to allow graduates to recoup their educational investment within five years (56%) or 10 years (73%) after completing the course. Of the 1.3 million students who graduated from these programs, about 1 million (76%) had enough income to pay for their education in 10 years or less. But there is some bad news: Most graduates of more than 3,000 programs (13%), or 109,183 students, earn less than a typical high school graduate two years after the program ends.


Since the cost of attending private non-profit institutions is usually higher than that of public universities, students who graduate from these schools will take longer to recover the cost of education. Only 31% of private non-profit university projects show that their graduates have recovered their education costs in five years or less. Nevertheless, most programs (56%) indicate that their students can recover their costs within 10 years after graduation, accounting for 62% of all graduates from private non-profit institutions.


Overall, the best ROIs include degrees related to the following: nursing, construction management, allied health, and a number of subfields in engineering.


On the flip side, the worst ROIs include degrees related to religious studies, anthropology, zoology, religious studies, film studies, and various majors in the performing arts.


In conclusion, if your ROI is an important factor in choosing your major, best to pick a degree that pays off in the end at a public institution!

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