Another Top-10 List (of sorts) — Most and Least Valuable College Degrees Based on Perception

Not all education is equal in extrinsic value (economic compensation) or intrinsic value (value to the person).  Graduates with a degree in Social Welfare do not typically make much money at all, but many of these people feel extremely rewarded by what they accomplish.


It is very easy to compare the extrinsic value of majors (economic) by examining their typical income.   Difficulty arises when asked  to compare the self-satisfaction of a degree since not all people are economically motivated – requiring subjective rather than objective data.


How can intrinsic value be gauged?  To do this, Emolument surveyed 1,800 college graduates across the U.K.   Their initial conclusions were that most U.K. college graduates deemed their degree worthwhile.  The following table shows responses across various degrees.  Three-out of 10 Bachelor degree graduates deemed their degree Not Worth It while just two out of 10 Phd, Doctorate and MBA grads agreed.

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These results changed significantly when the graduate was asked the same question at the major level.   Approximately one-half or more of all those responding the following majors deemed the degree Not Worth It.


  • Media, Marketing & Communications       46% Not Worth It
  • History, Geography & Politics                      47% Not Worth It
  • Fine Arts & Design                                          47% Not Worth It
  • Psychology                                                       67% Not Worth It


The best satisfaction was found in the STEM Majors:  Science, Technology, engineering and Math.


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There is more to satisfaction by the graduate than just the major.   The study noted that while two thirds of all psychology majors rated their major Not Worth It,  that varies as a function of the school they graduated from.  The top institutions in the U.K. are Oxford and Cambridge Universities.   Graduates from those schools gave a Not Worth It survey response just 7 and 8 percent of the time, respectively.


To view the Emolument study click here.  Emolument is a crowd-sourced salary comparison website that covers the world in information.


See this as an example of Emolument data.  In addition they complete research into specific topics periodically.


This is an interesting study that needs to be shared with all students heading to College and University this fall.


Would like to see a similar study of U.S. College and University grads.   I doubt, however, the results would differ much overall.


Am I happy with my majors?  You bet.  Undergraduate degree was in Agricultural Economists, Masters in Land Economics and Real Estate and PhD in Finance with a minor in Statistics.   These majors have provided a great tool set for what I do for a living.


Are satisfied with yours?  Email back and we will post the responses to Jones on Real Estate Blog.




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