Earning a postsecondary credential is quite often a student’s first major investment, but it can be challenging to demystify the postsecondary system and select a credential or a field of study with a sufficient return on investment. This report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce examines earnings across education level, programs of study, and majors to recommend five considerations for students as they navigate the postsecondary system. Major findings from the report include:
- Median earnings increase with each additional level of educational attainment;
- Program of study and majors matter more than education level;
- Less education can be worth more; and,
- There is great variation in earnings within majors.
The report draws on national labor market data from 2016 to illustrate which degrees and fields of study have the highest median wages for workers.