Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 20, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education came out with a cool interactive graphic showing the economic value of a bachelor's degree by college major.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Median Earnings by Major and Subject Area, 2010

But, there's a problem with presenting data like this - it makes the user one-step removed from being able to quickly visualize where their major of interest ranks among others. Worse, because when you highlight over a given academic category to drill down into the actual major of interest, the pop-up display that appears covers over the adjacent majors, making it time-consuming to see how it compares to those other fields.

Now, it's not anywhere near as pretty, but we've compiled all the data presented in the Chronicle's interactive graphic into the dynamic table below, which will allow you to sort the data by academic category, major and even the median salary by clicking the column headings (if you're accessing this post through an RSS feed, you'll need to click through to our original post to gain that functionality!)

We've also added the U.S. Census' data for 2009 on the median earnings of all income earners, as well as all those who work in full-time, year round occupations, and also those who have earned bachelor degrees and who work in full-time, year round occupations for comparison purposes. Enjoy!

Median Salaries by Occupation, 2010
Category Major Median Salary
Agricultural and Natural Resources Food Sciences $65,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Agricultural Economics $60,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Forestry $60,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Agricultural Production and Management $50,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Natural Resources Management $50,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Plant Science and Agronomy $50,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Agriculture (Miscellaneous) $47,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Agriculture (General) $45,000
Agricultural and Natural Resources Animal Sciences $44,000
Arts Film, Video and Photographic Arts $46,000
Arts Commercial Arts and Graphic Design $45,000
Arts Fine Arts $45,000
Arts Music $42,000
Arts Drama and Theater Arts $40,000
Arts Studio Arts $40,000
Arts Visual and Performing Arts $40,000
Biology and Life Science Microbiology $60,000
Biology and Life Science Biochemical Sciences $53,000
Biology and Life Science Environmental Science $51,000
Biology and Life Science Biology (General) $50,000
Biology and Life Science Biology (Miscellaneous) $50,000
Biology and Life Science Zoology $50,000
Biology and Life Science Molecular Biology $45,000
Biology and Life Science Physiology $45,000
Biology and Life Science Ecology $44,000
Biology and Life Science Botany $42,000
Business Business Economics $75,000
Business Actuarial Science $68,000
Business Management Information Systems and Statistics $67,000
Business Finance $65,000
Business Operations Logistics and e-Commerce $65,000
Business Accounting $63,000
Business Business (General) $60,000
Business Business Management and Administration $58,000
Business Marketing and Marketing Research $58,000
Business Human Resources and Personnel Management $55,000
Business International Business $55,000
Business Business (Miscellaneous) $53,000
Business Medical Administration $53,000
Business Hospitality Management $50,000
Communications and Journalism Journalism $51,000
Communications and Journalism Advertising and Public Relations $50,000
Communications and Journalism Communications $50,000
Communications and Journalism Mass Media $45,000
Computers and Mathematics Mathematics and Computer Science $98,000
Computers and Mathematics Applied Mathematics $76,000
Computers and Mathematics Computer Engineering $75,000
Computers and Mathematics Computer Science $75,000
Computers and Mathematics Mathematics $67,000
Computers and Mathematics Information Sciences $66,000
Computers and Mathematics Computer and Information Systems $62,000
Computers and Mathematics Computer Programming and Data Processing $56,000
Computers and Mathematics Computer Adminstration Management and Security $55,000
Computers and Mathematics Computer Networking and Telecommunications $55,000
Computers and Mathematics Communication Technologies $50,000
Education Education (Miscellaneous) $50,000
Education Secondary Teacher Education $46,000
Education Physical and Health Education Teaching $45,000
Education Mathematics Teacher Education $45,000
Education Science and Computer Teaching Education $44,000
Education Scoence and Computer Teacher Education $43,000
Education Art and Music Education $42,000
Education Education (General) $42,000
Education Language and Drama Education $42,000
Education Social Science or Teacher Education $42,000
Education Special Needs Education $42,000
Education Teacher Education (Multiple Levels) $41,000
Education Elementary Education $40,000
Education Early Childhood Education $36,000
Engineering Petroleum Engineering $120,000
Engineering Aerospace Engineering $87,000
Engineering Chemical Engineering $86,000
Engineering Electrical Engineering $85,000
Engineering Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering $82,000
Engineering Mechanical Engineering $80,000
Engineering Metallurgical Engineering $80,000
Engineering Mining and Mineral Engineering $80,000
Engineering Civil Engineering $78,000
Engineering Engineering Mechanics, Physics and Science $78,000
Engineering Environmental Engineering $75,000
Engineering Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering $75,000
Engineering Environmental Engineering $70,000
Engineering Engineering (General) $70,000
Engineering Materials Engineering and Materials Science $69,000
Engineering Engineering (Miscellaneous) $69,000
Engineering Biomedical Engineering $68,000
Engineering Electrical Engineering Technology $68,000
Engineering Architectural Engineering $65,000
Engineering Industrial Production Technologies $65,000
Engineering Mechanical Engineering-Related Technologies $64,000
Engineering Architecture $63,000
Engineering Engineering Technologies (Miscellaneous) $62,000
Engineering Engineering Technologies (General) $60,000
Engineering Biological Engineering $55,000
Health Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration $105,000
Health Nursing $60,000
Health Treatment Therapy Professions $60,000
Health Medical Technologies Technicians $58,000
Health Medical Assisting Services $56,000
Health Health and Medical Adminstrative Services $55,000
Health Community and Public Health $48,000
Health Nutrition Sciences $46,000
Health Medical and Health Services (General) $45,000
Health Miscellaneous Health Medical Professions $42,000
Health Health and Medical Preparatory Programs $40,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts United States History $57,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Art History and Criticism $50,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts History $50,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts English Language and Literature $48,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Humanities $48,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Liberal Arts $48,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Other Foreign Languages $48,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Philosophy and Religious Studies $48,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Anthropology and Archaeology $45,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Area Ethnic and Civilization Studies $45,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Composition and Speech $45,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts French, German, Latin, and Other Common Foreign Language Studies $45,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Linguistics and Comparative Language and Literature $45,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Intercultural and Internatinoal Studies $44,000
Humanities and Liberal Arts Theology and Religious Vocations $38,000
Industrial Arts and Consumer Services Construction Services $70,000
Industrial Arts and Consumer Services Transportation Sciences and Technologies $64,000
Industrial Arts and Consumer Services Electrical and Mechanic Repairs and Technologies $57,000
Industrial Arts and Consumer Services Cosmetology Services and Culinary Arts $46,000
Industrial Arts and Consumer Services Physical Fitness, Parks, Recreation, and Leisure $43,000
Industrial Arts and Consumer Services Family and Consumer Sciences $40,000
Law and Public Policy Public Administration $59,000
Law and Public Policy Criminal Justice and Fire Protection $50,000
Law and Public Policy Prelaw and Legal Studies $49,000
Law and Public Policy Public Policy $48,000
Physical Sciences Oceanography $70,000
Physical Sciences Physics $70,000
Physical Sciences Physical Sciences $69,000
Physical Sciences Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology $67,000
Physical Sciences Geology and Earth Science $62,000
Physical Sciences Chemistry $58,000
Physical Sciences Science (Multidisciplinary or General) $55,000
Physical Sciences Nuclear, Industrial-Radiology and Biological Technologies $52,000
Psychology and Social Work Industrial and Organizational Psychology $53,000
Psychology and Social Work Psychology (Miscellaneous) $45,000
Psychology and Social Work Psychology (General) $45,000
Psychology and Social Work Communication Disorders Sciences and Services $40,000
Psychology and Social Work Social Work $39,000
Psychology and Social Work Human Services and Community Organization $38,000
Psychology and Social Work Couseling Psychology $29,000
Social Science Economics $70,000
Social Science Statistics and Decision Science $67,000
Social Science Political Science and Government $59,000
Social Science Geography $54,000
Social Science Social Sciences (Miscellaneous) $51,000
Social Science International Relations $50,000
Social Science Social Sciences (General) $49,000
Social Science Criminology $48,000
Social Science Social Sciences (Interdisciplinary) $48,000
Social Science Sociology $45,000
Median Income All Income Earners in 2009 $26,134
Median Income Full Time, Year Round Income Earners in 2009 $42,401
Median Income Full Time, Year Round Bachelor Degree Holding Income Earners in 2009 $56,864

We may be tweaking the presentation of data in the median earnings column, where our dynamic table sorting routine has trouble may have trouble properly ranking six-figure incomes.

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