Census Reports: Degree Field Impacts Wages –

The field of concentration chosen affects a college graduate’s salary and two new reports released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau look to examine how much of an impact a major has throughout an individual’s work life.

The first American Community Survey (ACS) report titled Field and Degree of Earnings by Selected Employment Characteristics: 2011 contains data concerning employment characteristics for those 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree.

The report finds that 59 million people 25 years and older held a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2011, with 12 million people majoring in the business field. Additionally, 64.1% of those who majored in business were among the people most likely to be employed full-time, year-round.

The median annual salary of self-employed workers with a bachelor’s degree in business was $60,000, while median annual salary of wage and salary workers with a bachelor’s degree in business was $62,000. There was a disparity between pay of men and women, however, with the report revealing women earned less than men for every field of degree.

A separate ACS report titled Work-Life Earnings by Field of Degree and Occupation for People With a Bachelor’s Degree: 2011 contains data exploring the relationship between educational attainment work-life earnings.

The report finds that a bachelor’s degree holder can expect to earn about $2.4 million over his or her work life. Additionally, the report illustrates the variations in earnings compared across occupations for a single degree field or compared across several degree fields for a single occupation.

Business majors can expect to make $2.6 million over their work lives, but those who work in management can expect to make $3.3 million and those who work in business and financial can expect to make $2.8 million.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN