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10 Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary

College Degrees

Starting Median Pay

Mid-Career Median Pay

  1. Petroleum Engineering

$97,900

$155,000

  1. Chemical Engineering

$64,500

$109,000

  1. Electrical Engineering (EE)

$61,300

$103,000

  1. Materials Science & Engineering

$60,400

$103,000

  1. Aerospace Engineering

$60,700

$102,000

  1. Computer Engineering (CE)

$61,800

$101,000

  1. Physics

$49,800

$101,000

  1. Applied Mathematics

$52,600

$98,600

  1. Computer Science (CS)

$56,600

$97,900

  1. Nuclear Engineering

$65,100

$97,800

10 Worst Undergrad College Degrees by Salary

College Degrees

Starting Median Pay

Mid-Career Median Pay

  1. Child and Family Studies

$29,600

$40,500

2. Elementary Education

$32,400

$44,000

3. Social Work (SW)

$32,200

$44,300

4. Culinary Arts

$29,900

$46,800

5. Special Education

$34,300

$47,800

6. Recreation & Leisure Studies

$34,500

$49,100

7. Religious Studies

$32,900

$49,700

8. Athletic Training

$34,600

$50,200

9. Public Health (PH)

$35,500

$51,700

10. Theology

$35,600

$52,000

(http://www.npr.org/blogs/talk/2009/09/best_paying_college_majors.html)

2. What do you think the situation is like in Russia? Find some information and present it in class.

Activity II: Helpful Vocabulary

1. Explain what the underlined words and phrases mean.

  1. Coming up, it’s cap and gown season. We talk about how to inspire students with a commencement address that resonates during these difficult times.

  2. I barely make enough money to pay my rent, gas my car and utilities.

  3. Engineering, computers, mathematics, physical sciences are earning a very high premium at the B.A. level.

  4. There’s a big difference between the high end majors and the low end majors.

  5. One of the ongoing questions in some circles is over the wage gap across racial lines.

  6. There are a lot of female students who major in hospitality business.

  7. Engineering and computer science remain overwhelmingly male while women continue to dominate “soft” majors such as education, psychology and English.

  8. Critics fear that science courses tend to crowd out the humanities.

2. Complete the sentences below with the phrases from the box.

stark findings heated discussion notable exception overwhelming response pivotal question recent recession skyrocketing costs stagnant job market

  1. The ___________ of college can lead a parent to wonder if an investment in higher education still makes sense.

  2. When I was a college freshman, my group of friends got into a ___________ over who would room with whom during our sophomore year.

  3. Alcohol sales climbed with little interruption throughout the_________, and have continued to expand in the last few months. This is in spite of – or maybe because of – the ___________. So the old adage – that the booze industry survives in a recession because people drink even when they’re broke – appears to be true.

  4. This fall, Ann Shanton will be like any other giddy freshman starting college, with one _____________ – she’s 13 years old.

  5. High school seniors are deciding where they will apply to college, and for a sizable fraction the __________ is: “Should I apply early?”

  6. The ___________ of new people interested in becoming involved in the college paper was fantastic!  The majority were freshmen, but there were newbies that are currently juniors and seniors as well.

  7. The World Health Organisation has issued some _________ about the increasingly motorised, car-infested world in which we live. Part of them are a list of the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world to drive a car.

Listening Comprehension Activities

1. You are going to listen to an interview with Anthony P. Carnevale, Director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which released the report “What’s it Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors.” Listen to the first part of the interview and choose the best option to complete the following statements.

  1. Students preparing to graduate are often asked the pivotal question “What are you planning to do with your degree?” Nowadays

  1. the Obama administration is working hard to increase the value of higher education and to give college graduates more job opportunities.

  2. most people believe that a college degree is not worth the skyrocketing costs of higher education.

  3. it is getting more and more difficult for young people to get a job as the job market is stagnant and the unemployment rate is high.

2. Both Michelle Kurtwright and Elizabeth Cartman

  1. graduated in 2007 with a BFA in English.

  2. can hardly make both ends meet.

  3. are convinced that you should study what you like and things will work out in the end.

    1. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce put out the report about the economic value of college majors because

  1. the government had come up with this initiative.

  2. students and their parents want to know what majors will let them find well-paid jobs to pay off their debts.

  3. the researchers were concerned that Americans believe that college is the ticket to the middle class though it is not.

    1. People who have majored in engineering, computer science or business on average earn 50 per cent more than those who have majored in the humanities, the arts, education and psychology because

      1. there is a great demand for technical majors in the market.

      2. technical people are more talented.

      3. jobs in these fields have always been considered premium.

5. The wage gap across racial and gender lines exists because

  1. women and minorities are discouraged from choosing prestigious majors.

  2. majors are segregated: men are attracted to the technical majors, computers, the physical sciences, and business whereas women and minorities prefer the humanities, arts, social work, etc.

  3. women and minorities are not ready for challenging fields like engineering, business or computers; as a result they are looking for soft jobs.

2. Listen again and say what these numbers stand for.

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