By Loydie Burmah |Staff Writer|
There are several majors here at CSUSB that seem to be popular, but most of them do not gather much monetary success.
Majors can be defined as concentrated areas of study in which a student can develop their academic as well as professional skills.
On the Fall 2013 Quick Facts document provided by the Office of Institutional Research popular Undergraduate Majors at CSUSB include pre-nursing, psychology, accounting, and bio pre-med. Popular Graduate Majors include public administration, social work, and special education.
“Our data is pulled from applications, enrollments, grade reports, etc., which are then provided to our office by Records, Registration and Evaluation. We maintain the official files for reporting,” said Research Analyst Tanner Carollo.
According to PayScale, a company that provides data regarding salary and career topics, some of these majors listed are not lucratively successful even though they receive popular enrollment.
PayScale comprised a 2012-2013 report titled “Majors That Pay You Back” featuring a list of 130 majors ranked in order of highest to lowest potential salary.
Some of the popular majors listed on the report, in order of rank, were petroleum engineering, nursing, psychology, and social work.
ThinkAdvisor published a report similar to PayScale’s.
The report ranked petroleum engineering No. 1 on their “30 Best Paying College Majors” and ranked social work No. 5 and psychology No. 29 on their “30 Worst Paying College Majors.”
Upon first glance the information presented may seem daunting, but do these majors truly have grim outlooks?
Featured on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website, the Occupational Outlook Handbook webpage offers in-depth career information and supportive data about practically any occupation you can think of.
“Overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations… Competition for jobs for psychologists will vary by specialty,” according to the Job Outlook tab for psychologists.
The BLS also offers more detailed information through links like Employment Projections and Industry-occupation matrix data.
However, what determines the quality of a major should not be solely dependent on its ability to make money.
“The reports aren’t really surprising to me, you can make a lot more money going all the way with an engineering degree than you can with a psychology degree,” said student Isabel Arreola.
Arreola is pursuing a career in becoming a behavior analyst. Her interests in the field psychology are due to her curiosity about human behavior and the influence of emotions.
“Salary wise it really depends. Like for instance, if I were to do industrial organizational psych, I could make six figures, but it really just depends on where I work,” continued Arreola.
An online assessment test on the career center website can assist students in selecting a major.
“I tell students to really self explore their personal interest and really do their research on all the majors offered. Also, choose a major you will be happy seeing yourself do every morning,” said Peer Advisor Wendy Padron.