A Georgia Tech degree ranks in top 20 nationally for lifetime return on investment rate

If you want the most bang for your college buck, go to Georgia Tech. (AJC File)

If you want the most bang for your college buck, go to Georgia Tech. (AJC File)

In doing some research this week, I came across Payscale.com’s annual ranking of what a college costs and the return on that cost as reflected in lifetime earnings.

The rankings came out earlier this year, but I thought they were worth sharing.  The ranking goes all the way from 1 to 1,248 — and a Georgia school landed the last spot.

But let’s start with the happier news first: The biggest payback in Georgia comes from a Georgia Tech undergrad degree, which has a better return on lifetime investment rate than degrees from Brown, Yale, Amherst, Georgetown, UVA, Vanderbilt, Williams or Emory. (Lifetime was defined as a career span of 30 years.)

Georgia Tech ranks 17th on the national list for return on investment rate among  in-state students. (The return is slightly less for out-of-state students who pay higher tuition. Even for those students, Tech is the gift that keeps on giving, ranking 26th in return on the investment rate on the Payscale list.)

If you are wondering why Tech grads get so much back for their tuition investment, take a glance at Payscale’s list of highest-paying college undergraduate majors.

Six of the top 10 are engineering. The other four are math and computer science. (I have also written about Georgetown’s research in this same area. Both Payscale.com and the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found the highest-earning undergrad degree today is petroleum engineering.)

In explaining its annual Return on Investment listing, Payscale states: With all of the expense and time required to attend college, does earning a degree pay off long-term? Yes, depending on which school you choose. PayScale has ranked more than 850 U.S. colleges (for both in and out-of-state tuition when applicable) by their college tuition ROI – what you pay to attend versus what you get back in lifetime earnings.

(The site addresses critics of  the 2012 rankings by explaining its methodology in detail here. Payscale explains: We calculate median pay for a school’s alumni by utilizing profiles in our database for bachelor’s degree graduates from that school. We are not using industry averages nor alumni data provided by the schools. Rather, we use data provided directly by alumni.)

The University of Georgia ranks 243 on the list, still a very good return on investment rate. Georgia State ranks 531 North Georgia College ranks 831. Georgia Southern ranks 935. Georgia College & State University ranks 971.

Georgia has a school in the bottom five for return on investment over a 30-year career. Savannah College of Art and Design earned the 1,248th — and last — spot on the list. According to Payscale’s research, graduates end up losing money on their tuition investment. SCAD has faulted the ranking, countering that its undergraduate and graduate interior design programs have won national acclaim and that all of its graduates have great success in securing jobs in their fields.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

52 comments Add your comment

Mike

December 5th, 2012
5:39 am

The Top 10 jobs are engineering, math, and computer science, and yet our colleges still require two years of a foreign language but NOT any technology class. When will we stop trying to live in the 1800s and get real about our school requirements?

Peter Smagorinsky

December 5th, 2012
6:01 am

When you only use salary as the measure of success, then no one should be surprised that SCAD, and art school, is ranked low and engineering, which pays well,leads to high rankings. Surely SCAD grads are doing something of value that’s not evident in a salary total.

mountain man

December 5th, 2012
6:29 am

“countering that its undergraduate and graduate interior design programs have won national acclaim and that all of its graduates have great success in securing jobs in their fields. ”

Yes, but all graduates are not in “interior design” – and while they may have jobs, they may have very low-paying jobs.

mountain man

December 5th, 2012
6:30 am

I cannot understand it. Our society values an ENGINEER who correctly builds a bridge that will safely withstand everyday traffic for a hundred years MORE than they do an interior designer? My gosh, our priorities are misplaced!

Pride and Joy

December 5th, 2012
6:37 am

Peter Smagorinsky makes a good point. Salary is one measure of success.
I think this story is also significantly flawed. Georgia Tech makes it to the top of the list for ROI because of the TYPE of degrees offerred. Those degrees happen to be related to what pays the most salary right now. So, if and when solar power engineers outearn petroleum engineers, Georgia Tech will lose it’s ranking.
This story is using data incorreclty.
Instead of measuring a school’s success the way she has,by quoting payscale Maureen should take each profession, then see how large the salaries are for the alumni in that profession.
For example, if we took GA Tech and compared the salaries for all the petroleum engineering majors compared to all the petroleum engineering majors from all other colleges, and determined their ratio of earnings to college expense, THEN we would know the ROI for each college.
GA TECh is a great college but this story is using flawed logic.
The data is also flawed because Payscale uses data from graduates in its databases. Graduates self report and only those graduates who contact the school to tell them their salary get stored in the database. When you have unemployed or underemployed graduates, they don’t report.
GA TecH IS A great school. I am not criticizing the school but Payscale’s method of determining ROI and their method for collecting data is significantly flawed and reporters at the AJC should recognize this.

Mountain Man

December 5th, 2012
7:20 am

correction “designs” rather than “builds”.

Polecatmtn

December 5th, 2012
7:26 am

Agree. It is time to have vocational styled training in lieu of “education”. We do not need anymore Indo-Tibetan Scholars with tenure. This is a waste of resources and good common sense. Sure if you want to study Indo-Tibetan sociology you can do it without soaking up value resources. Also, the higher education system has corrupted itself by gorging itself on proceeds from the lottery. We also should get rid of the “tenure system”. What a waste.

OldTech

December 5th, 2012
7:40 am

And if you click on the heading of ROI % (instead of ROI dollars) Ga Tech ranks FIRST with 12.5%

Ga Tech Rules

December 5th, 2012
7:57 am

A lot of hard work also is required to earn a degree from Georgia Tech!

RJ

December 5th, 2012
8:18 am

I wonder how my son’s former math teacher’s degree from Georgia Tech is paying off for her? I mean, gee, she’s a 7th grade math teacher with a degree from Tech (sarcasm intended). If we base success on money, then sure, it pays off. But sucess is not defined by money, but by one’s happiness doing what they love and receiving pay for doing it. Since I teach, there’s probably not a school I could go to and my degree would “pay off”. Even Georgia State is expensive now.

bj

December 5th, 2012
9:21 am

Hey, uhh, guys.. ..I know they didn’t cover this in journalism school or whatever, but ROI is a ratio (percentage), not a dollar value. Read all about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_on_investment

Click on the header of column 7 to see the actual ROI. GT isn’t 17th, we’re first. Thanks.

Good Job Tech!

December 5th, 2012
9:30 am

Pride and Joy, Tech doesn’t offer a Petroleum Engineering Degree.

Obviously money isn’t the only part of success, but the article isn’t about which graduates are successful (in fact success doesn’t even appear in the article), the article is about which graduates get the best return on their investment in education. Clearly those that went to Georgia Tech get a good monetary return on the investment in their education. I don’t see why this is a problem to point out, or a bad thing to have in the state of GA.

I know that my investment is already paid off and then some. Thanks MaTech.

indigo

December 5th, 2012
9:33 am

How much is an illiterate GA Tech football players basketweaving degree worth?

Road Scholar

December 5th, 2012
9:50 am

Indigo: Tech does not have basket weaving but if you are looking for a career change UGA has undergrad, masters and doctoral degrees in it!

RJ: I have had Tech grads leave practicing engineering to teach. That is the beauty of an engineering degree. Friends and acquaintances have had huge success in management, sales, engineering, teaching,research, etc. Why? Because engineers are taught to be problem solvers, not empty suits. They know how to research, define, throw away stuff that does not matter, etc. to get to the best decision and guidance. Also job happiness has something to do with it….giving back to the community!

Mountain Man

December 5th, 2012
10:15 am

“How much is an illiterate GA Tech football players basketweaving degree worth?”

Depends if they are playing in the NFL or not.

GT 73

December 5th, 2012
10:25 am

Graduating from Ga Tech was the hardest thing I have ever done. The competition was very strong in each class. I crammed 4 years into 6. My friends who went to Ga, Ga Southern, etc., did not have such a struggle. Because of it, I have in my character, the perserverance to succeed in most anything. Success is not money. People can make money in most every profession, but I count just graduating from Ga Tech a great life accomplishment that has paid off in many ways.

bj

December 5th, 2012
10:43 am

Don’t see what football has to do with this, but since it was brought up, GT has the highest SAT scores among football players at any BCS school. Blocking and tackling are a slightly different matter.

William Casey

December 5th, 2012
10:44 am

One of the reasons that engineering is a difficult degree to obtain and graduates are well paid is that an engineer must get it RIGHT the FIRST time and EVERY time. There is hell to pay when they don’t.

AlreadySheared

December 5th, 2012
11:04 am

@RJ,
It’s a question of options. Can you work as an engineer for a while and then decide later in life that you want to teach instead? Yes, with some additional training you can.

Teach until you hit 40 or 50 and decide you’d rather be a mechanical engineer/petroleum engineer / software engineer? Ehhh…., I guess it happens some, but not so much that I see.

Tom

December 5th, 2012
11:35 am

Sounds like SCAD grads need to be more selective in selecting for which employers to wait/bus tables.

Really amazed

December 5th, 2012
11:40 am

GA Tech’s early action decisions come out on Dec. 15th!!

Private Citizen

December 5th, 2012
11:42 am

Peter, Due to the cost of tuition at SCAD combined with little to no in-school grants for undergraduate students, I wonder if it is more appropriate to view it as a place that trains people who go on to make corporate marketing and presentations, or work in a particular sector of animation. You know, the folks that brought us that cinema gem “Bridge to Terabithia” and other innovations, like the talking animals seen in television commercials. I am generalising, but due to the cost realities, there must certainly be attention to industrial arts, also known as marketing, and then maybe there is some room for the very few with a big checkbook. I think there is legitimate concern for populist students without an industrial agenda who go to SCAD wanting to study “art” and leaving with $100k personal debt. Traditional private universities with endowments, I think they exercise some kind of stop gap on graduating undergrads with what can only be described as a phenomenal amount of debt.

Private Citizen

December 5th, 2012
11:47 am

Road Scholar, There’s an article somewhere stating that the highest earning U. S. executives have engineering degrees, not business / management degrees. It was like half of the highest earning executives, directors of successful companies.

Private Citizen

December 5th, 2012
11:56 am

“Art” for a SCAD graduate may mean being a computer animation person that is part of a team making “Lord of the Rings.” Just about all of the full-production feature fiction / action movies now are made with the actors acting in front of green screen. The rest is constructed using computer animation. Someone has to do it. I’m not sure I’d call it art. These folk from Finland did a pretty good job making their own movie. They have zero education debt and have never made a student loan payment, much less that payment being their new best friend, always close like the family dog, for thirty years. The Finns made the same movie about 4 times, beginning with drawings, and then on to 8-bit computing. The movie sort of grew up with the advent of computing. It is an impressive thing they have done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc_rmQBg7Ko

Private Citizen

December 5th, 2012
11:58 am

Private Citizen

December 5th, 2012
12:06 pm

Those Finns are quick. This is their earlier work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPglc3z6r_A

Private Citizen

December 5th, 2012
12:20 pm

I used to play ping pong at Georgia Tech when I was 7-8 years old. At age 10, I was using their mainframe computing and loading programs from punch card reader, from a summer workshop class I took that used a telephone modem for remote but you have to go to the campus to use the punch card machines. I guess I have a lot to be thankful for. It was a good experience. Thank you, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Chester

December 5th, 2012
12:31 pm

“The biggest payback in Georgia comes from a Georgia Tech undergrad degree, which has a better return on lifetime investment rate than degrees from Brown, Yale, Amherst, Georgetown, UVA, Vanderbilt, Williams or Emory.”

There’s a catch to the study. From PayScale: “Only employees who possess a bachelor’s degree and no higher degrees are included. This means bachelor’s degree graduates who go on to earn a master’s degree, M.B.A., M.D., J.D., Ph.D., or other advanced degree are not included.”

Many graduates of Brown, Yale, Amherst, etc. go on to earn professional degrees from vaunted T14 law and M7 business schools. A 25-year-old Biglaw associate makes almost twice as much as a petroleum engineer and three times as much as most other engineers of the same age; a 42-year-old Biglaw partner makes roughly ten times as much as the average 42-year-old engineer.

Double or triple the attorney compensation for the MBAs who go to work on Wall Street.

P.E.

December 5th, 2012
12:33 pm

http://www.businessinsider.com/ceos-majored-in-engineering-2011-3?op=1 is an article which backs up engineering as the No. 1 degree for CEOs at 33% compared to business degree in second at 11% for top 500 companies. That old line about it being okay “because you will work for me one day” holds true for engineering students at Tech. No wonder UGa begged so much to get even a second rate engineering program. By the way, even the No.1 program on TV is about science and engineering nerds and their much to pretty girl friends.

Buzz

December 5th, 2012
2:09 pm

Pride and Joy

First of all, tech doesn’t have petroleum engineering. We do have chemical engineering, which I am studying. A really good chemical engineer can make it into big oil and start out making six figures. But do you know what? I could also go into big pharma, or utilities, or practically every other plant in the world that deals with chemicals in some ways.

So if one day ’solar power engineers’ begin to outearn petroleum engineers, the chemical engineering schools will adapt curriculum to reflect this, and students will go into other lucrative fields. Also, if that were a major engineering field one day, wouldn’t you think that GT would have a degree offering it? So of course GT’s earning power wouldn’t go down. It would probably go up. STEM degrees have made and will continue to make the most money in the future.

This is one of those problem solving examples engineers are taught. But this one wasn’t that hard.

bootney farnsworth

December 5th, 2012
3:05 pm

this is amazing.

a study shows Georgia is one of the best return on investment in the country, and some of you idiots are parsing and quibbling about it?

red meat Fran must be smiling

FinTech

December 5th, 2012
3:44 pm

Maureen – You wrote, “Georgia Tech ranks 17th on the national list for return on investment rate among in-state students.” Isn’t GT is #1 by that measure? Total average earnings after graduation makes GT #17.

I work with many GT grads at a company founded by a couple Tech undergrads (even our General Counsel went to GT). Tech is a great asset to our City and State.

Private Citizen

December 5th, 2012
4:22 pm

bootney, Who is “red meat Fran” and what does your reference mean?

WhiskEClear

December 5th, 2012
4:49 pm

Chester,

In the not too distant past – prior to Payscale’s reporting, Georgia Tech’s GREATEST claim to fame was how well our undergrads did in graduate schools. Tech undergrads have historically out performed other students in Law, Medical, Dental, MBA, and other graduate schools.

It is more than likely correlated to how difficult it is to get a Tech undergrad degree. Tech undergrads have had 4+ years of stiff competition in the class room to get their undergrad degree. Students from many other undergrad programs get their first real taste of academic competition in grad school. Tech students walk into grad school already knowing how to compete for grades.

interesting

December 5th, 2012
7:15 pm

I came out of GT making six figures, but I do not have an engineering degree. While your degree matters, you still have to be able to accomplish things in the real world. Many college grads in general are completely unprepared for the real world and many also have an entitlement mentality. GT is a great school, but it also attracts some inherently successful people.

Paul

December 5th, 2012
7:27 pm

I disagree about Ga Tech over the long term. This is a good school but my experience is that the people who make the most money over their career are the people with the best communication skills that have the ability to get along with other people. Ga tech graduates have poor communications skills and it does affect your earnings long term.

Chester

December 5th, 2012
7:50 pm

“Tech undergrads have historically out performed other students in Law, Medical, Dental, MBA, and other graduate schools.”

Please cite your source.

Here’s a list of the top Biglaw feeder schools: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/06/20/law-blogs-best-big-law-feeder-schools/

Here’s Poets & Quants’ ranking of the top feeder schools for HBS, Wharton, Columbia Business, Booth, and Tuck:

Harvard
Penn
Princeton
Yale
Stanford
Columbia
Duke
Georgetown
Berkeley
Dartmouth
Northwestern
Cornell
Michigan
IIT
UVA
MIT
Brown
NYU
UCLA
USC
Texas
Williams
WashU
Chicago
Vanderbilt
Hopkins

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
2:25 am

Yes, and the United States also has 100x the lawyers per capita of any other country. I studied the DisneyLand Paris business case study about when the park first went bankrupt. When it was built the U. S. lawyers literally had a 5,000 page legal document that they made the French sign. The French said, “Oh no, you’re not going to make us read that?” And they did. And then the park went bankrupt. When I saw it, there were 5 tall empty Disney hotels to go with it. So what did the French do? They curved their pointing finger to the U. S. lawyers and said, “Come here, we’re going to tell you how this is done,” and they restructured everything.

Okay. Here’s the business case study question: Why did Euro-Disney-Paris-whatever initially fail? It failed because they built it too close to a competing attraction – the city of Paris. Who would want to stay in some stupid generic corporate hotel when you’re 40 miles from Paris with good food, opera, and art museums? Plus, the farmers were all angry when they took the land to build the thing.

U.S. lawyers are a blight. Just look at your state Attorneys General office. Do they do anything for you? In Georgia they do not. They consider themselves to be a private law firm for state government. They do no regulation. I heard it from them with my own ears. Maybe the state should subcontract their legal services to the Gates Foundation. Fair is fair.

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
2:28 am

Lenny Bruce said he was certain marijuana would be legalised in the U. S. because all the lawyers he knew smoked pot.

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
2:29 am

We should test the state Attorney General lawyers 8 times a year and see how they like it.

AnonMom

December 6th, 2012
9:52 am

Engineering is really hard — my son (out of state, again, not ga tech and a junior) is working his tail off and is definitely not having “fun” in college — but he is “on track” to have a Mechanical Engineering degree in 4 years and has had 2 wonderful internships in engineering… he’s working very hard and staying afloat, just barely. His freshman engineering class at a top out of state, state school, has reduced in half — 50% “loss” rate — my understanding is that GA Tech has closer to a 70% “loss” rate engineering. The professors in his program are not so proficient in English — this is one of the challenges with the program. The work is hard — you must get it right to continue — the stakes are high — like doctors — if the bridge fails, or plane has a flaw, or ship has a flaw, people can die … so it’s stressful. I’m not sure I really understand why the professors can’t be better English speakers or why everything has to be such a “hard” curve (this is also true at Tech although I don’t know so much about quality of their English… I do know they use a hard curve). There are numerous articles about the lack of STEM majors and grads but the “loss” rate of the majors within the institutions is astounding so there’s something “off” in what is happening once they get there (and most, likely, also in how we’re preparing them but I don’t want to let the institutions off the hook so quickly — they shouldn’t be losing more majors than they graduate). I’m not even sure anyone at a “more global” level is looking at this — I’m in law so it’s not my “bailiwick” — it’s all new to me.

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
10:14 am

Just a note. I seen in one industry as the market was changing and the aesthetics where changing and the whole was sort of losing its soul, there was much emphasis on R.O.I, Return on Investment, especially from the winners who were sweeping up the crumbs. I’ve studied some level of economics and this is something wholly different. It is like when the good is gone, they we focus on “ROI.” No one is worried about R.O.I, during the discovery days, the blooming of the flower, striking oil, etc.

If anyone really cared about R.O.I., they’d close half of the damn prisons in the United States. So I guess the term is a political term involving power and what is the definition of “investment” by those who use the term.

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
10:34 am

Anon mom, congratulations on the work of your son. You bring up an interesting and large topic, the concept of student attrition in university. In undergrade, maybe the best schools feel a responsibility to get the candidate or student through, completed, on their way with the tools they need. I will quickly comment on some different areas of graduate school. To use a term less proper or appealing than your voice in writing, the weed-out in engineering school and medical school seems to be a tradition, to occur in the first two years. Put coal on their head and see who catches on fire and discard these. In U. S. medical schools, there is a culture that they instil in the young developing doctors that they are gods or something. It is a real problem. I was in the hospital one time and a teaching team/students came through and they made quick terse statements about patients and left. I could see what they were doing. Doctors in France and Switzerland are not like this at all, this “super snob” thing that is really rooted in economic exploit. Cuba trains half the doctors for South America and the Cuban doctors are sure not taught to be jerks in regard to the peasants. I have a retired friend who was the in-house tech guy at a hospital and he told it really clearly and said it took about a year for a new regular-person doctor to turn into a super-caste jerk. There is pressure of this kind, it is definitely a culture in U. S. medical and if you look at that we are @ 25% efficiency, spending double and getting back half, it fits, this arrogant defense culture from business doctors who play their part along with insurance, pharmaco, and hospital administration to make sure they are all getting paid. A French, Swiss, or Cuban doctor does not have the psychological need to live in a $1.4 million house and take ski vacations in Aspen and act like George Bush, Sr. so to speak.

U.S. humanites graduate programs tend to be controlled by outside foundations. Repeat and emphasise. Department heads, professors, deans, etc. tend to dictate to their students. Students who do not copy or flatter the department emphasis are redirected away from their own research interests and toward the emphasis or “acceptable areas of dialogue” within a department. If it involves anything political or to do with the levers of power, a student who does not play along will be bullied and eliminated. Do you not think the current U.S. power mono-culture (vulture culture?) happens without co-ordination and making certain there is little resistance from the official academic front? PS Thank god for engineers and best wishes to you and your son.

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
10:45 am

Not even talking about myself, I know this woman, very bright, very sharp, lots of excellent ideas. In her graduate program she was actively directed away from her interest and ended up having to write some fake garbage that she was genuine to her to just to get the paper and complete the program and get away from them. It was either that or get discarded. Now that I think of it, I think of a second person where the only way the could “succeed” was to take something that was the professor’s area of “liking” and then develop and embellish it. The humanities professors who do this to students are really crooks. I told this friend that they should put crime scene tape around the place and draw chalk lines around the bodies. They take people’s original ideas and break them in two. Most people are humiliated and silent about it. But the foreign student can show up and write about “their country or origin” and that’s always a hit and they get lots of help and patting on the head. I’ve seen this with my own eyes. Gatto said in a video that when you confront big power, you get eliminated. That guy surprised me, he’s really like a college professor from Yale or something, even though his awards are for public school teaching. This I did not expect.

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
10:46 am

typo correct: “not genuine to her”

Private Citizen

December 6th, 2012
10:48 am

Redux: U.S. humanities scholarship is controlled and directed.

FinTech

December 6th, 2012
1:41 pm

Paul – your observation about GT grads doesn’t match what every survey says. Tech grads do in fact have higher starting and lifetime earnings. Even the GT Management/Business School is a Top25 business program in the US, along with an even higher ranked MBA. Those grads earn near the top of business school grads nationally as well.

I find that GT tends to be higher regarded outside the state of Georgia than inside by the general public (except the Atlanta Chamber folks who are using Tech as a main asset in getting California companies to relocate to Atlanta).

Maureen – any update on the ROI statement in your article?

SCADgrad

December 6th, 2012
5:10 pm

In SCAD’s defense it’s an expensive school, so even above average earning degrees make it difficult to overcome the difference. But salary is a terrible indicator.

Many people who are professional artists don’t calculate their value and the value of their education based off salary. More indicators need to be used to establish true ROI.

With that said, what you major in means a lot. As a SCAD grad myself I can testify that students who study Architecture, Graphic Design, WebDesign, Animation and VisualEffects on average go on to make very good money. Students who study Jewelry Making, Painting or Sculpture have a more difficult time finding employment and often choose to become self-employed.

Notice that the majors I listed that have the higher ROI fall on the more technical side of art. They require an odd combination of high technical skill and artistic talent and creativity. They are also much more difficult to master than anyone gives them credit for. Most of the engineers I know are brilliant people, but they could never be animators.

ROI for SCAD graduate students is also higher than undergrads.

AnonMom

December 7th, 2012
7:52 am

Thanks Private Citizen…. I know a lot of divorce lawyers — doctors get divorced a lot
(along with pilots…) — something about these professions tend to “create” or “draw” personalities that have problems with marriage — I think it “dovetails” in with the “psychosis” of the “weeding out” process that is used in education to get there in the first place (compare to say Brittain where this headed to med school begin their training at the end of middle school and are just done by age 21 or 22 — due to their tracking system — vs. ours where the doctors need to constantly be the top of the top and then get top MCAT scores, rec letters, go through applications, spend $250k to $500k to get their degrees and then experience life training as a resident and fellow for others with the attitudes described — it breeds that personality and is hard for a doc to resists — I know this first hand because I saw the personality type in law school which has the same “weeding out” process at work — we were also graded on a hard curve and went to work for partners who could be “difficult”…. I don’t think it’s good for society (although you do need for these professionals to be very good at what they do… I do wonder if we are headed in a direction where we are seeing the stage for kids to not want to enter the medical profession because the ultimate “reward” being offered up isn’t worth the “cost” of entry at this point… the kids who make it through this have to be very smart — they understand all of this….).

Old Physics Teacher

December 7th, 2012
12:25 pm

Sigh, why do I bother. There is one reason, and one reason only, why the engineering degrees pay more. THE DEGREE IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE. The individual MUST be able to do math IN THEIR HEADS, visualize 3 dimensional images IN THEIR HEADS, and make CORRECT DIFFICULT DECISIONS IN THEIR HEADS. These guys are SMART! They also have the hot-skills. Every technical job that is difficult requires competent workers who are SMART. Not every smart person is interested in those jobs, so even fewer people are available to fill the slots. That drives the pay up even higher. If everybody could do it, the job would pay minimum wage.

The chance that a banker, who got his job because of “family connections,” and has ‘earned’ his/her job because of political consideration will produce a petroleum engineer approaches zero. The math teacher who graduated from Georgia Tech and is despised because her students can barely add and subtract with a calculator is probably the parent of the soon-to-be petroleum engineer. Darn folks! Get a clue!