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Which Major Will Pay You the Best?

For many students in Electrical and Computer Engineering major,there seems to be some sort of envy toward some other thingslike physics and material, at least here in UNIST. Here it is, you who major in ECE, the actual datathat “shows” that the future is brighter for us!


The graph above compares the wage distributions among different occupations (data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, see below). The wages shown in the legend (on the right) are on an hourly basis. So the red segments represent the highest level of wage in this chart whereas light green represent the lowest level of wage. As can be seen, in the case of managers (e.g., CEO) and lawyers, more than 30% of them are very well paid. On the other hand, Food Preparation and Serving Related occupation (e.g., waiters and waitresses) has the large portion of the lowest paying jobs.

Then how is the prospect for our ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) graduates? As you can see, from the chart above, Computer Scientists/Engineers and Engineers in general belong to the top paying occupations. More than 10% of the CS graduates enjoy the highest level of wages, which is on the same level as Healthcare Practitioners and Technical (e.g., medical doctors and paramedics).  Moreover, in those three Engineering/Science related occupations (the three occupations in red boxes in the chart) low paying jobs are much rarer than in other occupations. So the average income of those in the three Engineering/Science occupations will substantially higher than others.

Lastly, I would like to emphasize that those majoring in CSE have a much better outlook even compared to those majoring in general engineering or some life/physical/social sciences. In fact, Computer and Information System Scientists/Engineers are frequently cited as the highest paying positions across all occupations. Now you have good reasons to take pride in your choice if you have chosen CSE. 🙂

The original data and more detailed statistics can be found in here: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/distribution_table.htm (of May 2010), and http://www.bls.gov/oes/.

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