Engineering Tops List of Best Return on Investment | This Week in Admission News

15 DEC 2022

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, US News & World Report released a list of 34 college degrees with the highest return on investment (ROI). Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!

Engineering Tops List of Degrees with the Highest Return on Investment (ROI)

Getting a job upon graduation is one of the most important aspects of university life. And as university fees and student loan debt continue to rise, it is more important than ever to have a bankable degree. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce released a list of 34 degrees with the highest returns on investment, US News & World Report has reported. And Engineering tops the list, with median monthly earnings of $6,000, or $72,200 per year, after debt payments. 

“STEM careers continue to offer highly competitive salaries in the job market," Jackson Gruver, a data analyst at online salary database Payscale, wrote in an email. "These 'hot' jobs rely on specialized skill sets that are hard to come by. Such talent scarcity drives up the demand for these workers along with their pay. Whether it’s engineering, medical or data sciences – these laborers will see an abundance of opportunities in the job market that compensate well." For example, engineering technologies/technicians ranks fourth, with median earnings of $5,100 per month or $61,800 per year, after median monthly debt payments.

The area seeing the most growth, however, is the health-care field. Health professions and related clinical sciences ranks third on the CEW's list with median monthly earnings of $5,200 and median monthly debt of $230. Median annual pay net of debt is $61,900 with a median debt of $22,400. Overall employment in health-care occupations is projected to grow 13% from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is much faster than the average for other professions and is expected to result in about two million new jobs over the decade.

"Health-care practitioners tend to have some of the lowest unemployment rates, and wages for these occupations are very competitive," Gruver says. "Those with specialized skills in this field, such as anesthesia or advanced nursing certificates, will find further job security, high pay and pay increases."

Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians rank second with median earnings of $5,200 per month. Along with engineering technologies ranking fourth for ROI, computer and information sciences and support services ranks eighth, with median earnings of $4,400 per month, or $52,600 per year, after median monthly debt payments of $410. Transportation and Materials Moving rounds out the top 5 with median earnings of $4,900.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. Times Higher Education reports that the UK’s education secretary, Gillian Keegan, has pledged to work with universities to “expand and grow’' international student numbers. The announcement comes as a response to recent speculations that the government is planning to place new visa limits (and therefore limit international student visas). Keegan said international students are a “huge economic contributor to the areas around a university but also to the country”.
  2. The Common App has released research on application trends among its institutions, with a 12% increase in those that join the platform, Higher Ed Dive has reported. High-volume applicants are driving some of this rise. The average applicant submitted 6.22 applications in the 2021-22 admissions cycle, Common App found. That number has climbed steadily over the years from 4.63 in 2013-14. But students sending large numbers of applications is still far from the norm. More than half of applicants sent materials to five or fewer Common App members.
  3. Average enrollment at for-profit schools baccalaureate colleges in the United States increased from 2015 to 2020, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Enrollment at public institutions took a slight dip in 2018, but then quickly increased to top the list by 2020. Meanwhile, enrollment at private colleges held steady throughout the period. Classifications are from the 2018 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, a project of Indiana University’s Center for Postsecondary Research.
  4. UPenn will not ask for a deposit starting with students enrolling in fall 2023, Higher Ed Dive has reported. Instead of fronting a $400 deposit, students will not pay anything toward tuition until their first-term bill arrives. Students also will not pay housing deposits. The move is meant to decrease the financial stress on certain students who may need this deposit waived despite gaining admission to the institution.
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