A lot of American college graduates have regrets about their major. According to a Federal Reserve Survey, nearly 2 out of 5 would now choose a different field of study if given the chance. Not to mention, regret is higher among liberal arts majors. Nearly half of those who graduated with majors in humanities, arts, and social/behavior studies regretted their decision.
Meanwhile, those who majored in STEM showed more satisfaction in their area of study, with engineering coming out on top! As an organization that constantly strives to inspire and shape the next generation of engineers, we at NJSPE were naturally ecstatic about this. Let’s break down a few factors that contribute to this satisfaction in engineering (and if you’re college-bound, why you should choose engineering as your major!)
We’ve seen time and time again that STEM majors are more likely to earn more in their careers, compared to the humanities. In this article by Washington Post, you’ll find that Engineers show some of the highest salaries, with the following areas of study all in the top 10 of earnings by college major:
Now, money can be a deciding factor when considering any major. Let’s explore a few other reasons that might lead to engineers regretting their major less.
Engineering is an exciting field that can provide graduates with a whole world of opportunities. It’s a great field that offers different pursuits you can follow based on any personal or career interests that you feel passionate about. In addition to some of the top earners in the field, some common engineering majors might include:
When it really comes down to it, engineering can apply to virtually any field, because wherever there are problems, someone is needed to engineer a solution!
STEM fields have been on the up and up for the past ten years, all the while many humanities fields are caught in a downward spiral. The number of graduates in engineering has increased over 50% since 2011. There are a couple reasons for this. Firstly, many young professionals sought more secure career prospects in the wake of the financial crisis. The nationwide pro-STEM campaign over the past several years undoubtedly factors in, especially as the humanities and arts come under fire for being low earning, ‘worthless’ degrees.
Job security is another factor that contributes to American graduates regretting their major. It’s helpful to know that in the case of engineering, career opportunities within the industry are projected to grow in coming years. According to an article by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there should be over 139,000 new engineering jobs created by 2026 (compared with 2016).
What do you love about being a professional engineer? Do you ever wish you’d done something differently? Let us know your thoughts! NJSPE prides itself on promoting, serving, and representing New Jersey’s engineering professionals for the public’s benefit. Stay connected year-round as a member of NSPE – join today!