Hundreds of thousands of California college students will graduate this month, many hoping their degree translates into a well-paying job.
They have reason to be optimistic: Earnings for college graduates age 35 and younger in any discipline tend to be much higher than earnings for those in the same age group without a college degree.
But some degrees lead to well-paying jobs faster than others. Using census data, The Bee looked at the percentage of Californians age 35 and under with college degrees who reported earning at least $50,000 a year.
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About half of college graduates in that age group earned at least that much, but the proportion of high earners varied sharply by type of degree. Engineers and computer science majors were most likely to land high-paying jobs fast. Philosophy and recreation majors were the least likely to earn north of $50,000 – but still much more likely to earn that much than peers without a college degree.
Notes: Analysis excludes those still attending school or who are not employed. Shown is undergraduate degree, even if student went on to get a graduate degree. Census figures taken from 2012-2015 American Community Survey. Attending college is often about more than just making money. Students who major in social work or education do so for valuable reasons other than becoming rich.