A College Major Matters Even More in a Recession

A College Major Matters Even More in a Recession


Graduating into a recession is unlucky. The bad luck haunts young people for years, studies have shown, affecting their salaries, employment prospects and even their health and happiness.

But recessions don’t treat all college graduates equally. Those who major in subjects that command higher salaries, like engineering and finance, increase their earnings advantage when they graduate into a recession. And those who major in subjects that lead to lower-paying jobs, like philosophy and music, are even more disadvantaged than in normal economic times.

The data, reported in a new, unpublished study by three Yale economists, shows that a college degree is even more important during a recession. And it demonstrates that during tough economic times, the pay gap widens between people in scientific and business professions and those in the arts and social sciences…read more

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