What is the ROI of your college degree?

Chris Kahn
June 10, 2013

College Finance What Is The ROI Of Your College Degree?

Undergraduate tuition, possible graduate degrees, and room and board all add up -- especially for students taking out loans. But which degree and which jobs really pay off? See how long it would take students to pay off their student loans if they chose careers based off their degrees.

What is the ROI of your college degree?

Occupation Minimum required years in college, graduate school and professional programs Cost of degree (tuition, fees, room, board) Median pay Annual repayment (if 10 percent of salary goes to repaying school loans) Years needed to repay education investment (assuming 6 percent student loan interest)
Advertising, marketing, promotions 4 $52,596 $107,950 $10,795 5.83
Economist 4 $52,596 $91,860 $9,186 7.08
Civil engineer 4 $52,596 $79,340 $7,934 8.50
Political scientist 6 $68,010 $102,000 $10,200 8.58
Pharmacist 7 $92,421 $116,670 $11,667 10.83
Microbiologist 4 $52,596 $66,260 $6,626 10.83
Physician: family or general practicioner 8 $136,861 $172,020 $17,202 10.92
Accountant 4 $52,596 $63,550 $6,355 11.50
Market research analyst 4 $52,596 $60,300 $6,030 12.42
Lawyer 7 $103,677 $113,530 $11,353 13.33
Dentist 8 $139,298 $149,310 $14,931 13.75
Political science teacher: post-secondary 6 $68,010 $72,170 $7,217 14.00
Public relations specialist 4 $52,596 $54,170 $5,417 14.67
English language/literature teacher: post-secondary 6 $68,010 $60,040 $6,004 19.08
Zoologist, wildlife biologist 6 $68,010 $57,710 $5,771 20.58
Librarian 6 $68,010 $57,370 55,370 22.33
Teacher (full-time) 4 $52,596 $43,400 $4,340 21.75
Veterinarian 8 $114,268 $84,460 $8,446 27.92
News analyst, reporter, correspondent 4 $52,596 $37,090 $3,709 31.83
Marriage and family therapist 6 $68,010 $46,670 $4,667 34.67

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, FinAid.org.

View 8 high-paying, nontraditional degrees
View 8 high-paying, nontraditional degrees

We used the most recent education cost data from the National Center for Education Statistics and occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Costs for undergraduate degrees are based off the tuition, fees, and room and board of a four-year, in-state, public school with no scholarships. Graduate degree costs are based off of NCES data regarding tuition and fees for the specific area of study. Calculations were figured using an average loan interest payment of 6 percent. These numbers will vary based on the individual and are to be used solely as an informational tool.

If you would like more on how long it will take to pay off your student loan based on your salary, check out Bankrate's student loan calculators.



More From Bankrate.com