Your Major's ROI from Discover


Golden Key International Honour Society, founded on 29 November 1977, is an academic honor society which recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence among college and university students from all academic disciplines.



What’s the ROI of your College Major?

It May Surprise You

Choosing a college major may be one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make during your college career. Not only is it important to choose a major based on your interests, it is important to keep in mind the cost of the degree as well as how much careers in that field pay. The fact is, for most careers, it will take you more than a year’s worth of your starting salary to be able to cover the cost of your education.
We took a look at the most popular college majors chosen by students at private colleges and their possible career paths to better understand what their return on investment (ROI) looks like.
Discover ROI 1Discover ROI 2
This chart provides averages intended for use as an illustrative guide for students who are interested in learning about their likely financial return from attending college. Careers listed may not reflect occupations that offer the fastest growth or largest opportunities. The average cost of degree reflects national averages for a four-year private school and only includes tuition and fees; it does not reflect the total cost of an education with student loans. Average starting salary is based on full-time employment upon graduation and the years to break even don’t take into account raises in salary or bonuses. The years to break even is the number of earning years required to cover cost of degree. At break-even, your ROI equals 0%. Actual results will vary.

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Sources: CNN Ten Most Popular Majors and What they Pay, Pay Scale, The College Board,, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

About Golden Key

Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.