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Salary and debt from college majors revealed in new Texas tool

April 12, 2018
By: Ellen Marrison

May 1 marks the deadline to choose a school for students considering their college options. A new tool developed by the University of Texas system and the U.S. Census Bureau can give a real sense of what students graduating from that system can expect to earn as well as the average debt graduates carry. The tool, seekUT, reveals the average earnings from each of the majors at the different schools and branch campuses one, five and 10 years after graduation. Where there is sufficient data, the tool shows results for both in-state and national jobs.

For instance, perhaps you are curious about an engineering degree. The seekUT tool shows that graduates of UT Austin who majored in chemical engineering are earning a national median salary of $89,893 in their first year, rising to $123,591 in the 10th year. Graduates with that same degree working within the state of Texas are earning a median first-year salary of $79,504 (increasing to $128,865 in year 10). The median loan amount for the chemical engineering UT grads is $24,748.

The Census Bureau notes that economic considerations drive a number of college decisions and “given the resources required to attend college, students want to know whether programs are likely to have a sufficient return to justify their expense.”

The pilot release data currently is available only for the Texas system, but Colorado’s public universities and others are in line to partner with the Census Bureau on future data sets. The Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) are experimental tabulations developed by the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program at the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau noted that the statistics were generated by matching university transcript data with a national database of jobs, using state-of-the-art confidentiality protection mechanisms to protect the underlying data.

Texashigher ed