Degree may not equal big bucks

Having a college degree does not guarantee a six-figure job. Professors and career specialists at FAMU make it no secret that some majors may not bring in major money.

Among the diverse fields that students choose as careers, education is one that does not guarantee a large profit, according to Arnett Moore, assistant director of the FAMU Career Center.

“The first field that comes to mind is education,” said Moore. “An education degree at the bachelor level will not be very lucrative.”

Porsha Lockhart, 20, a sophomore elementary education student from Atlanta, agrees that having an education degree may not be extremely profitable, but believes she will do just fine once she does become a teacher.

“I think that I would be very stable on a teacher’s salary, especially being that I probably will be living on my own immediately after graduating,” Lockhart said. “Once I start a family I believe that a teacher’s base salary would cause problems.”

According to Moore, about 70 percent of students that he interacts with want to reap their full financial benefits after they graduate from college.

Knowing this, students tend to stay away from fields like retail/store management, English, history and psychology because they might not quickly produce the income they desire.

Moore said that those who do continue with such majors usually fall into three categories.

“They either continue onto graduate school, become a teacher in their respective field or pursue another career completely,” Moore said.

One major that students might try to pursue is engineering. According to Captain Winston Scott, a former NASA astronaut, engineering can be very advantageous, but students stay away because of the difficulty.

“Engineering is not easy, it’s a difficult major,” Scott said. “Students have to deal with classes and very long lab hours.”

Though the long lab hours may deter some students, the possible $50,000 salary after graduating may be enough to draw them in.

“The field pays well because engineers design the cars on the road, planes and space shuttles,” Scott said. “There is a shortage of engineers and technology minded workers nationwide, and everyone knows that technology drives America.”

Another well-known moneymaking major is business. Some students with less profitable majors have found that having a business minor can be very beneficial.

“I’m an English student, and I love being one, but I’m not going to get the money I want with an English degree,” said Devin Richardson, 21, a senior English student and business minor from Miami. “I have already been led toward some pretty promising jobs simply because of the few skills I have when it comes to business.”

Moore said he is not surprised that students have taken certain skills and used them to make better opportunities for themselves.

“The main thing is that a student must be willing to develop and sell certain skills to prospective employers,” Moore said. “If a student can convince an employer that they are organized, computer literate, personable and display some initiative, I believe that a college grad can work efficiently outside of their respective major.”

Antione Davis can be reached