Which College Major is the Most Foolish

We all know which majors attract the smartest students.  Those selecting the hard sciences are pretty clever while Elementary Ed majors are as dumb as a sack of hammers.  The question that excites me is somewhat different.

Given the abilities of the students selecting the major and the expected payoff for earning that degree, which students are making the wisest decisions?  The most foolish?

I understand that there are non-monetary considerations--theology students wanting to be closer to God and El Ed majors wanting to be closer to their intellectual equals--but given the wealth of resources available at your local library, college is not worth bothering with unless a degree will get you cash money.

To answer this question, I used two sources of data: Steve Sailers estimation of IQ by GRE score and PayScale.com's list of median salaries by major.  The IQ estimations ranged from 103 to 133 and the median salaries from $41,600 to $109,000.  I simply subtracted the lowest score from both sets of numbers to give me a rouch estimation of dollars per IQ point.  I compare this to an expected value of $2,246.67 per IQ point.  This method works well because Social Work majors are both the dumbest and the lowest paid. 

If you have a better methodology (and you probably do), don't tell me about it.  Just run the numbers and post the results.  I'll link you from here.

Unsuprisingly, Accountants are the wisest and Fine Arts the most foolish. Philosophy majors came off suprisingly well here.

Here's the raw numbers for you:

MajorVerbalQuantSumIQMedian SalaryIQ Predicted SalaryDifference
Accounting408585993110$77,600 57326.66667$20,273
Business admin & mgmt. (Business
438561999111$73,000 59573.33333$13,427
Health & medical sciences (Health
447552999111$69,600 59573.33333$10,027
Chemical Engineering
7261211128$107,000 97766.66667$9,233
Communications4705331003111$68,400 59573.33333$8,827
Electrical Eng4597261185126$102,000 93273.33333$8,727
Computer & Infor Sci (Computer Science)4667011167124$97,400 88780$8,620
Industrial Engineering4407071147123$95,000 86533.33333$8,467
Business admin & mgmt. (Business
4425921034114$73,000 66313.33333$6,687
Public Administration (Health Care
453515968109$61,000 55080$5,920
Mechanical Engineering4697241193126$98,300 93273.33333$5,027
Civil Engineering4577001157124$93,000 88780$4,220
Economics5037061209128$101,000 97766.66667$3,233
Architecture4756101085118$78,300 75300$3,000
Earth, Atmos & Mar. Sci (Geology)4956361131121$84,200 82040$2,160
Engineering (Environmental Engineering)4687191187126$94,500 93273.33333$1,227
Other business (Hotel Business Management)4445991043114$66,400 66313.33333$87
Social Work428466894103$41,600 41600$0
Banking & finance4677111178125$89,400 91026.66667($1,627)
Materials Engineering4947271221129$98,300 100013.3333($1,713)
Agriculture4585921050115$66,700 68560($1,860)
Life Sciences (Forestry)4625811043114$64,200 66313.33333($2,113)
Political Science5245881112120$77,300 79793.33333($2,493)
Psychology4725451017113$61,000 64066.66667($3,067)
Education449534983110$54,100 57326.66667($3,227)
Chemistry4866801166124$82,300 88780($6,480)
History5425571099119$70,000 77546.66667($7,547)
Sociology4885451033114$57,900 66313.33333($8,413)
Mathematical Sciences (Mathematics)5027331235130$93,600 102260($8,660)
Arts-Performance & studio (Drama)4885531041114$56,600 66313.33333($9,713)
Physics & astronomy (Physics)533736126913398800109000($10,200)
Biological Sciences (Biology)4916311122121$71,800 82040($10,240)
Elementary442526968108$42,400 52833.33333($10,433)
English language & lit (English)5605531113120$66,900 79793.33333($12,893)
Anthropology & Archeology
5335691102119$63,200 77546.66667($14,347)
Arts-History, theory, crit5395721111120$62,400 79793.33333($17,393)
Philosophy5906381228129$76,700 100013.3333($23,313)
Religion & Theory (Religious Studies5415891130121$57,500 82040($24,540)
Foreign languages & lit (Spanish)5315741105119$52,600 77546.66667($24,947)
Other Humanities & Art (Fine Arts)5635991162124$56,30088780($32,480)


Course Correction said...

Do the parentheses indicate negative amounts of income?

 Incognomen said...

Yes, the numbers in parentheses represent dollars lost by the poor choice of major.