In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how college majors and occupations interact to produce a wide range of labor market outcomes. Different career paths and the associated earnings differences for students with the same college major are pervasive and important for understanding both the benefits of college majors and of college itself.
In this set of eight facts, the Hamilton Project offers evidence of the economic value of a postsecondary education. These facts document who is enrolling in and completing – or dropping out of – postsecondary programs and how this has changed over time. While there continues to be a sizeable earnings premium for postsecondary degree holders, these facts also describe the distribution of debt and default among student borrowers.