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Upasana Gupta -

2012's Top 10 ROI Colleges

College Major is Crucial for Higher Pay

Payscale.com has recently published it's annual 2012 ranking of 850 colleges based on what students' pay to attend college versus what they get back in lifetime earnings.

The top ten colleges on Payscale’s list include:  Harvey Mudd College, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Princeton University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania and Notre Dame University. The same set of private educational institutions made to the top-ten list last year, with slightly altered ranking position.

What's interesting from the 2011-2012 college ranking is that engineering, research and liberal arts appear to be the most lucrative areas to pursue at a bachelor degree level, with the highest net 30 year return on investment (ROI). This only highlights the fact that selecting a college major is one of the key factors affecting an individual's personal ROI.  It is therefore, crucial for students to wisely select a major in order to get a decent job and pay.  (View our list of over 500 college majors).

For example, if a student selects a major in zoology vs. another who chooses to specialize in computer engineering. Most likely the zoology major student will earn a lot less over the next thirty years as compared to the engineer.

Another, factor affecting the personal ROI, which directly ties in with college majors is the location of jobs. The likelihood of  engineering jobs  being available in high-tech urban cities like Silicon Valley or New York City is higher, as compared to zoologist jobs availability in North Carolina or Texas.  An engineer's job in Silicon Valley will obviously pay more than a zoologist's job located in North Carolina.

A bachelor’s degree is important for students' to get placed in decent careers, but the money one makes after college is directly tied to the major one takes.

(Explore careers by selecting videos for over 600 career paths.)