Choose Your Major Wisely

We know it’s important to find your bliss. But we also want UC Davis alumni to be able to pay your bills. College is a great time to explore different subjects and find the professional niche that will give you maximum personal satisfaction. But before you settle on a major, it pays to do some research and find out what kind of salary expectations you’ll be looking at once you graduate (assuming you can even find a job in that field). recently posted a list of majors and average salaries in those fields. Prepare to be enlightened.

It will come as no surprise that fields like sociology and religious studies are low paying, but education, nutrition and psychology made the list, too. A daycare worker averages $26,000 a year. You simply can’t live on that. Even salaries in the $50k range that may seem generous will get eaten up quickly, especially if you get a job without full benefits.

It will really pay off if you do a little pre-planning now. Figure out what kind of area you want to live in. You don’t have to be specific, but do differentiate between the costs of life in L.A. versus Tracy. Do your research and line-item everything you touch during a month: taxes, rent, electricity, high-speed, cell, groceries, entertainment, TV, car payment and car insurance (or the cost of public transport), health/dental/vision insurance, school loan repayment, emergency nest egg payment, retirement payment, fun money. It adds up, huh? How much does it come to? Can you afford to live on that? If not, would you rather minimize your lifestyle or work in another field? These are decisions that it’s better to make now while you still in school and have major maneuvering room.

We want all UC Davis students to be happy and fulfilled. We just don’t want you to toss and turn at night wondering how you’re going to pay for the antibiotics to stifle your infection or the new bumper that you need that your high deductible won’t cover.

Be happy and be smart.


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