Research in Higher Education

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 383–405

The Earnings Benefits of Majoring in STEM Fields Among High Achieving Minority Students


DOI: 10.1007/s11162-011-9238-z

Cite this article as:
Melguizo, T. & Wolniak, G.C. Res High Educ (2012) 53: 383. doi:10.1007/s11162-011-9238-z


The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of the association between major field of study in college and early career earnings among a sample of academically accomplished minority students. Results demonstrate the economic benefits minority students experience from majoring in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math field during college, and highlight the importance of gaining employment in a closely related field in order to secure those benefits. The results also illustrate the need to carefully account for self-selection when estimating the earnings premiums in relation to educational experiences during college. Implications for policy and research are discussed.


EarningsCollege majorsSTEMJob congruence

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rossier School of EducationUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Education and Child DevelopmentNORC at the University of ChicagoChicagoUSA