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Biology is the 'Most Useful' Graduate degree, according to Business Insider
Biology is the "most useful" Graduate degree, according to American website Business Insider, which ranked the field atop its Top 10 areas of study, beating out No. 2 Chemistry and No. 3 Elementary Education.
(*Keep in mind, of course, the rankings are based on statistics in the United States, although they could translate to Canadian students, because prospective university graduates are always looking for any bit of insight that could help them funnel down a career choice or even just a degree choice, especially if any students are considering a move to the States or a move abroad.)
Biology, Chemistry and Elementary Education were joined by General Science, Special Needs Education, International Relations, Area Ethnic and Civilization Studies, General Engineering, History, and Philosophy and Religious Studies, which placed fourth to 10th, respectively.
Business Insider's list wasn't devised by typical course-ranking standards, however.
Instead of listing the best Graduate degrees based on overall job placement, overall salary, and overall future (the typical way), BI ranked the degrees based on how much more a Graduate degree would earn a student than a regular college degree would.
So, Biology placed first, because a Graduate degree student's earnings average $90,000 per year (USD), while a college graduate working in the field averages $57,000 (again, in American currency).
That means a Graduate degree in Bio could rake in an average of $33,000 more than an undergraduate degree or another type of degree could.
Take Elementary Education, which was ranked the third-highest Graduate degree with a healthy discrepancy of $14,000 and an unemployment rate of only 1.4 per cent.
However, a Graduate degree in Elementary Education nets an average of $55,000 per year (USD). Meanwhile, a Graduate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration was rated the second-most "useless" Graduate degree, with an average Graduate salary of $110,000 (only a $2,000 discrepancy over other options) and an unemployment rate of 2.9 per cent.
Still... it's an interesting list, and certainly one to consider if you're in the market for another gold-rimmed piece of paper.