While college degrees allegedly pay off for graduates, the picture isn't as rosy for those in education, counseling and the arts.
Paradoxically, the drumbeat for a better educated workforce in the US to increase our prosperity will be undertaken by those who get the least compensation for their own better education.
Researchers at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce found that lifetime earnings for college graduates are higher than for non-graduates, and workers with degrees in science, technology or engineering earn the most.
"The most lucrative major is petroleum engineer, but any major that has a strong mathematical basis has very high earnings out of college and long-term earnings that are really stellar," said Anthony Carnevale, a co-author of the study.
The lowest paying degrees are those in education, counseling and the arts and liberal arts come somewhere in the middle.
"You can do pretty well with a liberal arts degree, and many end up going to graduate school," he said.
In 1973, only 28 percent of jobs required a college degree but by 2018 the number is expected to rise to 63 percent, according to the study.