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Motley Fool Column Notes W&L Liberal Arts Grads' Earnings Potential

The Motley Fool, the nationally syndicated personal finance column and website, gives Washington and Lee alumni as an example of liberal arts graduates who earn as much as science, technology, engineering and math graduates by mid-career.

New research quoted in the column’s Oct. 12, 2014, edition says that “even though liberal arts majors take a beating in the job market for the first few years following graduation, they catch up salary-wise with their science and technology brethren by mid-career — sometimes leaving the latter group in the dust.”

The Motley Fool notes that while graduates of the California Institute of Technology recently earned a median starting salary $24,800 higher than W&L’s, Washington and Lee’s grads have nearly caught up by mid-career, earning $124,300 to Caltech’s $126,200, Carnegie Mellon’s $112,000 and MIT’s $128,000.

The column also noted a report issued by the Association of American Colleges and Universities that the average liberal arts major earns around $2,000 a year more than other graduates when they reach the 56-60 age group. The full column can be read on the Motley Fool’s website.