college student graduatingCollege-bound students who are still undecided on a major may want to consider an eye-opening new report before locking into one. Using stats from the online salary information company PayScale, the folks at looked at a wide range of college majors and determined how much house graduates will be able to afford when it comes time to buy.

According to PayScale, workers with bachelor’s degrees earn a median salary of $77,006 in the middle of their career — meaning they can afford a house costing up to $341,000. That’s about 60% more than a high school graduate.

Petroleum engineering majors earned the top spot on the housing affordability scale. With a mid-career salary of $168,000, these grads can afford to buy homes in the $700,000 range – which is three times the national median list price. Most other engineering majors rank high as well.

Bringing up the rear — liberal arts and education majors. Early-childhood education majors typically earn a mid-career salary of $38,000 — which, if you go by the numbers, means they may not be able to afford a house in the national median price range of around $179,000. Fortunately for education and liberal arts majors, as well as anyone on a tight housing budget, there are still homeownership options available. Low money down mortgages, zero down mortgages, foreclosured properties and home buying programs specifically designed to give teachers a discount, are just a few affordable home buying resources to consider.

Besides, these numbers don’t factor in geographic influences. Teaching jobs are plentiful all over the US, but engineering positions are concentrated in select technology hubs where the growing economy has driven housing prices through the roof.

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