As I continue thinking about the whole Yong Zhao discussion, Mercer Island resident Keith Pleas sent me a pointer to an interesting study mentioned on the Economist blog, (which in turn came from my favorite, Freakonomics blog). Apparently your college major has little impact on lifelong earnings after you control for all the other influences like family background, differences in hours worked, and SAT scores. So, go ahead, major in philosophy!
This doesn't surprise me. Motivated, ambitious people tend to be successful no matter what.
Sometimes we don't have a choice in what we study, as I'm reminded by in this quote from John Adams:
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Check out Glassdoor.com to see how your own salary compares and see if you agree.