College degrees compared: The highest earning, to most satisfying to the ones not recommended at all.

Medical Degrees:

Remember those people who say ‘The things I study is useless; I never use it in real life’ Good news for them. Medical field is among those few areas where you practice exactly the things you studied.

Overall my highest ranking goes to medical degrees. The reasons are many. It is among the highest paying and most satisfying degrees of all. In Maldives you will make about 30,000 to 50,000 a month. Job satisfaction is highest among all the jobs even though it can be stressful at times. The demand for this field is always on the rise. There is always skill shortage in this are.

Other than working at a hospital, there are business opportunities like running a lab, doing research and development and advisory etc. Career wise this is the best area. You can either become the best specialist in brain surgery or any field or run a hospital/pharmacy/lab etc.

Engineering degrees:

Engineering has a bad perception in Maldivian society. When you say engineer, they think of a guy whose hand filled with black grease and wearing a boiler suit. It may take time to change that perception.

Engineering can be considered as the rich people’s degree. Over 90% of fortune 500 CEOs have engineering degrees. They make about $100,000 per month. Once Elon musk complained that his company has hired too many MBAs instead of engineers.

Some innovative CEOs believe only Engineers can innovate. This opinion maybe too strong but if we look deeper we find some truth to it. Engineering is all about practical problem solving. Thats what engineering is about. Everything they study circles around problems and finding the best solution. Innovation is all about solving customers problems too. So there is no doubt that engineers are the best innovators.

After studying engineering, even if you get employed in an area that is not related to engineering, still you can go ahead faster than all others who are experts in that field.

In Maldives, engineers are the highest paid of all professional. Higher than doctors, lawyers, politicians, headmasters etc. The salary of STELCO head is 100,000 MVR per month. Besides earning, there is high demand and severe skill shortage in this area. Not only in Maldives, but also around the world.

Cheif engineers in resorts make about 40,000-80,000 per month. Aircraft engineers make about 40,000 to 50,000 per month. Civil engineers makes the same as aircraft engineers. Marine engineers make about $4000 per month. Electrical engineers make 20,000 to 30,000. Computer/data/software engineers make 30,000 – 40,000. Mechanical engineers make 20,000-30,000. Chemical engineers make $3,000-4,000 per month.

After the good side, let’s take a look at the downside. To start, Engineering came second on my list is because the job satisfaction is a bit lower than medical field. Also society has a positive perception and appreciation in medical field. But in many aspects engineering is far superior than medical degrees. For example in terms of the level of impact they make to the world, some consider engineers make the highest impact and solves the biggest problems the world face and making the world a better place.

Another downside is that it is more difficult to obtain an engineering degree. Some websites ranked engineering as the second or third most difficult degree in the world. It is just behind theoretical physics and mathematics. But if we look at all the degrees that are practical in Maldives, surely engineering degrees are the most difficult ones.

Next I’m going to examine the degrees that are not worth persuing.

Social science degrees:

Social science is an essential knowledge which I think everyone should know if they are living in a society. The reason why I think it’s not worth persuing this degree is because it is an easy subject one can learn by reading. Engineering and Law for example one cannot learn just by reading. Someone should be there to guide them and they have to learn many things by doing. The bulk of important sociological concepts are in the public domain. One can get it for free. Why pay for something you can get for free.

Knowledge in social science enables one to speed up one’s career, navigate social structures and understand the overall society. This is an essential knowledge no matter which field you choose.

Psychology Degrees:

Again, this is a popular degree among Maldivian people and I think this is an interesting degree. This is also a highly practical and useful degree that can be applied in social situations as well as one’s self. What are my reasons for not to study this degree? There is just one reason. It is economic.

Psychology degrees does not have much economic value. Though it is highly useful, to make money out of what you’ve learned is difficult. Unless one has set a clear goal to become a psychologist, psychotherapist or something in that area, I don’t recommend this degree.

But taking classes in psychology, reading books, papers etc in this field can be highly beneficial to the person.

Language studies degrees:

The reason not to study this subject is same as the reason not to pursue a social science degree. But unlike social science, there are more job opportunities for language specialists. It also increase one’s economic value more than it does in social science.

Tourism degrees:

Tourism is among the newest field in the academia. This field is not matured enough. Its contents manly comes from business administration side. Instead of pursuing Tourism degree, it would be better to go with MBA with specialized in tourism.

As a last word I would say that any degree is better than no degree. If I’m only qualified for the worst degree, it’s still better than no degree. I would take it.