In this day and age of "job satisfaction," I hear professionals advice students to follow their passion when choosing a career -- instead of letting the potential earnings be the guide.
While probably many students are following their bliss these days, for those who want to learn more about their potential earnings, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has just put out a nifty tool. It's called the "Salary Surfer" and it provides an estimate of how much students could expect to earn before and after they complete a program. Say, for instance, you want to learn how much you'd make with an administration of justice degree: median annual salary before $20,000; two years after receiving the degree, about $35,000; five years after, about $42,000.
The tool could provide a good incentive for high school graduates who are on the fence about going to college. Check it out here. I didn't find it very user friendly because it's grouped by area of study, not by community college. Thus, if I want to find a specific area of program at Monterey Peninsula College or Hartnell, I'd have to find the majors at the community colleges first, then find them in the salary surfer. Still, it's fun to check it out.