Will Slack rightly criticizes the methodology (but not the result) behind the Forbes #1 ranking for Williams: 

The average salary of graduates is, in itself, not an accurate ranking of professional success within one’s field, but instead dependent on the fields that grads enter. A college with a lot of pre-Med and pre-finance students, like Williams, will do well here because of the kind of students who come here, not because we educate them especially better. 

Presumably creating a finance major, as outlined by David and supported bycommenters, including arjun and 19 mph can help us maintain our strength in that aspect of the Forbes rankings in the future. But maybe we’re already gaming the rankings through those majors we’re excluding. Consider this list of the “20 Worst-Paying College Degrees in 2010“:

1. Child and Family Studies    

2. Elementary Education        

 3. Social Work                    

4. Athletic Training            

5. Culinary Arts                         

6. Horticulture                         

7. Paralegal Studies/Law

8. Theology

9. Recreation & Leisure

10. Special Education

11. Dietetics

12. Religious Studies

13. Art

14. Education

15. Interdisciplinary Studies

16. Interior Design

17. Nutrition

18. Graphic Design

19. Music

20. Art History

Williams majors are pretty much absent from the top ten — and I’d bet given the examples of museum directors recently profiled in the New York Times, the Williams Art Mafia is doing its part to ensure that #20 isn’t dragging us down!

I did expect “Athletic Training” to finish a little better, though — isn’t that pretty much what every NFL player “majored in” during their “studies”?

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