@reiver

Who Tends To Be The Smartest (By Career): Engineers, Mathematicians, Computer Scientists And Physical Scientists

First, an important disclaimer: the data I'm about to present to you is based on averages. A group average does not imply that everyone who is a part of that group is at the average. Therefore, this data should not be used to indicate that someone who majored in subject A is necessarily smarter than someone who majored in subject B, because that is a comparison of two individuals. To adequately make that comparison, we would need their individual scores.

[...]

The following [...] [rank order] is based on Project TALENT, a stratified random sample of the nation's high school population (a sample of over 400,000). In some of my research along with my colleagues David Lubinski and Camilla Benbow of Vanderbilt University, we examined the group of individuals from this sample who had earned a higher educational degree (a bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D.). We looked at measures of verbal, spatial, and math ability [...]

Here is the rank order of the groups examined:
1. Engineering
2. Physical Science
3. Math/Computer Science
4. Biological Science
5. Humanities
6. Social Science
7. Arts
8. Business
9. Education

[...]

So, are these results replicated in other samples? The answer is yes. We also examined data from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). [...]

[...]

[T]he fact that we see the same pattern in a select sample (GRE) in addition to a nationally representative stratified random sample (Project TALENT) illustrates that the average score patterns for majors are quite robust.

When taking the GRE, individuals are asked to indicate which major they intend to pursue for graduate study. [...] The [...] [rank order] below takes an average of the math and verbal subscores to indicate general ability. [...]

Here is the rank order of the groups examined:
1. Engineering
2. Math/Computer Science
3. Physical Science
4. Biological Science
5. Humanities
6. Arts
7. Social Science
8. Business
9. Education

-- Jonathan Wai

from "How Brainy Is Your Major?"

Quoted on Sat Jun 16th, 2012