The Top 10 Best College Degrees

It’s a fact that on average college graduates make more money over their lifetime than non-graduates. However, not all majors would pay you back the same amount.

Here we are providing you a list of 10 highest paying college degrees as ranked by College Factual. The salary data provided in the list are all averages and have come from extensive survey conducted by PayScale. We’ve just used the results from those with college degrees. The figures we’ve listed are average starting salaries.

It’s no surprise that this list seems heavily populated with degrees from the STEM degree list, mainly because they’re continuously in demand. Keep in mind that not every university will provide you with degree with same value. In fact, some graduate students end up making more in the beginning and mid-career than their peers at other US universities. Check out these rankings to see what we mean!

10) Computer Programming- $46,500

If you love working on computers for hours and dream of developing applications, programs, and websites, computer programming is best for you. Students in this major can learn wide range of software and programming language, as well as take classes in science and math. Jobs are available to computer programmers in variety of fields, creating various types of programs for educational and research facilities, businesses, and for software development companies.

9) Mathematics & Statistics- $47,800

Statistics help you learn the systems and theory behind math in order to detect possible causes and solutions, analyze numbers, and predict trends. Statisticians are in high demand in education, healthcare and scientific research. The average starting salary for graduates is $47,800 with average mid-career salaries of $88,800.

8) Computer Information Systems (CIS)- $48,800

All those who choose majors in Computer Information Systems learn all about the computer networks, security and IT issues. In addition, they also take classes in science, math and business. A major in this field can lead to jobs in different corporate and business settings, whether it’s designing computer systems from scratch, or managing a large IT department. CIS graduates can expect salaries averaging $48,800, with mid career salaries of around $84,700.

7) Construction Management- $49,900

If you’re interested in business and management, as well as building and development you can easily combine your interests in a Construction Management degree. It’s also available as Associates in some US colleges, but jobs that require bachelor’s degree pay better. This degree is best for students who love practical hands-on tasks, and are capable of high-level thinking regarding math, management, and business. Average mid-career salary in this field is is $83,400.

6) Management Information Systems (MIS)- $50,100

MIS is essential to successful run any large business today. Students in this major will learn ways to setup, run and manage various information systems, storage and network for large companies and organizations. This bachelor’s degree trains students in both computer and business programs. The average mid-career salary for any graduate with a degree in MIS makes $85,700.

5) Physics- $50,700

A major in physics can lead to an exciting career in research or development at such places as the Department of Defense, NASA, or hundreds of private science firms. You can expect an average starting salary of $51,400 and the mid-career pay of $93,400.

4) Applied Mathematics- $51,500

A degree in Applied Mathematics will prepare you to use math in everyday situations to make estimations, calculate costs, design systems, and predict outcomes. This practical degree allows graduates to work in variety of fields, from construction and building to education, economics, finance or education. Graduates can expect starting salaries of around $51,700 and mid-career salaries in this field can be around $103,750.

3) Nursing- $53,900

Nursing is a highly promising field that’s always in demand. A student with bachelor’s in nursing can easily make an average starting salary of 54,400 and a mid-career salary of $69,200. This major is heavy on science and also involves lots of hands-on training. You can find jobs all over the country in various specializations including family health, neonatal, geriatric care, and surgery.

2) Computer Science- $54,600

Computer Science focuses mainly on the interactions between humans and computers. It’s a broad major that translates to jobs in many different fields, from software publishing to computer system development, work for government or educational or research.

1) Petroleum Engineering- $99,200

All engineering degrees in the US promise high starting salaries, but the highest of them all is Petroleum Engineering, with an average starting pay of $88,600 and mid-career salary of $169,700. This is a difficult and a fairly specialized subject, with only about 1100 students a year graduating with this degree. Graduates can find jobs with major oil production manufacturers or oil companies.

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