The 7 Highest-Paying College Degrees All Earn Over $60,000
Friends, family, and teachers may have advised you to “follow your passion,” but what if your passion doesn’t pay the bills? Whether you’re about to attend college for the first time, or you’re going back to school to earn an additional degree, your college major choice makes a big difference when it comes to salary. With rising rents and large student loan bills, it will be important to earn a decent salary. A bad choice sometimes results in earning a lot less than you could. Doing what you love and having passion for your chosen field is great, but being compensated appropriately also plays a role in your overall happiness. It’s hard to enjoy what you’re doing when you can hardly pay your bills.
If you’re wondering which degrees can help you earn a good living, wonder no more. Career site Glassdoor recently unveiled its list of the 50 highest-paying college majors. Not surprisingly, college majors focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education came out on top. Through an analysis of resumes and salary reports, Glassdoor came up with a listing of college majors that yield the most earnings during the first five years out of college. Next to each major, Glassdoor researchers also identified the three most popular jobs new graduates take in those fields when they graduate.
Glassdoor’s listing shows it’s possible to take charge of your earning potential by doing something as simple as choosing the right major. Here are the seven highest-paying college degrees where you can earn more than $60,000. Is your major on the list?
7. Civil engineering
Median base salary: $61,500
The job: Civil engineers are responsible for designing, building, operating, and maintaining construction projects and systems in the public and private system. This includes bridges, roads, tunnels, and airports.
Popular entry-level jobs: civil engineer, structural engineer, field engineer
6. Information technology
Median base salary: $64,008
The job: The field of information technology spans several specialties such as computer programming, computer information research science, and database administration. Jobs within computer and information technology are expected to grow 12% by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Popular entry-level jobs: Programmer analyst, technical support, systems engineer
5. Industrial engineering
Median base salary: $64,381
The job: Industrial engineers look for methods to assist with the elimination of waste during the production process. They have the task of creating systems that combine employees, data, tools, and energy to make products or provide services.
Popular entry-level jobs: Industrial engineer, quality engineer, production planner
4. Chemical engineering
Median base salary: $65,000
The job: Chemical engineers solve problems by relying on biology, math, chemistry, and physics to resolve problems related to the production or use of drugs, food, chemicals, and other products. They also help come up with processes for manufacturing as well as oversee methods of production.
Popular entry-level jobs: chemical engineer, process engineer, project engineer
3. Mechanical engineering
Median base salary: $68,000
The job: Mechanical engineers are responsible for researching, designing developing, building, and testing mechanical and thermal sensors and devices. They may have to design mechanical and thermal devices, develop and test device prototypes, and manage the device manufacturing process.
Popular entry-level jobs: Mechanical engineer, design engineer, project engineer
2. Electrical engineering
Median base salary: $68,438
The job: Electrical engineers are in charge of designing, developing, testing, and supervising the manufacture of electrical equipment. Some examples of the equipment they work on are radar and navigation systems, power generation equipment, and electric motors. In addition, electrical engineers design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.
Popular entry-level jobs: Electrical engineer, systems engineer, software developer
1. Computer Science
Median base salary: $70,000
The job: Computer scientists are tasked with inventing and designing new ways to approach computing technology and find creative uses for technology that already exists. In addition, computer scientists analyze complex computing problems in fields such as business, science, and medicine.
Popular entry-level jobs: software engineer, systems engineer, web developer