5 Highest Paying College Degrees

5 Highest Paying College DegreesEvery undergraduate is concerned about entering the job market after graduation. Choosing what to major in can feel like a no-win situation. Should you do what you love or do what pays the most? As it turns out, Forbes understands. They partnered with Looksharp, a company that runs an entry-level job site, to compile a list of the top 22 highest-earning degrees. Below are the top five, along with potential job options for each.

1. Computer Science

Computer science majors average $66,800 as their starting salary. Because it is such a broad field, there are dozens of jobs that fall under the “computer science” heading. The range of jobs includes software development, chief information officer, software architect, data scientist, database administration, IT security and a variety of coding and debugging jobs in various programming languages.
Please also see: Can I Get a Computer Science Degree Online?

2. Engineering

The second most lucrative degree is engineering. On average, engineers bring home a starting salary of $65,000. Engineering is typically heavy in both math and science. The field requires a mastery of both form and function regardless of what area you specialize in. It can also require continued education once you’re on the job. Depending on what your other interests or skills are, your engineering job options can range from aerospace, agricultural, chemical, electrical, environmental or textile. Engineering is a broad term that encompasses an extremely varied group of people who are all specialists in their respective field.

3. Mathematics and Statistics

The category of mathematics and statistics is rather vague. This category does not include professors of mathematics, but rather mathematicians and statisticians. If you have an interest in high-level math or statistics, your average earning potential in these fields starts out around $60,300. Mathematics teaches a unique, highly logical approach to the world that almost every industry finds incredibly valuable. Because of this, most mathematics and statistics majors have little trouble finding a well-paying position straight out of college. A few examples of jobs well-suited to these degrees are an actuary, logistician or research analyst.

4. Economics

A degree in economics will earn you only slightly less than a mathematics degree: $58,600. While economics trains you with a similar skill set to mathematicians and statisticians, it also prepares you with advanced communication skills and a more business-minded perspective. These slight differences will open up a more varied set of job opportunities after graduation. Because economics prepares you with both business knowledge and extensive analytical training, an economics degree is extremely valuable in any corporate setting. A degree in economics also prepares you for a potential career in government and politics, as well as the international banking sector.

5. Finance

The final top-earning degree is finance. On average, a finance degree will earn a starting salary of $58,000. Finance, like economics and mathematics, will train you to think analytically and be able to see the bottom line. Typical finance jobs include investment banking, accounting firm partner and private equity. However, a few less obvious choices include business development, military financial officer or even startup company partner. If you decide to look into becoming a military finance officer they may even pay for your education.

The five degrees with top earning potential are all in the math and science sector because those fields are in a constant state of growth and change. Even if you think math and science aren’t for you, take a look at the variety of jobs available with each degree. You may find that one of these high-paying fields is meant for you.