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What College Degrees Pay The Most

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Business And Information Technology

Top 10 Highest Paying College Degrees (2020)

Average Salary: $56,900 to $99,100

The highest-paying careers out of college in the field of business and information technology run the gamut from computer support specialists, who provide tech assistance to company employees or customers, to computer systems analysts, who work to support an organizations overall operations through study and optimization of its computer systems, and everything in between. Individuals in business and information technology jobs work in office environments, typically with little travel required. Learning a combination of business and IT skills provides for a well-rounded and advanced knowledge base that can lead to high pay and high job satisfaction in a number of careers with faster-than-average growth projections.

Materials Science And Engineeering

Average Salary: $64,000 to $109,100

In materials science and engineering occupations, professionals concern themselves with the atomic level makeup of final products and materials used in manufacturing. They study the properties and structures of, as well as interactions between, various substances, including metals, plastics, and composites, in order to solve problems and develop new or improved products which meet certain mechanical, electrical, or chemical requirements. Materials scientists and engineers may specialize in one type of material or substance. Daily tasks typically involve working with a team to complete complex planning, research, laboratory experiments, and composition of written data and reports.

Know The Different Types Of Degrees

When creating a college list, you should think about what kind of degree you want. Your degree isnt the same as your major, but it might help give you a better idea of what types of colleges to add to your college list.

Bachelors degrees, associate degrees, and technical degrees are some of the different kinds of degrees you might consider. In general, associate and technical degrees tend to cost less than bachelors degrees, due to the time it takes to earn them. Keeping a mix of colleges that offer these different types of degrees on your list can create room for financial flexibility. For students who want to pursue a four-year degree while also reducing costs, you can choose to transfer to a four-year institution after starting at a community college.

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Chemical Engineering/materials & Science Engineering

Mid-career pay: $137,800

Chemical Engineering and Materials & Science Engineering are typically separate programs, although some colleges allow you to study both as a double major or in a single program. Both are scientific disciplines that involve studying the use and production of energy and materials. Common coursework includes mathematics, chemistry, computer science, among other disciplines. In your future career, youll be instrumental in the development, design, and production of many products that are critical in our everyday lives.

See our rankings of the best colleges for engineering.

Mid-career pay: $136,200

Combining math, business, information technology, and other disciplines, this major is critical for numerous industries and occupations. You will receive hands-on training in analytical tools and business decision modeling that will make you marketable for various careers. With your degree, you can pursue several different careers, such as working as a business analyst or an operations research analyst. Depending on your chosen role, you may want to earn an MBA.

Mid-career pay: $133,200

Want to learn more about pharmacy? See our post on how to become a pharmacist.

Mid-career pay: $133,100

Mid-career pay: $132,900

What Are You Worth

The College Majors With The Highest Starting Salaries [Infographic]

3. Pacific Union College Mid-Career Median Salary:$89,200

Pacific Union College is a private, liberal arts college located in Angwin, California near the Napa Valley. PCU is a small college, with a student teacher ratio of 13:1. Students can earn a two-year degree in a number of healthcare, aviation, emergency services and more.

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General And Operations Manager

Average Annual Pay: $123,460

A general and operations manager typically formulates company or organizational policies. Daily tasks also include the management of operations and administration work. Depending on the company or organization, a general and operations manager may also supervise employee hiring and training, oversee quality assurance programs, evaluate existing processes, and develop strategies for improved efficiency and productivity.

A Bachelors Degree in Operations Management prepares you for this role with a curriculum that covers supply chain management, administrative theory, microeconomics, human resources management, finance, policy, managerial accounting, project management, and management science.

A general and operations manager, you need to possess strong skills in leadership, analysis, problem-solving, and interpersonal communication. As a decision-maker, you need to be fully knowledgeable of the organizations people and processes.

Think Beyond The Cost

When considering colleges to add to your list, its important to consider other factors that may help you succeed. You should ensure the college you choose to attend is worth the time and money you’ll be investing.

Colleges often report certain statistics that provide insight into how successful students are at that particular college. You can find some of this information, such as retention rate and graduation rate on BigFuture college profiles. Colleges also may have additional information available on their website such as percentage of students employed post-graduation, and even average income for students who have attended. Checking for these factors at each college can help you feel confident about the colleges you add to your list.

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Agriculture And Natural Resources

If you’re interested in growing things, you’ll be thrilled to learn this industry has made the list. The average starting salary of $57,807 is a 5.4% growth from 2021’s starting salary of $54,857. All your hard work in the lab, fields, and on the farm are going to pay off, whether you pursue a career in education, landscape design, or crop consulting. Check out more related jobs and salaries for an agriculture major.

Find agriculture and natural resources jobs on Monster.

Find The Right College For You

The MOST USEFUL College Degrees For 2022 (HIGH Pay, HIGH Demand)

Building a strong college list is an important part of ensuring that you have several options to choose from when making your college decision. There are many factors to consider, including academics, campus life, and college affordability. In this article we focus on how to build a college list while keeping costs in mind.

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Columbia University In The City Of New York

– Mid-career pay: $132,100- Percent high meaning: 47%- Percent STEM degrees: 30%

Of Columbia’s college and engineering schools’ 2019 classes, 90 percent of students were employed or in graduate school. These students had a median starting salary of $70,000, and over 95 percent of students from these schools completed at least one internship. Three U.S. presidents attended Columbia, including Barack Obama, who started a scholars program at his alma mater.

United States Military Academy

– Mid-career pay: $146,300- Percent high meaning: 62%- Percent STEM degrees: 39%

After graduation, cadets enter an Army unit for three years. Some grads lead military police units, intelligence units, or small artillery fire support teams. After 20 years of service, West Point grads receive a guaranteed pension, among other benefits.

– Percent high meaning: 49%- Percent STEM degrees: 48%

More than 70 percent of Princeton grads accept full-time employment, while almost 20 percent continue to graduate school. Stanford was the top destination for graduate schools.

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Chemical Engineering/materials Science And Engineering

The engineering industry is currently experiencing a high demand for engineers with a bachelors degree who are knowledgeable in chemical engineering and materials science. As a result, more schools are offering undergraduate majors that combine these two fields of study. Students enrolled in this highest paying bachelor degree program will explore high-level engineering principles such as chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, materials production, and reaction engineering, for example. As one of the best college majors for the future, chemical engineering/materials science and engineering degree plans prepare students for fast-growing careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for chemists and material scientists are currently growing faster than average. This impressive job growth is another reason this is among the best bachelors degrees to get right now.

Mid-Career Salary: $137,800

Operations Management And Information Systems

Philly college majors index: Which university
  • Annual Median Salary : $98,230
  • Job Growth: 8%

Operations Management and Information Systems is a multi-disciplinary field that focuses on business operations and information technology management.

This unique field of study combines analytical approaches with quantitative methodology in solving problems in various areas of an organization. Graduates may specialize in operations management or information systems.

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Graduates of operations management and information system can pursue employment in many industries. They may work as an operations analyst, inventory control manager, purchasing manager, or industrial production manager. Their studies of IT and business functions can help them assess, design, and improve business processes.

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Office Or Organizational Executive

Start by earning: Bachelor of Public Administration , Bachelor of Business Administration

An individual who has taken the Chief Executive Officer job position is tasked to be the organizations leader, planner, and director ensuring that all goals are met. The work that top executives do is applicable in practically every industry, particularly in large companies and businesses with up to thousands of employees. There are several business degrees geared toward becoming a top executive. Bachelors degrees in business-related fields are plentiful.

A bachelors degree is the minimum educational requirement for someone who aspires to be a top executive and earn anannual median salary of $179,520. More importantly, considerable experience is a must in this highly demanding type of career. It is inclined toward the business side, which means that an undergraduate and more importantly, a post-graduate degree such as a masters degree, in business-related topics provides an advantage. Other high paying careers include marketing managers, human resource management, construction management, financial managers, and leadership positions in any capacity.

Social And Human Services Degrees

Human service workers provide a wide variety of families, individuals, and groups with assistance in financial trouble, health issues, human rights issues, child welfare, and more. Becoming an agent of social change is challenging and dynamic, and can lead to a multitude of occupations with a much faster than average rate of job growth projected between now and the year 2029. If you have a bachelors degree in human services you are sure to find a career that can be sustainable and fulfilling.

  • Social and human services assistants: 17%
  • Social and community service managers: 17%
  • Home health and personal care aides: 34%

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Training And Development Manager

Average Annual Pay: $108,250

Training and development management is regarded as a position that deals with strategies aimed at improving job performance in an organizational or workplace setting. A training and development manager oversees these activities to ensure they are implemented in an efficient, results-oriented manner.

In terms of educational backgrounds, training and development managers are often those who are holders of Bachelors Degree in Human Resources or Business Administration and other related disciplines which a curriculum that focuses on administration and management, personnel, human resources, customer service, and personal service.

Specific duties of a training and development manager include creating training programs for the staff, aligning such activities with the strategic goals of the organization, managing training program budgets, and evaluating the effectiveness of such training. For these reasons, training and Development Managers should be skilled in speaking, active listening, instructing, coordination, and execution of learning strategies.

How To Choose A College Major

The HIGHEST PAYING Associate Degrees (High Income, Less School)

Along with earning potential, some factors to consider when choosing your major include:

  • Your personal interests and goals: What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?
  • Your strengths: In which subjects and areas have you excelled? What are your best qualities and skills? Think beyond your academic work.
  • Course requirements for specific majors: Of the majors that interest you, are you able to meet the requirements comfortably?
  • Additional requirements: Will you need to earn another degree to succeed in a particular major or field?
  • Compatibility: How will the major fit into the rest of your life? Can you handle the course load given your other responsibilities?

We have a whole post on choosing a college major, which will guide you through the key questions to ask yourself and help you narrow down your choices.

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Public Relations And Fundraising Manager

Average Annual Pay: $127,690

When an organization seeks to portray and maintain a positive public image, the target audience needs to be persuaded. This is a specialized task that Public Relations and Fundraising Managers do. They are trained to create, present, and run media campaigns, monitor results, and tackle issues in high-stress PR situations.

A Bachelors Degree in Public Relations hones your ability to craft persuasive messages, the exact work that PR and Fund-raising Managers do. The coursework covers multicultural communication, media history, media research, and marketing principles.

As a Public Relations and Fundraising Manager, you are expected to have strong problem-solving and organizational skills. Creativity, impeccable writing, and knowledge of modern and effective promotional platforms are abilities that are non-negotiable in this type of job.

Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences And Pharmaceutical Administration

Learning to develop and test drugs and other medicines involves training in a range of sciences, including biology, chemistry, and toxicology. These programs can prepare you for a career in pharmaceutical sales, research, marketing, or manufacturing. They can also provide a good foundation for graduate work leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

  • Median salary: $112,519

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Case Western Reserve University

– Mid-career pay: $119,000- Percent high meaning: 48%- Percent STEM degrees: 37%

Case Western’s law school churns out scores of lawyers ready to enter the workforce, and the medical school is regularly ranked among the best in the country. Alumni in other programs include Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.

97. United States Coast Guard Academy

– Mid-career pay: $119,200- Percent high meaning: 70%- Percent STEM degrees: 69%

Coast guard officers hold a variety of steady jobs that involve responding to disasters, stopping illegal drug trafficking, protecting endangered species, and exploring the Arctic. Many Coast Guard Academy graduates enjoy perks such as military pensions, medical benefits, and tax-free housing allowances.

– Percent high meaning: 37%- Percent STEM degrees: 7%

Bentley touts a 98 percent job placement rate, and according to The Princeton Review, it’s No. 1 in career services. The school site features a collection of blog posts about internship preparation, and alums include Jay Leno .

Ready To Start Your Journey

Want proof college is worth it? Look at this list of the highest
  • Professionals can increase their salary potential by earning a bachelor’s degree.
  • Certain majors lead to higher-paying jobs than others.
  • The highest-paying bachelor’s degrees include STEM, business, and social science majors.

How much can you earn with a bachelor’s degree? Workers with a bachelor’s degree earned a median annual salary of almost $68,000 in 2020. That was about $19,000 more than associate degree-holders and $27,000 more than those with only a high school diploma.

But what are the highest-paying bachelor’s degrees? Should you choose to major in electrical engineering, computer science, or something else? Our guide analyzes the data on the highest-paying bachelor’s degrees.

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Saint Mary’s College Of California

– Mid-career pay: $118,900- Percent high meaning: 51%- Percent STEM degrees: 5%

This small school in the Bay Area has produced its fair share of notable alumni. Mahershala Ali, who graduated from Saint Mary’s in 1996, has won two Oscars and an Emmy Award and makes millions as one of Hollywood’s most notable actors. The business administration program places graduates at Bay Area powerhouses like AT& T, Amazon, and the San Francisco Giants.

Business Management Marketing And Related Services

Average Median Starting Salary: $42,883

Business is by far the most popular major, and available salary data reflects that. The program category includes 20 different degrees in everything from accounting to human resources.

The top earners for business majors are in construction management, with an average median starting salary of $65,000. Lowest-paid are graduates of specialized sales programs at $36,000.

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Which Major Has The Highest Salary

Science-related majors are among those that offer the highest salaries to its graduates. Pharmacy graduates can get as much as $128,710 a year .

Engineering majors also consistently rank well in this category. Nuclear engineering, petroleum engineering, and chemical engineering can all offer its graduates annual salaries, reaching six digits.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Highest

The 5 MOST USEFUL College Majors in 2021 (High Demand & Pay)

The highest-paying jobs with a bachelor’s degree include careers in tech, engineering, business, and healthcare. But what degree offers the easiest route to a high-paying career?

The answer depends on your strengths and weaknesses. Majoring in information technology or computer science can be relatively easy for some students, while others may find these fields quite difficult. However, STEM and business aren’t the only lucrative options. For example, education and social work majors can find jobs that pay well above average.

Picking a college major can sometimes feel like predicting the future. Which degree will lead to a long and successful career? And what are the best ways to career plan for the future?

Rather than choosing a bachelor’s degree based solely on projections, choose a degree that builds future-proof skills. The ability to analyze information, communicate clearly, and work on a team will benefit you in just about any career. Since most people change careers multiple times during their working life, choose a major that emphasizes skills that transfer well between fields.

Many of the highest-paying careers are related to business leadership, healthcare, finance, and tech. According to the BLS, many jobs exceed the $100 per hour threshold, including chief executive officers, physicians and surgeons, and petroleum engineers.

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