College Majors That Earn The Most

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money making college majors

If the stagnant job market has an upside, it may be this: college students (and likely their parents) are taking a hard look at which degrees will result in lasting, good paying jobs.

Unfortunately for art and history majors, the best money-making careers these days are in more pragmatic fields, focused on math and the sciences, according to a recent report by PayScale.

The employment-information website recently compiled a list of the 10 best-paying college majors, derived from data supplied by 1.5 million graduates who hold only a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university.

The findings, not surprisingly, are similar to those published in a recent report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, which found that college majors "linked to occupations have better employment prospects than majors focused on general skills."

Still, the Georgetown report, titled "Hard Times, College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal," finds that while all college majors aren't created equal "college remains the best alternative for young workers."

Interested in learning which college majors offer the best money-making opportunities? Check out PayScale's list of Best Majors for Making Money below.


10. Statistics

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $99,500*
  • Job Growth Outlook (through 2020): 16 percent (about as fast as average).**

Find a job in statistics.


9. Computer Science

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $100,000
  • Job Growth Outlook (through 2020): 19 percent (about as fast as average).


Find a job in computer science
.

8. Applied Mathematics

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $102,000
  • Job Growth Outlook (through 2020): 16 percent (about as fast as average).


Find a job in applied mathematics
.

7. Computer Engineering

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $105,000
  • Job Growth Outlook (through 2020): 9 percent (slower than average).


Find a job in computer engineering
.

6. Electrical Engineering

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $106,000
  • Job Growth Outlook (through 2020): 6 percent (slower than average).


Find a job in electrical engineering
.

5. Nuclear Engineering

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $107,000
  • Job Growth Outlook (through 2020): 10 percent (about as fast as average).


Find a job in nuclear engineering
.

4. Chemical Engineering

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $111,000
  • Job Growth Outlook: 6 percent (slower than average).


Find a job in chemical engineering
.

3. Actuarial Mathematics

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $112,000
  • Job Growth Outlook: 16 percent (about as fast as average).


Find a job in actuarial mathematics
.

2. Aerospace Engineering

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $118,000
  • Job Growth Outlook: 5 percent (slower than average).


Find a job in aerospace engineering
.

1. Petroleum Engineering

  • Mid-Career Median Salary: $163,000
  • Job Growth Outlook: 24 percent (about as fast as average)


Find a job in petroleum engineering
.

*Mid-Career Median Salary: Compiled by PayScale. Half of the mid-career employees who are graduates of a school will earn more than this salary, while half will earn less. Salaries listed are for full-time employees with only a bachelor's degree and no further higher education.

**Job Growth Outlook: As published in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. The projected rate of change in employment during the 10 years ending 2020. The average growth rate for all occupations is 14 percent.






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