English vs. Engineering: Highest-Paid College Majors

Payscale Special Report: A college degree can cost serious cash -- sometimes without the promise of a big salary payoff. Find out which degrees promise to pay you back with a high starting salary.

For what it costs, a college degree might as well be made of gold. For the 2007-2008 school year, the cost of a four-year degree from a public university is $6,185, according to the College Board. And while most students pay less than $9,000 a year, costs at private colleges and universities can skyrocket beyond $33,000 for tuition, room and board.

But beyond the rewards of learning, how will that pricey degree pay you back?

A recent report from PayScale.com shows how starting total cash compensation (base salary plus commission, bonus, profit sharing and other forms of cash earnings) stacks up by major.

Compare Your Salary:Compare Salaries by Bachelor's Degree

20 Popular Undergraduate Majors by Starting Salary

The salaries below show the median total cash compensation for people who report a given bachelor's degree major with 0-5 years of experience. All jobs held by people with a given major were included, not just those specific to the major.


1. Chemical Engineering

Average Starting Salary:$61,800.00

> Find Chemical Engineer Jobs


2. Computer Engineering

Average Starting Salary: $60,500.00

> Find Computer Engineer Jobs


3. Electrical Engineering

Average Starting Salary:$59,900.00

> Find Electrical Engineer Jobs


4. Computer Science

Average Starting Salary:$54,200.00

> Find Computer Science Jobs


5. Civil Engineering

Average Starting Salary:$52,600.00

> Find Civil Engineer Jobs


6. Economics

Average Starting Salary:$48,100.00

> Find Jobs in Economics


strong>7. Finance

Average Starting Salary: $46,900.00


> Find Finance Jobs


8. Accounting

Average Starting Salary:$44,600.00

> Find Accounting Jobs


9. Mathematics

Average Starting Salary: $43,500.00

> Find Jobs in Mathematics


10. Business Management
Average Starting Salary: $40,900.00

> Find Business Management Jobs


11. Marketing

Average Starting Salary:$39,400.00

> Find Marketing Jobs


12. Political Science

Average Starting Salary: $39,400.00


> Find Political Science Jobs


13. Biology

Average Starting Salary: $37,900.00


> Find Biologist Jobs


14. History

Average Starting Salary: $37,600.00

> Find Jobs for Historians


15. English

Average Starting Salary: $36,700.00

> Find Jobs for English Instructors


16. Communications

Average Starting Salary: $36,400.00

> Find Jobs for Communications Majors


17. Sociology

Average Starting Salary: $35,700.00

> Find Sociologist Jobs


18. Graphic Design

Average Starting Salary:$34,700.00

> Find Graphic Design Jobs


19. Psychology

Average Starting Salary:$34,700.00

> Find Psychologist Jobs


20. Criminal Justice

Average Starting Salary: $34,200.00

> Find Law Enforcement Jobs


5 Popular Graduate Majors by Starting Salary

The salaries below show the median total cash compensation for people who report a given master's degree major with 0-5 years of experience. Again, all jobs held by people with a given major were included, not just those specific to the major.


1. Electrical Engineering MS

Average Starting Salary: $72,100.00

> Find Electrical Engineering Jobs


2. Computer Science MS

Average Starting Salary: $70,900.00

> Find Computer Science Jobs


3. Technology Management MBA

Average Starting Salary: $62,500.00

> Find IT Manager Jobs


4. Finance MBA

Average Starting Salary: $60,600.00

> Find Finance Manager Jobs


5. Psychology MA

Average Starting Salary: $41,200.00

> Find Psychologist Jobs


Compare Your Salary:

-- Compare Salaries for Graduate Degrees

-- Compare MBA Salaries

Next:What Does An Ivy League Degree Get You? >>

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