Top 10 Highest-Paying College Majors

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What college degrees lead to the highest starting salaries?There's no greater way to ensure a high-paying career than having a degree in the sciences or math-related disciplines. That point has been driven home again, thanks to a new study released Wednesday by the Georgetown University Center on Education and The Workforce. The study examined 2010 and 2011 salaries and unemployment rates for recent college grads between the ages of 22 and 26. It's major finding: Nine of the 10 highest-paying degrees are in the STEM disciplines -- science, technology, engineering and math.

The wage gap between STEM and liberal arts majors is glaring. The median salary among recent holder of engineering degrees is $54,000, nearly double what someone with an arts degrees earns ($30,000 a year).

More:8 Great Jobs In Finance That Don't Require An MBA

However, high starting salaries doesn't necessarily mean it's easy to land a job. Degree-holders in the ten highest-paying fields have an employment rate ranging from 4.0 to 11.7 percent -- on par with overall unemployment rate for all recent grads -- 8.9 percent, according to the Georgetown study. And one of the fields with the lowest unemployment rates -- elementary education (4.8 percent) and physical fitness and parks recreation (5.2%) -- has a relatively low starting salaries.

Below are the 10 highest-paying college degrees (and their unemployment rates). (See also the 10 worst paying college majors.)

10. Information Systems
Starting Salary: $43,000
Unemployment Rate: 11.7 percent
Find a job now in information systems.

9. Accounting
Starting Salary: $43,000
Unemployment Rate: 6.8 percent
Find a job now in accounting.

8. Finance
Starting Salary: $44,000
Unemployment Rate: 6.6 percent
Find a job now in finance.

7. Economics
Starting Salary: $48,000
Unemployment Rate: 9.4 percent
Find a job now in economics.

6. Nursing
Starting Salary: $48,000
Unemployment Rate: 4.0 percent
Find a job now in nursing.

5. Computer Science
Starting Salary: $50,000
Unemployment Rate: 7.8 percent
Find a job now in computer science.

4. Civil Engineering
Starting Salary: $50,000
Unemployment Rate: 8.1 percent
Find a job now in civil engineering.

3. General Engineering
Starting Salary: $55,000
Unemployment Rate: 7.0 percent
Find a job now in general engineering.

2. Electrical Engineering
Starting Salary: $57,000
Unemployment Rate: 7.3 percent
Find a job now in electrical engineering.

1. Mechanical Engineering
Starting Salary: $58,000
Unemployment Rate: 8.6 percent
Find a job now in mechanical engineering.



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