In today’s competitive job market, no one can argue the necessity of having your bachelor’s degree. But the question is: in which field should you get that degree to get the biggest paycheck?
Engineering and math-related jobs seem to offer the highest salaries, particularly with the demand for these jobs increasing faster than the number of graduates. If you’re hoping for a job that will “show you the money,” you may want to consider these top-earning degrees from the Payscale College Salary Report:
Engineering degrees count for seven of the top ten on Payscale’s list of best undergrad degrees for top salary. Engineers use their analytical and scientific knowledge to develop products and solve problems. As concern for our environment increases, the demand for engineers who can solve environment related problems is expected to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates demand for specialized engineers will grow approximately 25 percent by 2016.
Median starting salary: $53,400
Median mid-career salary: $94,500
With the increasing sophistication of computer technologies combined with limited number of employees with the necessary skills, the BLS reports that job growth for computer scientists is among the fastest growing in the United States through 2016, at an astounding 37 percent. For those with an interest in computers, complex problem-solving, and discovering new technologies, a bachelor’s degree in computer science can bring big bucks in a corporate setting.
Median starting salary: $56,400
Median mid-career salary: $97,400
Although this may not be a high-profile career, economists play a vital role in analyzing statistics and predicting risk. Increased opportunities in health care and consulting will lead to job growth of 24 percent within the next decade, according to the BLS. If you love crunching numbers, spreadsheets and analysis, a traditional or online degree in economics might be “worth the risk.”
Median starting salary: $50,200
Median mid-career salary: $101,000
Solid ability to work with numbers is essential, but working with people is also important, as many finance jobs offer good opportunity for promotion into management. Possible finance careers include financial analyst, banker, company executive, investment broker, and personal financial advisor. Job growth for financial managers should remain strong into the next decade, according to BLS reports.
Median starting salary: $48,500
Median mid-career salary: $89,400
Even if the thought of a computer or math-related degree doesn’t appeal to you, you can still find a top-earning bachelor’s that offers significant creative opportunity. Marketing managers create product and promotion strategies, analyze pricing and competition, and even develop plans for the future. Because marketing is relatively high profile, competition for positions in this area can be stiff, but the BLS anticipates strong job growth into the future.
Median starting salary: $41,500
Median mid-career salary: $81,500
High-paying jobs almost always require highly specialized career training. A traditional or online bachelor’s degree in one of these fields can lead you to a career that will satisfy both your mind and the money in your checking account.