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Top ten paying degrees for college graduates

Not saying that you should pick your major by what you can make with it, but this info is still good to know:

  1. Petroleum Engineering: $93,500
  2. Computer Engineering: $71,700
  3. Chemical Engineering: $67,600
  4. Computer Science: $64,800
  5. Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering: $64,400
  6. Mechanical Engineering: $64,000
  7. Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering: $63,400
  8. Management Information Systems/Business: $63,100
  9. Engineering Technology: $62,200
  10. Finance: $57,400

More at the WSJ.

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34 Comments

  • If numbers like this don't encourage students to get into science and engineering, what will?

    • Chicks, definitely chicks!

  • You might not choose a major based on what the job pays but people are waking up to the fact that they better consider this before taking on huge student loans.

  • The interesting thing is that you can be a PM in each of those fields as well and also make a good living. :-)

  • yeaaaa Computer Science!! Honestly speaking though, CS and CE should switch places. :D Completely biased statement, but it SHOULD!

  • I'm doing the electronics engineering diploma program and I know when I'm done ill be able to get paid a lot of coin depending on where I go to work west Canada seems to offer higher wages for straight outta school graduates than the east coast

  • +1 for Oski

  • Aloha <3 I wish I didn't have a problem w/numbers. Funny though, dont have issues w/letters. They just make more sense to me. Geometry is fun!! I past all courses in trig. Geom. Algebra etc. But fractions… forget it.

  • vše jen v dolarech řečeno je to o penězích.

  • ~ Nanocreepy.

  • Nothing in that list about being a corporate lobbyist on K Street?

  • +Bob Flisser It's hard to be a corporate lobbyist right after college because you haven't fostered your conflicts of interest yet. :-)

  • +Guy Kawasaki good timing! My second of five children will finishing high school in two weeks and beginning college this summer…

  • +Guy Kawasaki good timing! My second of five children will finishing high school in two weeks and beginning college this summer…

  • We were just having this conversation with our son this week. Great timing on the stats. Already shared with him!

  • We were just having this conversation with our son this week. Great timing on the stats. Already shared with him!

  • jé, jej, to so kukadla!!

  • jé, jej, to so kukadla!!

  • So glad to see Finance so low and so few MBA-pre-majors! I wonder if Finance was higher on the list before the crash?

  • So glad to see Finance so low and so few MBA-pre-majors! I wonder if Finance was higher on the list before the crash?

  • This is based on people who already have jobs in the industry. So these numbers are based on what someone might expect to earn should they successfully land a spot in those industries.

    Considering the amount of still being done overseas, I'm not so sure I would use these projections for anything.

    A McDonald's General Manager still makes more than the highest paid degree on that list.

  • This is based on people who already have jobs in the industry. So these numbers are based on what someone might expect to earn should they successfully land a spot in those industries.

    Considering the amount of still being done overseas, I'm not so sure I would use these projections for anything.

    A McDonald's General Manager still makes more than the highest paid degree on that list.

  • +Matt Harmon you are the first person I have seen since this list first appeared in my cirlcles to take it with a grain of salt. I work on the side of the road digging ditches and would rank second on this list with only about 7 months of work a year. That 7 or so months is by choice.
    I encourage everyone to better themselves (intellectually and finacially) but 30-60 weeks of trade school across 3-5 years all while working gets a person into this range of earnings.
    Skilled labor is not for everyone, but college isn't either.
    Guidance counselors in high schools today steer many young men and women into fields that have a potential to give them a nice salary. I know quite a few former classmates of mine that have degrees yet work in retail management.
    Kudos to people who work in their field of study and make this list.

  • But why are so many students still picking finance/business/pre-law/pre-med over engineering? Here is what my sister-in-law, who is a high school science teacher, and others report: The students who are of the mindset to look at such figures actually pay more attention to mid-career salaries, where the top-tier of those other professions earn 2X – 10X more than their engineering equivalents. And they assume they will be in that top tier.

  • tj. mrkando kukando.

  • Ya mean, a Fine Arts Degree is not on the list !?!?! I am astounded. ….ha ! NOT.

  • I notice one thing in this list: to make money you have to be really good at math.

  • I notice that for some of those degrees, the starting salary has gone down since I researched this 15 years ago.

  • Being Oski the Cal bear is not a paying job, I don't think.

  • What's the difference between chemical and petroleum engineering and between computer and electrical engineering?

  • +Vladimir Todorov $16,000?

  • Electrical engineer and computer engineering are closely related. An electrical engineer designs things like complex power grids and some design electronic circuit boards (like those used in a computer).Computer engineers design computer hardware and software but also have to know some of the same knowledge as an electrical. So there is a bit of overlap between the two.

  • +Guy Kawasaki com'on Guy stop making those of us who are ny in that field feel so insecure because I believe “money isn't success and success is about being the best there is wherever you find yourself.” like you always say “in a world where everyone is bothered about price, design counts” which in this case I interprete to mean “in a world where money is everything success does counts”.

  • Laurie O'Neill

    I tell my grandchildren that their world will need scientists and teachers most of all–I guess I got one right (and maybe we can change that for them before we’re done)….

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