13 Of The Best College Majors That Make the Most Money
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Students coming out of college have a mountain of debt to overcome that'll take decades to pay back unless they study one of the majors that make the most money. These majors can help students afford a decent lifestyle instead of living in squalor right out of school.
Each of these majors will require a significant amount of technical knowledge but it'll be well worth it when the first paycheck arrives. Learn exactly what the majors that make the most money are and what it takes to get a degree in one of these fields.
Most Lucrative College Majors
Young people hold the majority of student loan debt as people between the ages of 25 and 34 carry about $500 billion in federal student loans. Although there are ways young people can make money without a college degree, having one will give individuals a better chance at starting off with a higher salary.
Here is a list of majors that make the most money with salaries high enough to help students pay their student loan debt.
According to Glassdoor, a political economics major can expect an average annual salary to be around $68,000. Someone who specializes in this field can expect to find a job as a government economist, a political consultant, or an analyst.
In school, students will learn about economic theory and how it applies to real-world situations. They will also learn about different political systems around the world and how they impact economies.
A political economist typically starts their career working as an analyst for a government organization or a think tank. After gaining some experience, they can move into a higher paying position such as a consultant or an economist for a corporation.
Average Salary: $68,000 per Year
Potential Jobs: Government Economist, Political Consultant, Analyst
Sticking through the 4+ years it takes to graduate is well worth it if you've majored in a subject like computer science. Specializing in either hardware or software design will likely have the same financial results.
The average starting salary for a computer science major is $65,000 a year. With the right experience, employees can expect mid-career pay of $100,000. They'll likely need some experience before reaching this level of income.
Computer science majors learn about everything from algorithms to software design principles. They also learn how to code in different programming languages and build applications. You can learn more about how to start your own software business here.
Average Salary: $65,000
Potential Jobs: Software Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Computer Programmer
The phrase "corporate America" exists for a reason and it's because so many large businesses have a significant impact on our economy. Having a bachelor's degree in business administration will give you the skills needed to have a high income straight out of college.
A business administration degree can lead to a number of different job options such as human resources, marketing, or even management. The average starting salary for someone with this degree is around $48,000 a year.
In school, students learn about topics like accounting, finance, and strategy. They also learn how to lead and manage a team of employees to help prepare them for the real world.
Average Salary: $48,000
Potential Jobs: Management, Consulting, Human Resources
There are many degrees within the engineering field that will fill your pockets as you're getting out of college. Electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer engineering, industrial engineering, civil engineering, and even a petroleum engineer all come with a high starting salary.
The average starting salary for an engineering major is $79,000 a year but there is a high ceiling for senior engineers. A career that has a long track record of success can net over $200,000. It's one of the majors that make the most money coming straight out of college.
Most engineering majors learn about topics like physics, calculus, and different manufacturing processes. They also learn how to design and test products to see if they meet the standards set by the company.
Average Salary: $79,000
Potential Jobs: Chemical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Industrial Engineer
Although not as glamorous as some of the other college majors on this list, mathematics is still a great way to make a lot of money out of college. A degree in mathematics can lead to a career in finance, actuarial science, or even becoming a professor.
The average starting salary for a mathematics major is $78,000 but there is potential to make much more than that. As an experienced professional in the field, a mid-career salary can be upwards of $185,000 a year. It's another one of the majors that make the most money, especially if the student already has a knack for numbers.
A mathematician isn't the only type of career you can have with this degree. You could also become a statistician, an accountant, or a financial analyst.
In school, students learn about topics like calculus, algebra, and statistics. They also learn how to apply these concepts to solve real-world problems.
Average Salary: $78,000
Potential Jobs: Financial Analyst, Accountant, Statistician, Professor
Knowing how to settle balance books and help with taxes can lead to a high income for those who major in accounting (and check out our list of high income skills for more ideas). Many businesses large and small are in need of accountants to help manage their finances.
The average starting salary for an accountant is $50,000 a year, but with experience, that number can jump to over $83,000. The stability that comes with an accounting position should also be a consideration when choosing this career path.
Accountants usually have a four-year degree in accounting or a related field. Students will spend most of their time learning about topics like tax law, auditing, and financial accounting.
Average Salary: $50,000
Potential Jobs: Tax Accountant, Auditor, Financial Analyst
The rise of computers in school, workplaces, and government organizations has led to a demand for those with an information technology background. Many IT majors find jobs in computer systems design, management consulting, or software publishing. They are usually able to find an online opportunity coming out of college.
The average starting salary for an IT major is $51,000 a year, but like many other majors on this list, there is room to grow within the field. With experience, an IT professional can make upwards of $83,000 a year.
Alumni with this type of degree can find job openings as computer programmers, database administrators, or web developers. In school, students learn about topics like computer science, programming languages, and software development. They also learn how to manage large-scale projects and solve complex problems.
If you want a company wants to hire a software developer, they are often looking for those with IT backgrounds.
Average Salary: $51,000
Potential Jobs: Computer Programmer, Database Administrator, Web Developer
Financial literacy and strategy are important to any business in any industry which is why those with a finance degree are in high demand by employers. A finance degree can lead to a career in investment banking, financial planning, or as an analyst.
The average starting salary for a financial analyst is $64,000, which is on the higher end coming out of college. Gather enough experience and employees can expect up to $155,000 a year.
The dedication to learning about topics like investments, risk management, and financial markets pays off for finance majors. They also learn how to use software to solve complex problems and make sound decisions.
Average Salary: $64,000
Potential Jobs: Financial Analyst, Investment Banker, Financial Advisor
As businesses expand in operations, they need to estimate trends and risks that come with growth. This is where business analytics comes into play. Business analytics majors use data to help organizations make sound decisions about the future of the company.
This degree has a relatively high starting salary of $74,000 a year and experienced professionals can make upwards of $150,000 annually. Analysts can help companies influence shareholders in order to receive more support for business projects. In terms of majors that make the most money, a business analyst does well coming right out of school.
Business analytics majors learn about topics like data mining, statistics, and modeling. They also learn how to use software to help them analyze data and make predictions. These skills will help coordinate multiple teams to produce better results for a company.
Average Salary: $74,000
Potential Jobs: Data Analyst, Business Analyst, Research Analyst
It's possible for college students to prime themselves for the future by getting a degree in business management. This degree can lead to careers in human resources, marketing, or as a CEO.
A business management degree has an average starting salary of $68,000 but with experience, that number jumps to over $140,000. Business managers use their skillset to help organize teams and motivate employees to achieve common goals.
In school, students learn about topics like business law, marketing, and accounting. They also learn how to manage people and resources efficiently in order to produce results. These skills are essential for any business manager.
Average Salary: $68,000
Potential Jobs: Business Manager, Human Resources Manager
The higher skill and the risk factor of a position usually mean it comes with a higher annual pay. An aeronautics major stands a high chance of receiving a well-paying job right out of college.
The average starting salary for an aeronautic engineer major is $91,000. With experience, that number can jump to over $180,000. Employers are always searching for qualified candidates to fill positions such as pilot or air traffic controller.
Aeronautics majors learn about topics like aircraft design, thermodynamics, and propulsion. They also learn how to use software to help them design and test aircrafts. These skills are essential for anyone looking to enter the field of aeronautics.
Average Salary: $91,000
Potential Jobs: Pilot, Air Traffic Controller, Aerospace Engineer
Having a degree in social work doesn't destine you for a low-paying career your entire life. In fact, it can be quite the opposite with the right major.
Some of the highest-paying social science majors are intelligence analysts, psychologists, and sociologists. The average starting salary for an intelligence analyst is $65,000 but with experience, that number can jump to over $145,000.
In school, social science majors will learn about topics like human behavior, social structures, and research methods. They also learn how to use software to help them read data and make predictions. These skills will help them make more accurate decisions.
Average Salary: $65,000
Potential Jobs: Intelligence Analyst, Psychologist, Sociologist
The world revolves around communication and it's often stated as the number one reason relationships of any kind end. Having a college degree in this highly sought-after field can lead to a number of well-paying jobs.
The average starting salary for a communications major is $47,000 but with a few years put in and some experience gained, employees can make upward of $140,000 a year. Communications majors learn about topics like public relations, advertising, and media.
Average Salary: $47,000
Potential Jobs: Human Resources, Marketing & Advertising, Social and Digital Media Manager
High-Paying College Majors
If students stick to the recommended majors above, they'll have no problem paying off student debt loans soon rather than later. Gaining year after year of experience will also be beneficial as they could easily see a six-figure payday in their future.
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