Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Top 10 Highest Paying College Degrees

Highest Paying College Degrees

This article is going to be about the highest paying college degrees and by that I mean four-year degrees only. We are not going to include any master's degrees, doctoral degrees, professional degrees, anything that takes more than four years is going to be off the list. Money does not matter and you should always follow your passion, obviously pay is not everything I know this, there is a lot of things that you want to consider, job satisfaction, passion, quality of life, but that is not what we are talking about today. Today we are just going to be going over the degrees that pay the big money.

Before I start this article I did a ton of research on this and it is really difficult to determine which one actually pays the most because almost all of the studies rely on self-reporting data which is not always accurate. But with that being said, I got all of my information from three different sources;
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • Survey by
  • Analysis by

Most of this data is going to be based on your first 5 years after graduating but, I also took into account the overall median pay of everybody that graduated with a degree as well.

10. Finance Degree

Finance Degree
  • Financial Analysts
  • Median Pay: $85,660 per year
  • $41.18 per hour

  • Financial Advisor
  • Median Pay: $88,890 per year
  • $42.72 per hour

There are many different career paths you can go down with a finance degree, common ones are going to be a financial analyst or a personal financial advisor. Financial analysts are going to provide guidance to people who are making investment decisions, this could include businesses as well as individual investors personal. 

Financial advisors, on the other hand, are more boots on the ground and they are going to be interacting with normal people that are just trying to save for retirement

There are lots of job openings for both of these careers and they are both growing a lot faster than average, and a good friend of mine from high school ended up becoming a financial analyst and moving to New York and he's doing really well compared to anybody else in my high school, so I have seen firsthand how good a finance degree can be.

9. Physics Degree

Physics Degree

  • Physics degree 
  • Median Pay: $97,300 per year
  • $50.300 per hour

  • Physicists and Astronomers
  • Median Pay: 119.580 per year
  • $57.49 per hour

You can become a physicist with this degree but there are a lot of other options as well 
  • Accelerator Operator
  • Applications Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Design Engine
  • High School Physics Teacher
  • It Consultant
  • Lab Technician
  • Laser Engineer

People who graduate with a physics degree are making around $97,300 a year. If you do decide to go for a higher level degree you can make a lot more than this, and physics graduates are paid really well and they are highly sought after because this is probably the most difficult degree that you can get an undergrad

Companies know that when they are hiring someone with a physics degree they are getting a very smart hardworking individual that is going to solve problems for them. The big problem with this one is that if you only get a bachelor's degree you are probably not going to find that many opportunities to work as a physicist. If that is the path that you are trying to go, you are going to need to get a master's or a doctoral-level degree. But like I said, there is still a ton of other options and physics majors get paid very well after getting out of school. This is one of those degrees where you want to have a very clear idea of what careers interest you because there is not a clear path of which job you are going to get after you graduate.

If you get an engineering degree you are going to become an engineer, you get a physics degree there is a lot of other things you could potentially become. And getting a physics degree and expecting to become the next Elon Musk would be kind of like getting a theater degree and expecting to become the next Robert Downey jr.

8. Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

  • Median Pay: $87,370 per year
  • $42.00 per hour

They help to design develop and build mechanical devices. This one probably is not going to surprise anyone but mechanical engineering is a really solid option on this list, and it is going to be the first of many different engineering degrees.

They also have a lot of job openings in this career and it is a very flexible degree where you can do a lot of different things with it, so overall this is a very solid choice 

7. Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering

  • Median Pay: $87,040 per year
  • $41.84 per hour

They helped to create efficient systems within a business that integrates the worker as well as the information and the systems, all of that comes together to make a better product. This one is a valuable skill to have because it sort of combines engineering with entrepreneurship, and I see this one being even more valuable with automation as well as artificial intelligence coming down the line

This is also one of the fastest-growing engineering careers at about 8% growth which is really good for them, and this one barely edges out mechanical engineering on the rankings. Overall, this one is an amazing option, lots of jobs, lots of future opportunities as well, and I know there is a lot of engineering degrees on this list, but that is no mistake now 

6. Electrical Engineering And Computer Engineering

Electrical Engineering And Computer Engineering

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Median Pay: $99.070 per year
  • $47.63 per hour

  • Computer Engineering
  • $114,600 per year
  • $55.10 per hour

I group these two together because Computer Engineering is technically a subset of Electrical Engineering, now, of course, Computer Engineering focuses more on designing and creating computer systems and electrical has a great salary at about $99.070 a year, but computer engineering has an even better salary.

Electrical Engineering

Computer Engineering

I think these are both fantastic options Electrical Engineering is a little bit more flexible you can get a lot of different types of jobs with that one, whereas Computer Engineering pays a lot more. And it is also a really good option because it is so easy to transition into maybe the best industry in the world which is the tech industry.

5. Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

  • Median Pay: $104,910 per year
  • $50.44 per hour

Chemical engineers apply the principles of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, to make all kinds of different things from food to fuel. This one is not as flexible as a lot of the other ones on the list and it does not have as many job openings so you will likely have to move to wherever the opportunity is. But overall this is still a very solid choice 

4. Economics Degree

Economics Degree

  • Median Pay: $104,340 per year
  • $50.16 per hour

I was surprised at how high this was on the list but it is a very solid option. If you want to purely become an economist you are probably going to have to get at least a master's degree, but there is a lot of other options out there for people who just opt for a four-year bachelor's.

This one also has some of the best statistics when it comes to starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur. Overall, this is a very solid option for you especially if you don't want to go down the engineering route, and it is really hard to calculate exactly how much they make because many of them end up getting their masters or their doctorate and there is no way to differentiate with the data. But broadly speaking, this one paid very well.

3. Computer Science

Computer Science

  • Median Pay: $109,020 per year
  • $52.41 per year

This one was extremely difficult to rank, you could make a good argument that it is number one on the list but, there are just so many different options for you if you get a computer science degree. You can be a front-end engineer, you can be a back-end engineer, you can be a computer network architect, you can get a chill remote job where you are working on your code from anywhere in the world. A guy I know who's a computer network architect only works about ten to twenty hours a week and he makes over $300,000 a year, or you can go all-out move to Silicon Valley and go for jobs that pay over $500,000 a year, this one is also great if you want to start a business in the tech industry, there are honestly so many options out there that it is really difficult to rank this one.

You could easily rank at number one and at the end of the day it sort of does come down to your opinion, but overall this one is extremely solid.

2. Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering

  • Median Pay: $115,220 per year
  • $55.39 per hour

I think you can sort of guess what they do they design all sorts of different objects that fly through the air from satellites to drones to helicopters, spacecraft, etc. This one pays extremely well but there are not that many job openings and it is not as flexible as some of the other engineering degrees as well. So because of that you will likely have to move to a place where there are more opportunities for aerospace engineers.

If you are going into this one your competition is going to be really tough, you are going to be going against people who are geniuses, so you are going to have to work really hard. Overall this is a great option for the right person and it pays ridiculously well.

1. Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineering

  • Median Pay: $137,170 per year
  • $65.95 per hour

You can probably guess what they do, they design methods of extracting oil and gas from deposits that are below the earth's surface. This is another one where the pay is amazing but there is not that much demand and chances are you are going to have to either move to a town in the middle of nowhere or you might even have to move out on to an oil rig in the middle of the ocean.

On top of that it is not as flexible as a lot of the other engineering degrees so if you don't want to work in the natural gas field, you are going to have a little bit more trouble transitioning into something else. Overall it is insane that they can make almost a $137,170 a year with just a four-year degree, and I want to just note here that the comparisons are not perfect because someone might go for an engineering degree for four years and then they end up becoming a computer programmer and there is just no way to differentiate all of that sort of thing in the data.

Alright. those are the top-paying college degree. Hopefully you got some valuable information.

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