In today’s world, getting a job with a high salary is seen as very important. Getting a college degree that pays well is often the key to getting a job that many graduate students want. Data show that a person can make more money if they go to college after high school than if they don’t.
How much is that? The 2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that it can be up to $502 more per week. In a year, that adds up to $26,104! That’s a lot of money over the course of a career! It’s easy to see that getting a college degree that pays well can give you a lot of extra money.
What is the best degree to get if you want to make more money? US News says that these are the 10 college majors with the best median starting salaries:
- Aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering ($62,350)
- Mechanical engineering ($62,400)
- Nuclear engineering ($62,550)
- Materials engineering ($63,300)
- Computer science ($64,450)
- Chemical engineering ($64,750)
- Industrial engineering ($65,250)
- Electrical, electronics, and communications engineering ($67,000)
- Petroleum engineering ($67,150)
- Computer engineering ($69,300)
Did you see a pattern? All the degrees on the list of the top 2022 highest-paying college degrees were related to engineering. This makes things look easy, but what if you’re not an engineer? You can get other high-paying college degrees that may be more suited to your skills and interests.
According to payscale.com, some of the highest-paid non-engineer-related degrees include:
- Applied economics and management ($60,900)
- Public accounting ($90,000)
- Quantitative business analysis ($67,900)
- Pharmacy ($66,300)
- Actuarial mathematics ($61,900)
- Operations & Information systems management ($63,800)
- Political economy ($58,200)
- Corporate accounting & finance ($61,200)
The current trend shows that degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are the most valuable. Some of the lowest-paying degrees were in the performing arts, drama and theater arts, family and consumer science, psychology, criminology, health, and physical education, social work, and education. If you want a degree that pays well, you should still choose a STEM major.
Why go for a high-paying college degree?
Every year, the cost of college goes up. Many people think that you need to go to college if you want to make a lot of money in the world today. In 2019, 69% of college students took out loans to pay for school. Student debt is a big problem for a lot of people, but getting a college degree that pays well can help ease that stress.
Money isn’t the only thing to think about when choosing a college major (but it sure does help). One should think about their skills, interests, and whether one wants to work in their chosen field for the next few decades.
You might be going back to school to get another degree. If this is the case, you might want to get a degree that pays well and adds to your current skills or degree. For example, if you have a degree in social work, it might go well with a degree in political economy or applied economics and management.
Just having a degree doesn’t mean you’ll get a job that pays well. There are a lot of other things to think about. You should also think about what the average salary is in the area you want to live in, how good the schools are, how the industry is expected to grow in the future, and whether technology will eventually replace human workers.
College is like putting money away for your future. It takes time to figure out which degree is right for you. In college, many people change their major. This will only make your education more expensive. Before you choose your major, it’s very important to take stock of your skills and abilities.
But if you’ve been to college for a few years, it’s not all bad. Still, you might want to switch from your less-paying major to one that will pay you a lot more over the course of your career.
If you already have a degree and want to go back to school but aren’t eligible for any more undergrad loans, you might want to take advantage of your degree and go to graduate school. Getting an advanced degree can open doors that a bachelor’s degree alone can’t always do.
If you already have a degree in business or finance, you might want to go back to school to get an MBA. At the start of their career, a person with an MBA can expect to take home about $53,400.
No matter what you studied in college, your degree can help you get into law school. Even if you got a degree in something like philosophy or history that doesn’t pay as well, you can still do well in law school by using the critical thinking skills you learned in college. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a lawyer is $122,960.
As you can see, people who want a high-paying college degree have a lot of choices. If you want to make as much money as possible, you can rest assured that you have a lot of good options. College doesn’t guarantee financial success on its own.
How much you earn after college will depend on how well you networked in college, how well you did in school, where you placed in your class, and if you did an internship or externship. A diploma from college is just a piece of paper. What makes it worth something is what you learn from it.
Remember that you don’t have to go to college and major in something you don’t like just to make a lot of money. When choosing the best college degree program for you, it’s more important to think about what you enjoy doing. If you don’t like doing something, you probably won’t put in the time and effort to do it well.
Most of the time, people who get to the top are those who are really interested in their majors and careers. People say that if you get a good degree, the money will come.