The Best-Paying College Majors
Let’s be clear: Choosing a major solely based on how much money you’ll make is no way to ensure happiness.
Even the best-paying jobs can leave you feeling empty and miserable if you’re not doing something you enjoy. For many people, it’s vital that their work feels meaningful, allowing them to help others, create change or leave a legacy.
That being said, there’s no reason salary shouldn’t play some role in your decision. After all, if you love two things equally, it makes sense to choose the one that will help you pay back your student loans faster.
PayScale has done some research on this very subject, gathering the 30 best-paying college majors for 2016 based on 319 bachelor’s degrees. All but one of the majors are in the sciences, and many involve some form of engineering. We didn’t list them all here, but we’re giving you
Starting salary: $54,800
What it is: If you enjoy solving problems with math and science, designing and building things, or understanding how machines and other structures work, majoring in engineering might suit you. Engineering covers a broad array of areas, such as chemical, mechanical, civil, electrical and software. There are also interdisciplinary areas such as aerospace, energy and industrial engineering.
Fields you could work in: military, government, technology, manufacturing, construction, aeronautics, communications
Core courses you’ll likely need to take: math, science, computer science and, of course, engineering
Business Information Systems
Starting salary: $58,600
What it is: A cross between technology and business, this degree positions you to evaluate and improve business processes through the application of technology.
Feilds you could work in: education, finance, communications, government, health care, advertising, marketing
Core courses you’ll likely need to take: accounting, management, technology
Starting salary: $58,100
What it is: This degree involves wholesaling and distributing technological products.
Fields you could work in: construction, petroleum and energy, electronics manufacturing, aeronautics
Core courses you’ll likely need to take: applied engineering, information technology, communications, business, logistics
Starting salary: $58,800
What it is: Using statistics and math, actuaries assess risk in a variety of industries.
Fields you could work in: insurance, finance, education, government, health care, business
Core courses you’ll likely need to take: math, economics, statistics, computer science, business
Starting salary: $61,500
What it is: Blending chemistry, physics and biology, packaging science majors work on the design, engineering, science, research and business that make up the packaging industry.
Fields you could work in: automotive, aerospace, food, medical, military
Core courses you’ll likely need to take: biology, chemistry, math, physics, business
Computer Science and Mathematics
Starting salary: $62,900
What it is: This major prepares students for a career that applies mathematics to areas of computer science, including robotics, algorithms and graphics.
Fields you could work in: government, manufacturing, aerospace, business, finance, military
Core courses you’ll likely need to take: computer science, math
Starting salary: $65,800
What it is: Dental hygienists assess the oral health of patients, assist the dentist, and take and develop dental radiographs.
Fields you could work in: private dental practice, military, public dental health
Core courses you’ll likely need to take: biology, nutrition, anatomy, physiology
To see the full list, visit Payscale.com.