Majors that Pay Well Right Out of College

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IF WE’RE BEING HONEST, money is important. And when it comes to choosing your major, it’s certainly going to play a role in some way, even if it’s just in regards to paying back your student loans.

College Degrees That Pay Well

Although you’d be ill advised to choose your career solely on money, it’s always nice to have a general idea of which fields pay well. Here are several that top the list.


Median Starting Salary: $47,300
Median Mid-Career Pay: $94,700

If you’re interested in banking finance or business a degree in economics can make for a very impressive paycheck. In addition many economics majors go on to pursue careers in law government public policy education and nonprofit work among others.

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Majoring in finance will put you in a similar tax bracket. The median starting salary for finance majors is $46,500 and the median mid-career pay is $87,300.

Computer Science

Median Starting Salary: $56,600
Median Mid-Career Pay: $97,900

What does it take to get top jobs in computer science? Great grades internships and work experience can play big roles but so can independent projects.

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Did you get an app accepted by iTunes? Create a social media platform that’s got a few thousand members? Make yourself stand out in a crowd of computer science grads and you’ll be on your way to the big bucks.


Median Starting Salary: $49,800
Median Mid-Career Pay: $101,000

If the world of matter and energy fascinate you a degree in physics will keep work interesting—and food on the table.

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Physics majors have a wide variety of industries to find employment from hospitals labs and museums to schools governments and the military. Be prepared to join the 67 percent of grads who go on to continue their education and your salary will only increase!


Median Starting Salary: $41,700
Median Mid-Career Pay: $84,700

In addition to paying very well biochemistry is a field that offers a variety of career paths. Environmental activists may spend their days looking for alternative fuel sources.

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Graduates interested in health-related fields may choose to work in a hospital lab clinic or pharmaceutical company. There’s also work available in refineries manufacturing plants research facilities and agricultural organizations.


Median Starting Salary: $51,700-$97,900
Median Mid-Career Pay: $88,600-$155,000

One degree that tops the starting salary lists year after year is engineering. Whether it’s chemical electrical aerospace petroleum or materials engineering engineers can rake in the big bucks.

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Of course many spend a minimum of five years in college especially if you land a co-op work experience during college.

Management Information Systems

Median Starting Salary: $51,000
Median Mid-Career Pay: $88,200

The more technology evolves the more data we have to collect analyze and protect. Graduates with a degree in management information systems can do these things and more for private companies nonprofits and the government.

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The field seems to be growing parallel to the data: by 17 percent each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Construction and Supply Chain Management

Median Starting Salary: $50,200
Median Mid-Career Pay: $84,700-$85,200

Most people don’t associate the word “construction” with high-paying college majors but we’re not necessarily talking about the guy with the nail gun. The people running the show—supervising planning organizing and purchasing—require specific skills and knowledge that can be obtained through degree courses.

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These are just a handful of the top-paying majors and many new degrees are making the list as the need for their skills arises. As our population ages our technology advances and our need for alternative energy and fuels increases so too will our need for experts in those fields.

SOURCE:’s “High-paying college majors to study

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.