Top 10 Highest-Paying College Majors

What college degrees lead to the highest starting salaries?There's no greater way to ensure a high-paying career than having a degree in the sciences or math-related disciplines. That point has been driven home again, thanks to a new study released Wednesday by the Georgetown University Center on Education and The Workforce. The study examined 2010 and 2011 salaries and unemployment rates for recent college grads between the ages of 22 and 26. It's major finding: Nine of the 10 highest-paying degrees are in the STEM disciplines -- science, technology, engineering and math.

The wage gap between STEM and liberal arts majors is glaring. The median salary among recent holder of engineering degrees is $54,000, nearly double what someone with an arts degrees earns ($30,000 a year).

More: 8 Great Jobs In Finance That Don't Require An MBA

However, high starting salaries doesn't necessarily mean it's easy to land a job. Degree-holders in the ten highest-paying fields have an employment rate ranging from 4.0 to 11.7 percent -- on par with overall unemployment rate for all recent grads -- 8.9 percent, according to the Georgetown study. And one of the fields with the lowest unemployment rates -- elementary education (4.8 percent) and physical fitness and parks recreation (5.2%) -- has a relatively low starting salaries.

Below are the 10 highest-paying college degrees (and their unemployment rates). (See also the 10 worst paying college majors.)

10. Information Systems
Starting Salary: $43,000
Unemployment Rate: 11.7 percent
Find a job now in information systems.

9. Accounting
Starting Salary: $43,000
Unemployment Rate: 6.8 percent
Find a job now in accounting.

8. Finance
Starting Salary: $44,000
Unemployment Rate: 6.6 percent
Find a job now in finance.

7. Economics
Starting Salary: $48,000
Unemployment Rate: 9.4 percent
Find a job now in economics.

6. Nursing
Starting Salary: $48,000
Unemployment Rate: 4.0 percent
Find a job now in nursing.

5. Computer Science
Starting Salary: $50,000
Unemployment Rate: 7.8 percent
Find a job now in computer science.

4. Civil Engineering
Starting Salary: $50,000
Unemployment Rate: 8.1 percent
Find a job now in civil engineering.

3. General Engineering
Starting Salary: $55,000
Unemployment Rate: 7.0 percent
Find a job now in general engineering.

2. Electrical Engineering
Starting Salary: $57,000
Unemployment Rate: 7.3 percent
Find a job now in electrical engineering.

1. Mechanical Engineering
Starting Salary: $58,000
Unemployment Rate: 8.6 percent
Find a job now in mechanical engineering.



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11 Comments

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Kiki Logronio

Great comments everyone! There are no more loop holes for our children. Although I have completed MBA there is still no jobs out there. Tuitions are high and for those on scholarship there is still the daily obligations we have to deal with at home. In my conclusion, to avoid receiving a bill for your school loan, some just keep going to school. There is hardships now in America, what is there else to do? BLM Bureau of Land Management should be able to give or lease lands for Agricultural purposes. We should plant more trees and not waste our fuels. We all have to get real and understand what is going on in our planet, it is not good. We all need to prepare. God Bless USA.

June 02 2013 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dedndogyrs

Forget about those jobs if you aren't completely left brained and don't have a really high analytical IQ. And I don't know if those jobs exist anyway; after all, the U.S. Government betrays its citizens by giving their jobs away to foreigners who get paid peanuts by greedy American employers.

May 31 2013 at 5:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dedndogyrs

There are no nursing jobs for new graduates and wages are falling. Don't bother.

May 31 2013 at 5:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tazgadon

So vocations that keep the moral fiber intact and humans in touch with their humanity, pay the least. Devalue that…devalue society...oh the murders, the scams, the petty, the lack of substance, the corruption, the growing poverty, the unethical...and sadly the vocations that pay the most (with the exception of nursing?) just…pay the most, and are often behind or involved in the situations that endanger the planet, the society and hurt us the most.

May 30 2013 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DON

Your unemployment numbers on engineers are higher than anyone elses but that is not a surprise as much of you data is questionable and I would never quote AOL data.

May 30 2013 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Business Major

I have 2 of the degrees listed as high-paying, Finance and Economics. If working at Kmart as a cashier for $7.25 an hour is racking in the big bucks, then these people must be smoking some crack. I still have to find a second cashiering job just to make ends meet and not get evicted from my apartment or go to bed hungry. That is why I applied for food stamps.

May 30 2013 at 11:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Business Major's comment
mikemaj82

amen brotha. computer science here, and going entering month 5 of unemployment soon. Can't even get an interview.

May 30 2013 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
backwoodsboy8801

These people don't need ObomaCare!

May 29 2013 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to backwoodsboy8801's comment
vallontina

If their job pays all their medical insurance they will do OK - if not, that $58,000. a year job will have to pay for upwards of $700. a month health insurance premium on a single person, $1200-1400. on a married couple and $2200. on a family.

May 30 2013 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to vallontina's comment
Diane

And from what I hear, the medical insurance premiums are going to go up A LOT before the end of the year.

May 30 2013 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
mikemaj82

you can get good individual health insurance for most needs for about $300-$350 a month.

May 30 2013 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

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