PayScale introduces new “Most Transferrable Majors” research to help students and families identify majors with most long-term potential for earnings and career flexibility
Harvey Mudd is again the number one slot this year with mid-career pay of $158,200, $3,000 above the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the second-place slot. In addition, engineering and math majors dominate the bachelor’s rankings for highest earning potential while two-year associates degrees focused on technology top the list for pay.
“Higher education is a major financial decision, both in terms of the cost of attending the institution as well as the potential for future earnings. Our College Salary Report can be an important resource for students and their families when making decisions about which school to attend and which major to study,” noted PayScale Director of Research Sudarshan Sampath. “”In addition, our new Most Flexible Majors research provides insight about the potential flexibility of areas of study for new career and income opportunities in the future. Our labor market is constantly evolving, so having a degree that is flexible across industries or jobs—some that may not even exist yet—is an important consideration.”
For associate degrees, nursing and healthcare jobs continue to dominate as do technology-focused degrees for four-year bachelor’s degrees.
In their Campaign for Nursing’s Future, healthcare leader Johnson & Johnson predicts a future, significant opportunity for nursing students, citing: ”… a looming healthcare crisis [with a] a shortage of 500,000 nurses by 2020. To date, [Johnson & Johnson] has provided over $20 million in nursing scholarships and built partnerships with over 25 nursing organizations. The nursing workforce has now grown by more than a million, with projected growth of another million by 2030.”
Other Highlights from the 2019-20 report:
Bachelor’s Degree Schools with Highest Pay
- The top of the list continues to be dominated by the Ivy League, elite technical universities, and military academies.
- Harvey Mudd—a liberal arts school that grants degrees in only science, engineering and mathematics—is again in the number one slot this year with mid-career pay of $158,200.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology holds the second-place slot with mid-career pay of $155,200. Samuel Merritt University comes in third at $154,100, the US Naval Academy places fourth at $152,800, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) rounds out the top five at $151,600—with Harvard and Stanford next in line at $146,800 and $145,2000, respectively.
Associate Degree Schools with highest pay
- The majority of the highest earning two-year programs are schools with strong reputations and a specific focus in nursing and healthcare professions.
- Helene Fuld College of Nursing holds the number-one placement again this year at $90,600. Pacific Union College trails just behind at $90,400, with Laboure College at $85,400, and Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai Beth Israel
at $82,800, topping the list of schools with the most financially rewarding Associate’s Degrees.
Schools by Major with highest pay
- From a salary perspective, the best institutions per majors are the following
- Art, Computer Science and Engineering, Stanford University
- Business, Harvard University
- Communications, University of California-Berkeley
- Education, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Humanities, United States Air Force Academy
- Math, Harvard University
- Physical and Life Science, Harvey Mudd College
- Social Science, Colgate University
- Some of the highest paying two-year majors are technology focused, with Physician Assistant Studies in the top spot, Radiation Therapy at #2, Software Engineering at #3, Project Management at #4 and Computer Science (CS) and Engineering coming in at #5.
- Engineering and math dominate the bachelor’s rankings, but petroleum engineering majors make far and away the most money mid-career. A major In Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) comes in second place, followed by Applied Economics and Management.
PayScale’s 2019 College Salary Report provides estimates of early and mid-career pay for 2,537 associate and bachelor’s degree-granting institutions throughout the U.S. Specifically:
- 1,313 schools for people with at most an associate degree
- 1,565 schools for people with at most a bachelor’s degree
- 1,602 schools for people with at least a bachelor’s degree
For more information about the College Salary Report, including methodology, please visit: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report and for more information about the report methodology, please visit: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/methodology
PayScale offers modern compensation software and the most precise, real-time, data-driven insights for employees and employers alike. More than 8,000 customers, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, use PayScale to power pay decisions for more than 23 million employees. These companies include Encana, The New York Times, Sunsweet, T-Mobile, United Health Group, Wendy's and Perry Ellis. For more information, please visit: https://www.payscale.com/ or follow PayScale on Twitter: https://twitter.com/payscale.