Highest Paying Jobs With a Bachelor’s Degree

Your major can have an even bigger impact on future earnings than choice of school. Find out which majors pay you back, and which make it hard to pay back student loans.

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Rank 
Major 
Degree Type
Early Career Pay
Median salary for alumni w/degrees in this subject; 0-5 years work experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni w/degrees in this subject; 10+ years work experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
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A bachelor’s degree is a great investment in your future, and one of the most common degrees earned by college students. Some degrees pay you back, but others don’t do much to increase your earning potential. Your course of study influences your earning potential, so in order to plan your financial future, use PayScale’s College Salary Report to rank how different majors for bachelor’s degrees compare based on alumni salaries.

Top Bachelor Degrees In 2018

This year’s College Salary Report shows that the best bachelor degrees are mostly STEM focused, meaning they are focused on science, technology, engineering or math. STEM degrees continue to be some of the highest paying degrees on the College Salary Report year after year. The top five bachelor degrees for 2018 are

Petroleum Engineering – Mid Career Salary: $183,600

A focus in this type of engineering will show you how to oversee production methods for retrieving oil and natural gas from the earth. Common employers of petroleum engineers include Chevron Corporation, British Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Exxon, and more. Petroleum engineering is a male dominated field, with women representing only 11 percent.

Operations Research & Industrial Engineering – Mid-Career Salary: $166,300

This type of program shows you how to improve and manage engineering processes for a company. You’ll study how to find ways to better utilize resources like employees, machinery and other assets. Common employers for this type of career include Amazon, Comscore and the Aluminum Company of America.

Actuarial MathematicsMid-Career Salary: $158,100

For those who love math, studying actuarial mathematics allows you to use your math skills in the real world. This discipline shows you how to apply statistical and mathematical functions to assess risks in things like insurance and finance. Employers hiring for this type of role include Cigna, Metro United Way, The Hanover Insurance Company and more.

In today’s job market, having a bachelor’s degree is nearly a necessity to land a rewarding, well-paying job with any possibility for advancement; a bachelor’s degree is almost essential for entry into most professional careers. In certain lines of work, like teaching and engineering, you cannot enter the field without holding at least a bachelor’s degree.


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