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Your college major is an important choice. Though it does not necessarily dictate the exact job you’ll have or salary you’ll receive, it can set up the foundation for your professional life. In general, statistics show that some college majors tend to lead to higher-earning careers than others. When it comes to selecting a major, many college students want to pick the ones that are more likely to lead to lucrative careers. Our partners at College Ave Student Loans have compiled a list of some of the top-paying college majors for undergraduate degrees with data from the 2016-2017 College Salary Report from Payscale.com.
Engineering degrees tend to be the highest paying majors that dominate just about any list out there, from petroleum engineering to chemical engineering and computer engineering. This type of degree offers a very broad range of studies, many of which tend to lead to high-paying careers post-graduation.
Career options: This will depend on the specific type of engineer degree acquired, but can range anywhere from chemical engineer to software engineer.
Average starting salary: Depending on the type of engineer, average starting salary can be as high as $96,700.
Average mid-career salary: The average mid-career salary can be as high as $172,000, but again, will depend on the type of engineering that was studied.
2. Actuarial Science
Actuarial Science majors learn how to apply statistical and mathematical methods to assess risk in finance, insurance, and other professions and industries.
Career options: A degree in Actuarial Science can land you a career as an Actuarial Analyst, Actuarial Technician, or an Operating Specialist—just to name a few options.
Average starting salary: $60,800
Average mid-career salary: $119,000
3. Computer Science
If you’re into technology and want a career in the field, a Computer Science major may be the right choice for you. This versatile degree opens the door to plenty of options and opportunities.
Career options: Some of the many career opportunities for those majoring in Computer Science include Software Engineer, Solutions Architect, and Software Developer.
Average starting salary: $65,300
Average mid-career salary: $107,000
Another degree that’s extremely versatile is one in Mathematics. Those majoring in Mathematics can also choose areas of concentration, such as Applied Mathematics. If you’re an analytical thinker and enjoy problem solving, a Mathematics major could be the perfect major for you.
Career options: Those who majored in Mathematics are highly sought for a variety of jobs, including Statistician, Data Analyst, and Forensic Accountant.
Average starting salary: $56,200
Average mid-career salary: $110,000
A bachelor’s degree in Physics can be a great first step towards a professional degree in related fields, but on its own, proves to be one of the most lucrative four-year degrees out there.
Career options: Those who studied physics apply their knowledge and work in a variety of industries, including engineering, healthcare, astronomy and research science.
Average starting salary: $55,100
Average mid-career salary: $108,000