8 Majors With The Highest Paying Salaries

By Walbert Castillo on October 21, 2014

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Are you having a difficult time contemplating which major to choose? Do you ever wonder how much money students make after they graduate based on their major?

If you are the type to be driven by money, here is a comprised list of undergraduate majors that earn the highest salaries per year.

Most of the starting salaries and mid-career salaries are based off of Think Advisor’s data collected from 1,000 universities, which is 88 percent of the total schools in the U.S. Most of these majors deal with math and science related core subjects.

8. Business – Finance

Starting Salary: $46,500

Mid-Career Salary: $87,300

According to Entrepreneur, the average starting salary for business majors increased by 7.1 percent from 2012 to 2013.

In 2013, the average starting salary for business majors was $54,234. Students who study business have numerous options to consider when selecting thematic areas.

Some example areas include finance, accounting, management information systems and supply chain management. Students studying this major will have a higher advantage in business-related majors because it is one of the highest paying college majors.

Majoring in finance can lead you to jobs in government agencies, banks, suppliers and the stock market.

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7. Physics

Starting Salary: $49,800

Mid-Career Salary: $101,000

A physics major can open many doors for you in the future. Career opportunities include teaching, working in a laboratory and/or computer programming.

According to Bank Rate:

 “The American Institute of Physics reports that those with a physics degree find work in organizations ranging from high schools and hospitals to the U.S. military, museums, publishing firms, domestic and foreign governments and laboratories.”

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6. Business – Management Information Systems

Starting Salary: $53,800

Mid-Career Salary: $92,200

If you are interested in running a large business as a CEO, management information systems might be the right fit for you.

In this major, students will learn how to manage a business through the use of business and computer-oriented programs.

Bank Rate stated:

“Management information systems majors to the rescue. Trained to analyze organizations’ computer databases, oversee projects and improve company productivity and efficiency, MIS grads enjoy a practically booming job market with the field growing 17 percent each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

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5. Business – Accounting 

Starting Salary: $53,901

Mid-Career Salary: $96,675

According to Accounting Web, the salary of accountants has decreased by 0.6 percent from 2013. In addition, lower paying positions for recent graduates may be the ultimate reason for this drop.

However, accounting is a great foundation for other high-end paying jobs for the future.

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4. Pre-Nursing

Starting Salary: $55,400

Mid-Career Salary: $71,000

Known for its high demand and competitiveness, nursing requires acknowledgement of heavy science-based material.

Don’t worry if you don’t know which field to specialize in–there are approximately 100 different types of fields that nurses can apply to. As a nurse, you’re bound to find out which one will suite you.

According to The Best Schools, the highest paid nurse holds the position of Nurse Anesthetist with a median salary of $154,390. However, the steps to obtain this position could be quite rigorous.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree. After working for a year in a care facility, such as the emergency room, you can apply to take the certification exam.

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3. Computer Science

Starting Salary: $59,800

Mid-Career Salary: $102,000

The reason why this major is high in demand is because it presents numerous job opportunities within the field of computer science. Students who study computer science will learn how to understand programming language and eventually be able to create programs of their own.

These jobs can range anywhere from informational technology (IT) to computer system development. If you attend a prestigious college, you are more likely to be noticed. However, it still may be difficult to land a successful job after graduation.

An article from Forbes stated:

“Nearly 70 percent of computer science majors had at least one job before they graduated from college last year, according to data gathered by the National Association for Colleges and Employers, which surveyed nearly 10,000 college seniors who were set to earn bachelor’s degrees in the spring of last year.”

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2. Mathematics

Actuarial Mathematics

Starting Salary: $58,700

Mid-Career Salary:  $120,000

Actuary mathematicians analyze financial consequences and risks based on statistical data. As professional business professionals, actuaries have jobs that range from insurance companies to consulting firms.

In a Business Insider interview, Mike Boot, managing director at Society of Actuaries, said “quite frankly, there are relatively few actuaries and people in our profession are well compensated for their jobs.”

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1. Engineering

Petroleum Engineering

Starting Salary: $103,000

Mid-Career Salary: $160,000

Out of all the majors within the engineering field, petroleum engineering is presently the number one highest paid in starting salary and mid-career salary. Petroleum engineers deal with crude oil and/or natural gas in the workplace environment.

With a rough amount of only 1,000 students a year graduating with this degree, it is highly competitive due to its difficulty in specialized course rigor. Not only do petroleum engineers get paid well but other engineering majors do too, such as chemical, electrical, materials science and aerospace.

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Search through the Uloop job listings to find your next Part-Time or Full-Time employment or Internship opportunity. Employers are waiting to hear from you!

I am currently a junior studying News-Editorial Journalism and minoring in Spanish and Global Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For my free time, I enjoy playing the piano, choreographing hip-hop dancing, taking photographs and traveling the world.

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