In an uncertain job market, it’s not uncommon for current and prospective workers to look to certainty. And while life isn’t guaranteed, a new report reveals 10 majors that tend to lead to the highest-paying jobs for new graduates in the first four years of graduation. Knowing what leads to relatively high incomes can be a guiding light for Gen Z college students who are uneasy about entering a turbulent economy where layoffs are rampant and on the brink of chaos. Some experts say it could be.
According to a report by the HEA Group, a higher education research and consulting organization, it’s not all that surprising that the highest-paying majors reign supreme. The report also examined trends in paying by the most popular majors, using data from the U.S. Department of Education that reflects average salaries four years after graduation, with early-career salaries exceeding $50,000 a year. Only three schools passed. average.
Operations research, which leads to the work of analysts who use mathematics to evaluate and improve the performance of companies, has the highest median early-career income, just over $112,000 per year. According to BLS data, there are only 104,200 jobs for operations research analysts, but the field is expected to grow 23% faster than he averaged this decade.
Computer science is the most popular high-paying major, earning around $105,000 a year for degree holders, well above the US median earnings of about $57,000 for full-time workers. . Nursing, on the other hand, is the highest-paying and most popular major, with an average annual salary of over $76,000, while communications majors can expect to earn around $49,000.
Any aggregated list will give incomplete information about the income a graduate can expect. Starting salaries also include other factors, such as location and company (for example, a communications professional is likely to earn more at a technology company than at a nonprofit right out of school). there is).
“University is not just about money. There are many hidden aspects that salary data alone cannot measure,” notes HEA Group. However, “this new salary data will help prospective students make more informed decisions when considering individual programs at the colleges they are considering.”
The value of a college degree to U.S. workers, often accompanied by ever-growing student loan balances, continues to be debated, but research has found that it’s usually still worth it, HEA The group’s report also shows that anyone with a bachelor’s degree is worth it. They tend to overtake associate’s degrees and post-secondary qualifications.
That being said, shades of gray are always present. Even graduates with associate degrees in STEM fields can fare pretty well. An associate’s degree in physical sciences can earn you nearly $85,000 a year early in your career. Also, an associate’s degree in nursing earns an average of just under $67,000 a year, similar to a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Here are the average salaries for the highest paying majors for bachelor’s degree holders:
- operations research: $112,000
- Shipbuilding and marine engineering: $109,000
- computer science: $105,000
- Marine transport: $104,000
- computer engineer: $99,000
- veterinary medicine: $97,500
- petroleum engineering: $97,000
- system engineering: $95,000
- pharmacy: $94,000
- electrical and electronic communication engineering: $92,000
Here are the average salaries for the most popular majors for bachelor’s degree holders (in descending order from most popular):
- business administration: $58,000
- Nurse: $76,500
- psychology: $43,000
- criminal justice: $47,000
- total: $64,000
- communication: $49,000
- teacher education: $42,000
- biology: $49,000
- liberal arts and humanities: $44,000
- health and physical education: $47,000