May 10th, 2016
MOUNT PLEASANT, MI
As the costs of college continue to rise there is an unparalleled importance on the value a college degree hods. College students spend their time, and money investing in a degree they hope will pay off: or merely just pay. According to the ‘Institute for College & Success’ the average college senior will graduate with around $30,000 in student-loan debt. In order to pay off the, often insurmountable, debt, students strive to get degrees that will financially enable them to do so.
So which degrees give students the most return on their investment?
According to Lydia Dishman, from Fortune Magazine, the top paying degrees come in the areas of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).”Graduate degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields dominate the top rankings, commanding starting salaries from $68,000 with a master’s degree in Information Systems to $117,000 with a computer science Ph.D. And in almost all the STEM fields considered, workers said they were extremely satisfied and were more likely to say they were less stressed” (Dishman). According to PayScale.com, a careers website that focuses on compensation, the top paying bachelors degrees are all in the fields of engineering or mathematics. So essentially start loading up on your math and science classes folks because those degrees pay big time.
On the other hand, degrees in education have a low financial return on investment. According to the article by Dishman and Payscale.com, early-childhood educators with a masters degree can expect to make around $48,000. However, majority of educators confirm that they are extremely satisfied with their job. So, for these individuals the financial return on investment is not nearly as important. Other degrees that had low financial prospects included degrees in fine arts, graphic design, and architecture. Those with degrees in graphic design and fine arts reported only a 65% satisfaction rating.
The economy is coming around but good paying jobs are still hard to come by. Students should factor job growth and job satisfaction into their equation when they are deciding what they may want to study. According to an article on Fox40.com, half of the top 10 fastest growing jobs pay less than $25,000 a year. There is a lot of job growth in the health care industry, but positions like personal care aides, home health aides and even nursing assistants only pay around $12 an hour or less for a 40 hour work week.
However job growth is still an important field to look at. Plenty of jobs, such as lawyers, have little job growth and no job openings. This leaves students with a ton of debt and no place to gain employment. Certain jobs will be nonexistent in the coming future and students should ensure it will not be their degree that is useless. One example is accounts (CPA’s): with applications such as “TurboTax” the average person is able to complete their taxes much easier than in the past. As it becomes harder to find good jobs students should focus on job opportunities they enjoy. According to our friends at PayScale.com those who are satisfied with their job reported less problems with their wage, and less stress while on the job.
Nonetheless college is a serious investment of both time and money. Those who are deciding what they want to study should do amble research to ensure their degree will bring them happiness and money. Listed below are the highest paying bachelors degrees ranked by PayScale.com, as you can see those with degrees in STEM do very well financially,
|Rank||Major||Degree Type||Early Career Pay||Mid-Career Pay||% High Meaning|
|5||Electronics & Communications Engineering||Bachelor’s||$65,000||$116,000||55%|
|6||Computer Science (CS) & Engineering||Bachelor’s||$69,100||$115,000||43%|
|7 (tie)||Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)||Bachelor’s||$67,000||$114,000||53%|
|7 (tie)||Systems Engineering||Bachelor’s||$67,100||$114,000||60%|
|10 (tie)||Computer Engineering (CE)||Bachelor’s||$68,400||$109,000||48%|
|10 (tie)||Mining Engineering||Bachelor’s||$71,500||$109,000||79%|
|12 (tie)||Electrical Engineering (EE)||Bachelor’s||$66,500||$108,000||55%|
|12 (tie)||Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering||Bachelor’s||$61,100||$108,000||58%|
|14 (tie)||Aerospace Engineering||Bachelor’s||$64,800||$107,000||57%|
|14 (tie)||Computer Science (CS) & Mathematics||Bachelor’s||$62,900||$107,000||36%|
|16 (tie)||Industrial Distribution||Bachelor’s||$58,100||$106,000||48%|
|18 (tie)||Computer Science (CS)||Bachelor’s||$63,100||$105,000||41%|
|18 (tie)||Materials Science & Engineering||Bachelor’s||$64,600||$105,000||46%|
|20 (tie)||Applied Mathematics||Bachelor’s||$55,800||$102,000||40%|
|20 (tie)||Cognitive Science||Bachelor’s||$51,400||$102,000||38%|
|20 (tie)||Mechanical Engineering (ME)||Bachelor’s||$62,500||$102,000||52%|
|24 (tie)||Finance & Economics||Bachelor’s||$55,700||$101,000||43%|
|24 (tie)||Physics & Mathematics||Bachelor’s||$50,900||$101,000||43%|
|26||Industrial Engineering (IE)||Bachelor’s||$62,800||$99,600||46%|
|27||Construction Engineering Management||Bachelor’s||$57,000||$98,900||59%|
|29||Structural Engineering (SE)||Bachelor’s||$57,500||$97,700||72%|
Senior Law Clerk, Levitt Law Firm