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Top Paying College Degrees

29 July 2010 One Comment

It’s no secret that everyone in school is trying to maximize their earning potential when they graduate. There are very few careers that have top paying jobs straight out of college, so doing some research before you start heading towards a particular degree is wise. Doing research about the top paying careers for undergraduate degrees will pay off in the end when you finally graduate and have a top paying career to enter into right away instead of having to work your way up the food chain like everyone else. Let’s take a look at some of the best paying degrees in the United States and what’s involved with the job.

The best paying jobs right out of college these days are almost anything in the field of engineering. There is a huge demand for science based jobs at the moment and going into the science or engineering field is guaranteed to pay off on the back end. Companies need smart people to crunch numbers and figure out new ways to solve age old problems. A degree in engineering of some kind is not only a guaranteed job offer, it’s also a pretty good shot at a decent salary.

Petroleum Engineering– With an increasing demand for energy across the globe, petroleum engineers are needed now more than ever to help solve the crisis. Petroleum engineers work on new ways to create and find hydrocarbons made from natural gases or oil that can be used to power vehicles or other devices. The starting pay for petroleum engineers is right around $90,000, which is a huge chunk of change for a college student just out of school. The salary climbs into the six figure range once you’ve got some experience under your belt as well, reaching towards the mid $100,000 range.

Chemical Engineering– All of the things that you take for granted around you had to be created from something. Chemical engineers work to find new ways to combine chemicals and materials into usable products that can do anything from holding a volatile substance to curing a disease. The sky is really the limit when working with different chemicals and materials, and when combined with mathematics, the possibilities for a chemical engineering degree are endless. Although chemical engineers generally make less than other engineers, they average a mid-career salary of about $100,000.

Aerospace Engineering– The future of travel is in the skies and becoming an aerospace engineer will help the world realize that dream. Planes and spacecraft have been around for decades, but only recently has a serious focus been put on aircraft technology to make things safer and more durable. Aerospace engineers help teams achieve new aircraft designs for either commercial or military use. These designs help man travel around the globe faster and to the depths of space in reasonable time periods. Straight out of college you can make about $60,000, but once you’ve gotten yourself established in your career, you can expect salaries upwards of $100,000.

If none of those careers take your fancy, there are always other interesting career paths to take that pay well as well. Economists make big decisions about the financial direction of companies every day and can mean the difference between success and failure in many cases. Or if money isn’t your game, applied mathematics is another route to consider. Applied mathematicians use their skills to analyze numbers and data to form conclusions for engineering firms, or help create matrices and patterns with numbers to help encode data. The growth of the scientific and mathematical sector in recent years is astonishing and it’s only going to continue growing. You really can’t go wrong with a degree in engineering or science.

Written by Nick, a frequent contributor to 20smoney

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