10 Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degrees | BestColleges (2024)

Engineering and computer science top our list of highest-paying bachelor's degrees. Find out which majors make the cut.

By

Jordan Stewart-Rozema, Ph.D.Read Full Bio

Editor & Writer

Jordan Stewart-Rozema writes data-driven education content focusing on higher education trends, student finances, and alternative education pathways such as coding bootcamps. She previously worked to promote online learning and media literacy educati...

Updated on June 13, 2024

Edited by

Danika MillerRead Full Bio

Writer & Editor

Danika Miller is a senior writer at BestColleges and Accredited Schools Online. Her writing has also appeared in Grad School Hub, Best Value Schools, Affordable Colleges Online, and Her Campus. Her financial expertise has been featured in The Simple ...

Learn more about our editorial process

By

Jordan Stewart-Rozema, Ph.D.Read Full Bio

Editor & Writer

Jordan Stewart-Rozema writes data-driven education content focusing on higher education trends, student finances, and alternative education pathways such as coding bootcamps. She previously worked to promote online learning and media literacy educati...

Edited by

Danika MillerRead Full Bio

Writer & Editor

Danika Miller is a senior writer at BestColleges and Accredited Schools Online. Her writing has also appeared in Grad School Hub, Best Value Schools, Affordable Colleges Online, and Her Campus. Her financial expertise has been featured in The Simple ...

Updated on June 13, 2024

Learn more about our editorial process

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

We all know that getting a bachelor's degree can be expensive. So, how do you ensure a good return on investment? By picking a degree that will lead to a high-paying job, of course.

Rest assured, any degree you choose is likely to pay off — the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that bachelor's degree holders earned a median income of about $1,500 per week in 2022, compared to just $900 for those with only a high school diploma.

But while many majors can lead to a comfortable lifestyle down the road, some are more likely to land you the big bucks. Read our list of the top 10 highest-paying bachelor's degrees to find out which majors can help you earn that coveted six-figure paycheck and send student debt packing.

Featured Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Are the Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degrees?

What's the highest-paying college major? In a word, engineering. As you'll see in the list below, you can hardly go wrong by picking any engineering field that floats your boat.

Unless otherwise noted, all information in the following list is sourced from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's February 2024 release of Labor Market Outcomes of College Graduates by Major, which relies on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Community Survey.

1. Chemical Engineering

If you're interested in chemistry, chemical engineering could be the career for you. Chemical engineers focus on the chemistry involved in manufacturing processes and products.

Chemical engineers are some of the highest-earning engineers on the market, with a median mid-career salary of $133,000 and a median early-career salary of $79,000.

In addition to strong wages, these engineering professionals should see strong job growth in the years ahead — the BLS projects a likely job growth of 8% between 2022 and 2032, which is faster than average.

2. Computer Engineering

Computer engineers are a close second to chemical engineers in terms of sheer earning potential, with a mid-career median salary of $125,000. This profession also sees the highest early-career salary of any on this list at $80,000.

Computer engineers help design, develop, and test computer systems and hardware. These professionals need both computer science and engineering expertise, making it the perfect field for those interested in both subjects.

3. Aerospace Engineering

Want to help build planes, rockets, or missiles? Aerospace engineers do just that, helping to design, develop, and test aircraft and spacecraft equipment.

They earn a hearty median salary of $120,000 by mid-career, with a median early-career salary of $74,000. They should also see job growth in the next few years, with a 6% projected growth rate from 2022-2032 according to the BLS.

4. Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers design and test electrical equipment and systems. They may work on communications equipment, power generation, or navigation equipment.

Like other engineering fields, electrical engineering typically comes with a high salary right off the bat. Early-career professionals earn a median wage of $72,000 and mid-career electrical engineers bring in $112,000.

5. Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering majors study mathematics, physical science, engineering, and design in order to learn how to develop and manipulate mechanical systems such as engines. Mechanical engineers earn a mid-career median salary of $111,000 and a median of $70,000 at the beginning of their career.

This engineering specialty is likely to be in high demand in the near future due to increasing automation in the machine industry. The BLS projects a 10% growth rate for this occupation, which is much higher than the average growth rate of 3% across all professions.

6. Computer Science

With the boom of the tech industry, computer science has become an increasingly popular and lucrative major. With recent advancements in artificial intelligence, this looks unlikely to change anytime soon. Computer science majors may pursue jobs as software or web developers, user experience designers, data scientists, and product managers.

Early-career computer science majors earn a median salary of $78,000, and mid-career professionals earn $110,000.

7. Finance

Finance majors study economics, math, statistics, and financial topics such as banking and trading. Finance majors often become investment bankers, financial advisors, financial analysts, financial planners, financial managers, business analysts, or accountants.

This is one of the highest-paid non-engineering majors, with a mid-career median salary of $104,000. Early-career finance majors earn a more modest median salary of $66,000.

8. Economics

Economics majors often work in the banking, investment, and insurance industries. They may also work on policy in government, corporate, and nonprofit environments. While finance majors focus more on money management and investment topics, economics majors delve into public policy and economic theory.

Majors in this field earn a median income of $65,000 early in their career and $100,000 by mid-career.

9. Civil Engineers

Civil engineers work on infrastructure projects such as bridges, roads, tunnels, and sewer systems. Civil engineering students will often study construction, transportation, hydrodynamics, structural engineering, and environmental engineering.

As early-career professionals civil engineers make a median of $65,000 but by mid-career that figure climbs to the six-figure range at $100,000.

10. Business Analytics

For students interested in business, finance, data, statistics, and mathematics, a business analytics major is a great choice. Business analysts conduct research and engage in data analysis to assess how a company is performing, diagnose issues, and propose business solutions.

Like economics and civil engineering majors, business analytics majors earn a median salary of $65,000 during their early career and $100,000 at mid-career.

Frequently Asked Questions About High-Paying College Majors

Can I make $100k a year with a bachelor's degree?

Yes, there are numerous fields where you can earn $100,000 or more with just a bachelor's degree, though it may take some time to earn this amount. Even the most high-paying fields don't usually pay starting salaries in the six figures.

Engineering, computer science, and finance are all good choices for earning $100,000 with just a bachelor's degree.

Computer science and business degrees can both lead to several careers that are likely to see high growth in the years ahead.

According to the BLS, computer science-related jobs that are likely to see more than 50,000 new positions open up between 2032-2032 and require only a bachelor's include software developers, information security analysts, data scientists, computer systems analysts, and information systems managers.

The BLS also projects job openings of a similar size for these business-related roles: operations managers, human resources specialists, management analysts, project management specialists, and marketing specialists.

Computer science, business, finance, and healthcare degrees are great picks for a future-proof degree, as these fields are likely to see much faster-than-average growth and a large number of job openings between 2022-2032, according to the BLS.

Many consider English, education, psychology, criminal justice, and anthropology to be some of the easiest bachelor's degrees to get, though what you consider easy or difficult will depend on your own interests, skills, and background knowledge. STEM majors are generally considered to be more difficult.

The most high-paying fields are typically those that require a BS degree, such as STEM fields. All of the engineering and computer science majors on this list are BS programs and come with the highest pay post-graduation.

There are always exceptions, however. Research your desired careers carefully to see which degree is most likely to lead to a high-paying job in your area of interest.

10 Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degrees | BestColleges (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ouida Strosin DO

Last Updated:

Views: 5337

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ouida Strosin DO

Birthday: 1995-04-27

Address: Suite 927 930 Kilback Radial, Candidaville, TN 87795

Phone: +8561498978366

Job: Legacy Manufacturing Specialist

Hobby: Singing, Mountain biking, Water sports, Water sports, Taxidermy, Polo, Pet

Introduction: My name is Ouida Strosin DO, I am a precious, combative, spotless, modern, spotless, beautiful, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.