These 10 College Degrees Will Earn You $100,000 or More In Salary

Looking for a lucrative field to study in? Check out these 10 highest-paying college degrees — and they’re not all STEM.
3 mins read
highest paying college majors

Planning for a fulfilling career that offers financial security? Choosing a college major can be overwhelming, but considering earning potential is a crucial step. This article explores 10 college degrees known for their high median wages, based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a recent Bankrate analysis. This information will empower you to make an informed decision about your future.

Over half of these majors offer salaries exceeding $100,000 annually. While success isn’t guaranteed, these degrees equip graduates with valuable skills and knowledge sought after in various industries.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10:

1. Engineering

Median wage: Up to $120,000

Engineering tops the list of high-paying careers for recent graduates.Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that 8 out of the 10 majors with the highest median wages are engineering-related. This strong demand for engineers is expected to continue for years to come, making it a stable and secure choice for young professionals.

  • Petroleum Engineering: $120,000
  • Chemical engineering: $120,000
  • Computer engineering: $114,000
  • Aerospace engineering: $112,000
  • Electrical engineering: $105,000
  • Industrial engineering: $100,000
  • Civil engineering: $100,000
  • Materials Engineer: $95,000

2. Applied Economics and Management 

Median wage: Up to $102,000

While engineering dominates the top spots for high-paying careers, applied economics and management surprisingly snags the second place, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. However, it’s important to remember that job availability for these graduates is limited, especially in economics, which may explain the higher starting salary.

3. Actuarial Science 

Median wage: Up to $101,000

While often overlooked, Actuarial Science might be the hidden gem you’re looking for. Though it’s one of the least understood degrees among high school seniors, it offers surprisingly high rewards according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

If you have a passion for applying mathematics to solve real-world problems, Actuarial Science could be your perfect match. It combines your love for numbers with the practical applications of finance, insurance, and risk management. 

4.  Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration:

Median wage: Up to $100,000

While most pharmacy students aim to become pharmacists, requiring a doctorate degree, those with an undergraduate degree still have plenty of exciting career options. In fact, 65% of pharmacy degree holders pursue graduate studies, demonstrating the versatility of the field.

5. Construction Services

Median wage: Up to $100,000

While many construction jobs don’t require a college degree, companies are increasingly seeking bachelor’s degrees for leadership positions. This opens up exciting career paths for graduates, including field engineer, construction superintendent or project manager, and general contractor.

6. Business Analytics

Median wage: Up to $99,000

In today’s data-driven world, businesses need insights into almost everything they do. Business analysts are the data wizards who help organizations unlock these insights. They create mathematical models to identify trends, improve efficiency, make predictions, and track progress toward goals.

7. Computer Science 

Median wage: Up to $97,000

In seventh place, and steadily climbing the ranks, is the computer science degree. Computer science is proving a safe bet for those seeking a high-demand, high-growth career.

The tech revolution continues to sweep across industries, creating a global boom in tech-related positions. This means that a computer science degree equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving job market. 

8. Information Sciences and Systems 

Median wage: Up to $96,000

Following closely in the footsteps of its cousin, computer science, is Information Sciences. While computer science focuses on the technical aspects of technology, Information Sciences delves deeper into the organization, management, and analysis of information within systems. This includes understanding how information is created, stored, accessed, and used across various fields and industries.

9. Finance 

Median wage: Up to $93,000

Old good finance! The average salary for a finance graduate is even higher if you can crack the cut throat world of investment banking and consulting.

10. Information Systems and Technologies

Median wage: $90,000

Rounding off our list is the ever-dependable Information Systems and Technologies (IST) degree. This versatile degree equips graduates for a wide range of in-demand professions, including: including web developer, database administrator, and cybersecurity. The demand for skilled IT professionals is undeniable. Nearly every company, regardless of size or industry, relies on technology to operate efficiently. This translates to a booming job market: the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in computer and information technologies will grow at a much faster rate than all other occupations through 2032.


While high earning potential is appealing, it shouldn’t be the sole driver of your career journey. A well-rounded education that expands your skills and experiences increases your adaptability and marketability across diverse industries. But never underestimate the importance of passion and interest for long-term success.

Remember, choosing a major is a stepping stone to a fulfilling career. By combining passion, knowledge, and strategic planning, you can navigate your path towards success and financial security.

Natalia Ivanova

Natalia Ivanova, Founder and CEO, Financial Planning Specialist at NewGen Wealth Creation, and former financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, has 8+ years of experience working with travel-loving professionals and entrepreneurs, from small business owners to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. A dog mom, immigrant, and Puerto Rico-based world traveler, Natalia is proud to use her platform and experience to empower others to achieve their financial goals and build a fulfilling life.

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