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Highest Paying Degrees and Jobs With the Best Starting Salaries

A college degree is a great way to invest in your career. Knowing which are the highest paying degrees and jobs that will pay off in the future can help you decide where to focus your energy and financial resources. With rising tuition rates, many students are looking for a major that offers an employee a high starting salary.

Your college degrees can determine your likelihood of getting employed and occupying a highest paying position or being stuck in a dead-end job. But which degrees promise the best starting salaries or highest paying jobs? We’ve picked twelve degrees to choose from so you can build a successful career.

Applied Mathematics

Applied mathematics is one of the most lucrative degrees available in today’s economy that offer one of the highest paying jobs. It’s an interdisciplinary field that uses mathematical techniques to solve real-world problems.

An applied math degree is helpful in business analysis, urban planning, and meteorology. The key skills learned in this course can be used across various industries and roles. The median starting salary in applied mathematics is $60,800 per year. Further study can lead to even higher pay for an applicant holding a master’s degree.

Enlisting the top best CV writing service to get professional help will make your job application easy. No employer will look twice at a poorly written CV, regardless of how well you passed the applied mathematics class. So, it’s better to consult a career advice expert to craft a winning resume and get more interviews.


The field has some of the highest reported mid-career salaries. This makes it one of the top fields for those who want to reach their earning potential early in their careers. The average starting salary for a professional with this degree is $58,000 per year.

Finance has many facets that can be explored as you continue your education past your bachelor’s degree. Here are some promising spheres you can engage in:

  • investment banking;
  • financial planning;
  • risk management.


Another lucrative degree is construction. It has an average starting salary of $65,400.

The major involves architecture, engineering, and city planning. The main focus is on designing and building various structures like roads, bridges, or buildings for commercial or residential use.

Anyone with this major may land a job as a construction manager or architect after graduation.

Computer Science

Software engineering is among the fastest-growing fields in the world. Besides, computer science continues to be one of the most popular degrees at universities with highest paying jobs in market.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14% job growth by 2026. This is over double the average occupation growth rate. A bachelor’s degree in computer science can qualify you for an entry-level position with a starting salary of around $60,000.

The highest-paid computer scientists work in the aerospace industry and management consulting firms. The top 10% of computer scientists make over $130,000 per year.

Construction Management

The field involves managing the construction process from conception through completion. It entails ensuring that all components are up to code and finished on time.

Construction managers are essential stakeholders in the building project. Graduating in construction management qualifies you for a $50,000 starting salary.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise electrical equipment manufacturing. These include electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment.

You can expect an average starting salary of $64,891 with a degree in electrical engineering. The highest-paid electrical engineers work in the oil and natural gas industry or nuclear power plants.

Electronic Systems Technology

This is another tech-focused sphere projected to thrive in the coming years. If you choose this degree, you’ll learn how to design, build, test, oversee production, sell, or manage systems for new electronics. This degree comes with an annual starting salary of $60,900.

Welding Engineering

Welding engineering is your answer if you’re not interested in an office job but need a good wage. This degree teaches you how to make and design metal joints and structures that withstand pressure. It’s also an incredibly practical skill set.

Operations Research and Industrial Engineering

Operations research is an applied mathematics branch that uses advanced analytical methods in improved decision-making and efficiency. With average starting salaries over $64,000, this major should be at the top of your list.

With this degree, you qualify for operations management or supply chain management. You can also expect to see salaries increase over time. Average mid-career salaries are close to $100,000.

International Relations

With an average starting salary of $88K, it is one of the degrees that offer highest paying jobs. The international relations sphere is an excellent choice for people interested in politics. You’ll learn foreign policy, culture, and how they impact global trade and politics.

International majors often go on to pursue careers in politics and government. They’re also essential in non-governmental organizations like The Red Cross. The annual salary range for beginners is around $70,000 per year.


An economics degree provides an opportunity for financial markets forecasting and economic analysis. It ranges from local businesses to international conglomerates.

The degree offers a good foundation for jobs requiring solid mathematical skills and persuasive writing skills. It’s an ever-changing field that aligns with finance, marketing, accounting, and business management.


Thanks to an aging population and the increasing need for prescription drugs, the demand for pharmacists has skyrocketed. While the requirements are steep, pharmacists must complete undergraduate and graduate degrees before taking their boards. Luckily, the return on investment is enormous. The average pharmacist’s starting salary is around $120k per year.

The Bottom Line

Your starting salary will depend on many factors, including your chosen school, acquired hard and soft skills, and the position you apply to. Whether you decide to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree will also dictate your career path.

When weighing all these variables, get a degree that is relevant to your career choice. You’ll not only be pursuing what you like but also have a promising career ahead.

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