These degrees have the highest salaries in the US. The chart below is from Reddit user /r/SportsAnalyticsGuy, and it’s based on PayScale’s year-long survey of 1.2 million users that graduated only with a bachelor degree in the United States.
The Degrees with the highest salaries in the US data covers two different salary categories:
- Starting median salary: This is the median of what people were earning after they graduated with their degree. It represents what people started making after they graduated.
- Mid-career Percentiles: This is the salary data from 10 years after graduation, sorted by percentile (10th, 25th, Median, 75th, and 90th). It depicts the range that people were making 10 years after they got their degree. Lower earners (10th percentile) are the lower bound, and higher earners (90th) are the upper bound.
It is a fact that what we major in college has consequences that extend far beyond the foundation of knowledge we build in our early years. Any college degree we choose to enroll in also sets up a track to meet future friends, career opportunities, and connections.
Even further, the college degree you choose will partially dictate your future earning potential – especially in the first decade after school.
If jobs in your field are in high demand, it can even set you up for long-term financial success, enabling you to pay off costly student loans and build up savings potential.
US COLLEGE DEGREES WITH THE HIGHEST SALARIES:
Here’s all 50 majors from the data set, sorted by mid-career median salary (10 years in):
- The top earning specialization out of college is for Physician Assistants, with a median starting salary of $74,300.
- The downside of this degree is that earning potential levels out quickly, only showing a 23.4% increase in earning power 10 years in.
- The biggest increases in earning power go to Math, Philosophy, Economics, Marketing, Physics, Political Science, and International Relations majors. All these degrees see a 90% or higher increase from median starting salary to median mid-career salary.
- The majors that saw the highest median mid-career salaries were all along the engineering spectrum: chemical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and aerospace engineering all came in above $100,000. They also generally had very high starting salaries.
Please note that this data does not necessarily correlate to today’s degrees or job market. The data set is based on people that graduated at least 10 years ago, a decade ago. Hence, it does not necessarily represent what graduates may experience as they finish college and start their careers today.