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Top 10 list: Highest paid college majors for 2013 grads

Technical degrees lead list of top-paid majors for class of 2013 grads.
Technical degrees lead list of top-paid majors for class of 2013 grads.

Technical majors, especially those in the engineering disciplines, are at the top of the list of highest paid college majors for the class of 2013.

According to a new report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE,) the September 2013 Salary Survey found that seven engineering majors are among the 10 highest paid at the bachelors degree level.

At an average starting salary of $96,200, petroleum engineering is far and away the highest paid major for members of the class of 2013.

Other engineering majors among the top 10 are:

  • computer engineering, ($70,300),
  • chemical engineering ($66,900),
  • aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering ($63,900),
  • mechanical engineering ($63,900),
  • electrical/electronics and communications engineering ($62,500), and,
  • engineering technology ($60,900).

Computer science majors earn starting salaries that average $64,100, the fourth highest among bachelors degree graduates in 2013.

Other non-engineering majors whose average starting salaries were among the highest were management information systems/business ($60,300) and logistics/materials management ($59,500).

The complete top 10 list of top paid majors for the class of 2013 bachelors degree graduates is indicated below.

Major / Average Starting Salary

  1. Petroleum Engineering / $96,200
  2. Computer Engineering / $70,300
  3. Chemical Engineering / $66,900
  4. Computer Science / $64,100
  5. Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering / $63,900
  6. Mechanical Engineering / $63,900
  7. Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering / $62,500
  8. Engineering Technology / $60,900
  9. Management Information Systems/Business / $60,300
  10. Logistics/Materials Management / $59,500

The trends for high starting salaries and employment opportunities in the technology fields have become firmly cemented in the new millennium.

Parents should be encouraged to share this information with their high school aged students, to help prepare them for a possible choice in a technology field major and help better prepare them for their college studies.

An executive summary of the September 2013 Salary Survey report is available at the NACE website.

NACE’s final report on starting salaries for class of 2013 college graduates will be available in the January 2014 issue of Salary Survey.

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