Top 22 Paying Bachelor Degrees - A List Of Degrees That Have The Highest Earning Potential


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  • Top 22 Paying Bachelor Degrees - A List Of Degrees That Have The Highest Earning Potential
  • You Will Be Surprised At Some Of The Degrees That Have A Lucrative Future

How To Find The Best-paying Bachelor Degrees

With student loan debt increasing year on year, it’s no surprise that prospective students are putting lots of time and effort into choosing the best course.

For many students, choosing a degree with good earning potential is a high priority. After all, if you’re going to get into debt, you want to be able to earn well at the end of the course.

When researching the highest paying degrees, it’s important to at what former students have gone on to do afterwards in terms of employment and work.

While the first job someone gets after graduating might not be particularly well-paid, you need to look at the earning potential of that job ten years down the line. With that in mind, let’s look at the top 20 bachelor degrees with the highest earning potential.


1Petroleum Engineering

As high-paying degrees go, Petroleum Engineering is where it’s at.

While this might sound like a challenging career, it’s certainly a rewarding one. After a four-year degree, on average, you’ll work alongside other engineers specialising in gas and oil extraction.


You’ll be involved in devising techniques to procure the world’s energy. There are many different types of Petroleum Engineers, and all are well paid.

You might end up being a production engineer, a drilling engineer, a completions engineer, or a reservoir engineer. In terms of salary, you could be earning in the region of $180,000 after ten years.


2Electrical Engineering And Computer Science (EECS)

Another top-ranking lucrative degree is EECS. This covers many concepts and skills in both computer science and electrical engineering.

As both of these areas are challenging subjects on their own, being a combined degree requires great dedication.


That dedication, however, will certainly pay off. Even during the first year after graduating, you can expect to make at least $100,000.

After ten years, this will likely be around the $150,000 mark.


3Applied Economics And Management

For people wanting to work in business, Applied Economics and Management is a well-paid bachelor degree.

You’ll study key topics in macro and microeconomics as well as management theory.


With this degree, you could work as an account executive, marketing specialist, auditor, business analyst, and more.

Though your entry-level salary might seem low to begin with, after a decade, you could be earning just shy of $140,000.


4Operations Research

As well as being well-paid, Operations Research is a fast-growing area.

Specialists in this field are sought-after by businesses wanting to save money and increase efficiency. Typically, roles are in logistics and transportation.


With this degree, you’ll study supply chain management, data analytics, inventory planning, and accounting, among others.

After a bachelor’s degree in Operations Research, you might work as a quality assurance analyst, a distribution manager, a supply chain planner, or a production planner, for instance.

After ten years, you can expect a salary in the region of $140,000.


5Public Accounting

One great aspect of studying accounts is that accountants are always needed!

So not only is this high-paying but there’s also plenty of work. After a degree in Public Accounting, graduates often work as certified public accountants.


Their clients might be large corporations, non-profits, or individuals. In addition, there is a wide range of topics studied with Public Accounting, including business law, auditing, managerial accounting, and finance, for example.

Although you might earn less initially than some of the other jobs in this list, your salary will double to around $138,000 after ten years in the field.


6Chemical Engineering/Materials Science And Engineering

As the demand for chemical engineers grows, so does the number of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering courses available.

Topics studied will include thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, reaction engineering, and materials production.


This area of speciality is an area with fast-growing careers.

After ten years, your salary will be in the region of $138,000.


7Quantitative Business Analysis

For anyone who loves maths but doesn’t want to do a maths degree, studying Quantitative Business Analysis is a great degree with excellent career prospects.

You’ll learn how to use statistical and mathematical concepts to solve real-life business issues.


For instance, you might study business strategy, information technology, project management, and data analysis.

Possible jobs after graduating include market researchers, risk managers, and careers in data analysis.

After a decade in this field, people often earn around $136,000.



As far as lucrative jobs go, pharmacists earn a great salary.

Some of the best-paid degree jobs are in the pharmaceutical sector.


For example, you could be a pharmacy technician, a pharmaceutical sales rep, or a pharmaceutical consultant.

There’s also great job security for people in the pharmaceutical industry.

After ten years, you can expect to earn more than $133,000.


9Aeronautics & Astronautics

This interesting degree choice is designed for people who are interested in having a career in aerospace engineering.

Other areas of work include consulting, teaching, and research.


In addition, you’ll study autonomy, applied aerodynamics, and things like spacecraft design. You can expect a good return on investment with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics.

Your mid-career salary is in the region of $133,000.


10Systems Engineering

Engineering features a lot in this list of best paying bachelor’s degrees.

Systems Engineering is a great career choice with an entry-level salary of around $75k. After ten years, you can expect this to be over $130k.


Systems Engineers work on projects to improve workflow and efficiency in an organisation. Usually, you need to be able to grasp technological systems and processes. Many industries need systems engineers, including health care and transportation.

Your mid-career salary would be just under $133,000 per year.


11Electrical Power Engineering

With a degree in Electrical Power Engineering, you would study complex topics like electromagnetics, circuitry, and signal analysis.


In terms of jobs post-degree, you could work in the development of new energy solutions and improve existing electric energy systems.

After ten years, your salary would be around $131,000.


12Actuarial Mathematics

With a degree in Actuarial Mathematics, you’ll be able to work for private corporations and insurance companies in risk management.


The insurance industry is a highly competitive yet lucrative sector to go into and has been for years. It's how billionaire investor Warren Buffet made his money.

In such a competitive marketplace, the best actuaries are paid extremely well as all the top companies want them.

Your ten-year typical salary is in the region of $130,000.


13Aerospace Studies

With Aerospace Studies, you might study aerospace administration, aerospace engineering, aircraft systems, flight physiology, and aerospace resource management.


A starting salary would be in the region of $50,000, rising to $130,000 after ten years.


14Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers are well-paid from the beginning of their career with a starting salary of around $75,000.

You’ll probably study organic chemistry, thermodynamics, transport processes, and biochemical engineering.


As far as jobs go, chemical engineers work with private corporations, non-profit and government agencies, and manufacturers.

After ten years, you could be earning just under $129,000.


15Actuarial Science

This degree is similar to Actuarial Mathematics, and there is some overlap in the curricula.


Topics studied would include probability theory, risk management, and data mining.

Your mid-career salary would be around $128,000.


16Information And Computer Science

This is a really popular and lucrative degree choice – and one that’s growing in popularity too.

A degree in Information and Computer Science would lead to careers in high-tech industries with roles like software developer, computer network architect, computer programmer, information security analyst, and database administrator.


After ten years, you would be earning around $127,000.


17Aeronautical Engineering

If your dream job would be to design aircraft and their components, studying Aeronautical Engineering is a good choice.

With this degree, you would learn to develop and design aircraft that can fly inside Earth’s atmosphere.


In addition, you might study propulsion system design, aerodynamics, structural analysis, and gas dynamics.

After a decade, your salary would be just under $126,000.


18Operations And Information Systems Management (OSIM)

This is one of the best specialist degrees to go for because it incorporates two highly-lucrative careers – information technology and business.

Students on this degree would learn about information security, business information systems, database management, and systems analysis, for instance.


You could end up working as a management analyst, operations research analyst, logistician, or industrial production manager. An example of a mid-career salary is around $125,000.


19Political Economy

With a degree in Political Economy, you would study how the government and economy function together.

Topics like globalisation, international finance, and economic policy would appear on the curriculum.


There are lots of different career paths after studying Political Economy, including jobs in education, government, and law.

After ten years, you’re likely to be earning around $125,000.


20Marine Engineering

Marine engineers are responsible for conceptualising and building boats, ships, and other watercraft.

For example, some marine engineers will work specifically in the steering system or propulsion.


You would study topics like engine maintenance, machine operations, diesel power, and thermodynamics.

One decade into a career in Marine Engineering, you will be earning $125,000.


21Computer Systems Engineering

Combining engineering and information technology, with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Systems Engineering, you would be able to work in software development, computer architecture, and database management.

On the curriculum, you would study things like computer hardware systems, machine learning, and digital logic.


A typical mid-year salary for a Computer Systems Engineering graduate is just under $125,000.


22Nuclear Engineering

An interesting career choice, but one that’s lucrative, is being a nuclear engineer. For example, you could work as a critical facilities control technician, reliability engineer, or power systems operator, among others.


Ten years into a career in nuclear engineering, you would be earning around $145,500.


Final Thoughts

Getting a degree that can enable you and your family to be secure financially is important.

However, another important consideration is to do something that you love.

If you choose a career just for its earning potential, you might end up having a stressful and unenjoyable career – and your working life is considerably long, so it’s a long time to be unhappy!


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