Article - Degrees and Earnings:

Choosing a degree that will earn a high salary.

The college major is one area that helps make or break the bank upon graduation. While many students want to major in a field they love, most worry that what they love to do won’t pay the bills after college. With that in mind, many college students focus on which degrees have the highest salaries. Bureau of Labor Statistics research shows there are certain employment fields that dominate the high end of the salary charts.

The top earning field is the medical field, with anesthesiologists, surgeons, orthodontists, and obstetricians on the top tier.

All of these careers require some form of medical degree. Anesthesiologists, surgeons, and obstetricians all receive medical degrees and then complete a few years of specialty education in their chosen field. An orthodontist must hold a bachelor’s degree and then work towards a
degree in dental medicine. A nurse who earns a graduate degree in nursing can obtain a medical administration job and earn a high salary. Any student desiring to enter the medical field should get an undergraduate degree in the sciences.

Chief executive officers (CEO) of large companies rank right below medical professionals. Any student desiring a CEO salary, which is often well over six figures, must work towards a graduate-level degree in their chosen field. Many CEOs hold a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree and then work towards advancement through job experience. In fact, any degree in a business field is beneficial, since many high-level management jobs earn decent salaries. An MBA works well for students desiring a high-paying job in information systems and computers. Just make sure that technology is a core component of the MBA degree.

Other degrees helpful for a chief executive position include graduate degrees in education administration, healthcare administration, and public relations.

An engineering degree can earn a graduate a six-figure salary, depending on the engineering specialty. A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required for an entry-level position, but students have more choices for a graduate degree. Aerospace engineers, biomedical engineers, civil engineers, and petroleum engineers all earn high salaries with their specialized degree. Engineering is also a great degree to have if a student desires a pilot’s license. Pilots earn high salaries, and many airlines are requiring a college degree for new pilots.

If earning a high salary is important upon graduation, then a law degree is still one of the number one ways to have a profitable career. A lawyer needs a bachelor’s degree, usually in a liberal arts, business, or pre-law field, and then must complete law school for a law degree. While some lawyers make average salaries, good lawyers who work for large firms or become partners in a firm make well over a six-figure salary.

Any degree in finance or mathematics is beneficial for high-paying finance careers. Students who earn a degree in finance or mathematics can find work as an actuary, mathematician, accountant, or statisticians. While some of these careers require licensure or continuing education, the base degree is the largest achievement when working towards a finance or math-based career. No matter which degree a student chooses, earning a graduate degree is a large part of obtaining a high-paying career.

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