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STEM fields dominate ranking of college majors

Ann Bednarz | Aug. 27, 2015
Science, technology, engineering and math alumni rank among highest paid graduates, according to PayScale.

10 top technology colleges and universities

Petroleum engineering majors earn the highest mid-career salaries, followed by nuclear engineering majors, according to a new ranking from PayScale.

The research company, which specializes in compensation data, ranked 319 majors at the bachelor level based on how much money graduates in each field are making. The top 25 bachelor-level majors all have mid-career median pay numbers above $100,000, and the vast majority of them are STEM majors.

Among many disciplines in the compsci arena, graduates who earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering were ranked highest (6th place), reporting a median mid-career salary of $115,000. Computer science majors (ranked 18th) earn a median mid-career salary of $105,000. 

Here's the list of Payscale's top 25 high-paying college majors based on data from its 2015-2016 College Salary Report.

High Paying College Majors

1. Petroleum Engineering
Early career median pay: $101,000
Mid-career median pay: $168,000

2. Nuclear Engineering
Early career median pay: $68,200
Mid-career median pay: $121,000

3. Actuarial Mathematics
Early career median pay: $58,800
Mid-career median pay: $119,000

4. Chemical Engineering
Early career median pay: $69,500
Mid-career median pay: $118,000

5. Electronics & Communications Engineering
Early career median pay: $65,000
Mid-career median pay: $116,000

6. Computer Science & Engineering
Early career median pay: $69,100
Mid-career median pay: $115,000

7. Systems Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $67,100
Mid-career median pay: $114,000

7. Electrical & Computer Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $67,000
Mid-career median pay: $114,000

9. Aeronautical Engineering
Early career median pay: $65,100
Mid-career median pay: $113,000

10. Computer Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $68,400
Mid-career median pay: $109,000

10. Mining Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $71,500
Mid-career median pay: $109,000

12. Electrical Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $66,500
Mid-career median pay: $108,000

12. Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $61,100
Mid-career median pay: $108,000

14. Aerospace Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $64,800
Mid-career median pay: $107,000

14. Computer Science & Mathematics (tie)
Early career median pay: $62,900
Mid-career median pay: $107,000

16. Physics (tie)
Early career median pay: $55,500
Mid-career median pay: $106,000

16. Industrial Distribution (tie)
Early career median pay: $58,100
Mid-career median pay: $106,000

18. Computer Science (tie)
Early career median pay: $63,100
Mid-career median pay: $105,000

18. Materials Science & Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $64,600
Mid-career median pay: $105,000

20. Applied Mathematics (tie)
Early career median pay: $55,800
Mid-career median pay: $102,000

20. Mechanical Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $62,500
Mid-career median pay: $102,000

20. Cognitive Science (tie)
Early career median pay: $51,400
Mid-career median pay: $102,000

 

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