If you’re looking to be a top earner right out of college, majoring in a field based in math and science is a good bet. Science and math fields will always have the need for more help. The following degrees have the highest initial earnings (on average) for recent college graduates:
With the Baby Boomers aging, and the many changes occurring in the healthcare industry, there is a huge demand for nurses. Starting salaries for nurses vary widely depending on whether you have a 2-year or a 4-year degree, but you can expect to make about $54,100 when you first graduate.
While most (hospital) nurses will work varied schedules including holidays and weekends, there is the opportunity for overtime. In addition to hospitals, you can work in schools, offices, insurance companies and many others.
The opportunities in nursing are many. For instance, if you continue your studies and get your Master of Science in Nursing to become a licensed nurse practitioner you can double that. LPN was named #1 on the 2013 top ten list of Today’s Hottest Jobs by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Engineering is a broad field, but many of the positions in the top earners belong in this major. There are civil, chemical, nuclear, and structural, just to name a few. One of the hottest engineering jobs are geothermal and engineering geologist. As companies try to find alternatives to fuel, these positions are in demand.
While the salary will vary depending on what type of engineering you go into, you can expect between $67,000-$72,000 to start.
Majoring in computer science makes you a very in-demand job candidate. The following positions are among the top paying for new college grads:
• Web Designer: $58,000. Companies are investing a lot in their websites, and the salaries of their designers are finally starting to reflect that. While a degree is not always necessary in this position, a portfolio is.
• Network Systems Administrator: $69,000. From security to up-time, network system’s administrators have a lot on their shoulders. You’ll traditionally work in a data center or office but will most likely be on call to help if a system goes down on a night or weekend.
• Software Developer: salaries are high, as is demand in this position. Tech companies offer some of the best benefits in the industry. Software developers make around $84,000.
Those aren’t the only high-paying computer science positions available, of course, but they’re the three most in-demand positions.
While a math major may seem limiting in its options, becoming an actuary will lead you to one of the most lucrative jobs right out of school. Actuaries use their superb math and statistics skills to evaluate risk. The starting salary for this position is about $65,000 with median pay for established actuaries being $93,680. Besides a good paycheck, the actuary field is predicted to have a “much higher than average” job outlook according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you’re looking for a lucrative career right out of college, having a strong background in math and/or science will help you land one of the highest paying types of careers. These positions are as in demand as they are lucrative and each comes with lots of opportunity.
Christina R. Green is a freelance writer and storyteller for businesses and membership organizations. Connect with her on Twitter.