Top Paying College Degrees in 2013

The high cost of attending college has made it more difficult for future college grads to decide on a major. The National Bureau of Economic Research has carefully looked into the statistics of specific majors to determine what graduates in various fields can expect to be paid annually.

In reference to the College Board, the standard in-state tuition for public universities was a little more than $8,000. Private, non-profit colleges averaged a bit more than $28,000.

With those expenses considered, the Economic Research Bureau’s studies are used as a guide for college students when selecting a career. Nonetheless, there are more profound reasons for selecting a particular career, such as finding work one loves to do.

Still, with informational reports, like those from the NBER, students will have an idea of what to anticipate once they finish college and step into the job market.

Finance, computer science, and engineering degrees have ranked highest for top-paying college degrees for college graduates, according to the NACE, National-Association of Colleges and Employers.

Information was collected from economic agencies and additional sources. In addition, the NACE stated there is further demand for skilled labor and college graduates from the mining business, technical fields, and health care.

Top Paying College Degrees 2013

Reports show that computer engineer graduates have the top earning starting salary at $70,400, followed by chemical engineers at $66,400. Liberal art majors in social sciences and the humanities had the smallest starting salaries at just below $37,000 annually according to NACE.

In previous salary reviews, NACE never placed individual engineering degrees into categories. However, they recently discovered that certain types of engineering degrees had a particular pay scale and a high-demand among employers. What’s more, the only high salaried major that does not belong to a technical field is finance, which starts with an average pay of $57,300. All majors listed are geared towards bachelor degree graduates. The following list highlights the dynamic need for graduates majoring in technical fields.

Here is the NACE’s list of the highest-paying college degrees:

. Computer Engineering-$70,400

. Chemical Engineering-$66,400

. Computer Science-$64,400

. Aerospace/Astronautical/Aeronautical Engineering-$64,000

. Mechanical Engineering-$62,900

. Communications Electronic/Electrical Engineering-$62,300

. Civil Engineering-$57,600

. Finance-$57,300

. Construction Science/Management-$56,600

. Information Sciences and Systems-$56,100

The effort to discover the talent required to innovate continues to be arduous for business leaders and entrepreneurs. Recently in San Francisco, an event held by a Silicon Valley business and tech round-table focused on the subject of technology and it’s stance in the ensuing job growth.

Emphasis was specifically concentrated on the increasing gap between the quantity of college graduates and the amount of jobs available. In a nutshell, the inopportune facts for graduates are that the job shortage will continue and finding a well-paying job will be more difficult in the coming years. For STEM college degree holders, which include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors; opportunity flourishes with a growth of 60% more than other fields.

Overall, the above majors are the winners in the new world job market. What is one to do if they have no interest in any of these fields? Hopefully, more entrepreneurs and innovative minds will stimulate the economy thereby creating more jobs in other meaningful fields.

About the author:

Sani Golriz is a community blogger and active staff writer forĀ CollegeFocus, a website dedicated to helping students deal with the challenges of college, including housing, finance, style, health, relationships, and transferring from a community college to a four-year university.

You can follow CollegeFocus on Twitter at @CollegeFocus101 and Facebook at

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©2013 Tanya Knight International, Inc.

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