Let’s be real: we all want to make money. There’s no shame in admitting that for yourself. Who doesn’t want to lead a comfortable life—even if you’re not the next Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos—earning a comfortable or well-paying income is important for a lot of reasons?
Not to mention, a higher expected income will also help make it easier for you to budget and plan for repayment of your student loans, life plans, and goals. For many of us, it takes years to find our passions and make a career out of it. For others, it’s about the pragmatism of choosing something that will make them rich-ish.
But if you’re still unsure what college major you want to get into, and whether the hefty college student loan you’ll be taking for it will be worth it, let’s look at some of the highest paying majors:
Unsurprisingly, this STEM field takes the cake with some of the highest-ranking earnings after an undergraduate degree. Despite the hefty costs of paying for engineering programs and paying tens of thousands of dollars to even mid-tier schools, engineering degrees have some of the most stupendous average salaries.
Of course, it’s not standard across specialties and fields within engineering, with petroleum engineers making more than electrical engineers, who can sometimes make more than software engineers, but all in all, as a career choice, the rankings are pretty high.
While estimates and averages also vary, it’s important to note that there is a general consensus on the high-paying nature of entry-level positions, with incomes only increasing within a few years.
One of the primary reasons why engineers make so much money is that they train extensively in skills that are highly sought out and in demand. Their skillsets tend to be highly technical and specialized, making them incredibly strong candidates for positions across industries, be it tech, industrial manufacturing, project development, or even teaching.
We see another STEM field make the cut with mathematicians with varying focuses and skills earning extremely well. From applied mathematics to actuarial science, some of the most well-paid majors include these geniuses.
Some of the branches of mathematics that are included in this list are statistics, actuarial science, and computer science and mathematics; there is no shortage of focuses to choose from. In fact, mathematics is often integrated with various other fields and degrees, including humanities and social sciences, digital and technological fields, research work, and much more. You can use these highly-transferrable skills in any work you choose.
If you were wondering about the practical application of your love of mathematics, take this as a sign to probe further.
After all, the statistics are in your favor, right?
3. Applied economics
Branching into non-STEM majors, applied economics happens to be one of the most rewarding degree programs you can join. Tough, demanding, and incredibly challenging, it’s also very high-paying as a career. Your focus can be on micro or macro-economics, or development economics, or anything for that matter, and it is one of the most flexible, diverse, and insightful degree programs you can take on.
Especially at the professional level, you develop a deeper understanding of your training and how you can make policy-level interventions, changes, and recommendations based on it.
4. Political economy
When thinking of other social science and humanities majors, another one that makes the list is political economy. A degree separate from economics and its many branches, this is a degree focused on understanding the political economies of various levels. There are levels of sociology, anthropology, and much more, especially at the level of the undergraduate. You can expect to learn a significant amount in the process of this degree and carve a career path that is rewarding on personal and social levels.
You have the ability to work on structural change, law, policy, and much more like other economists, but in close examination of the theoretical aspects of it, including understanding systems like communism, capitalism, and socialism.
The interdisciplinary approach and training are what makes it one of the best choices for students looking to have a viable, well-paying career, but a keen insight into and dedication for humanist causes too!
The crazy world of marketing keeps growing, innovating, and expanding, infiltrating our lives in newer ways. If you weren’t aware of the many ways marketing affects your daily choices, you’d be surprised to learn about that.
This profession may have changed drastically from how we once remember it, with traditional methods of brick and mortar stores, televised campaigns, PR, and more, but there is still room for budding marketers to join. With the age of social and digital media, it’s unsurprising how drastically marketing has changed and how we can continue to upgrade skills and learn more.
From data management to data representation, making pitches, sales, designing campaigns, adding elements of design, and mastering the rapidly changing search engine and social media algorithms, there’s a lot to take in and learn on the job.
It can be incredibly demanding as a profession, but with plenty of room for personal and professional growth and pay that matches those demands!
It’s alright if your choice of major doesn’t make the list. This list barely scratches the surface of job options, majors, career paths, and opportunities that await you. If you have a dream, it’s worth pursuing, even if it means taking risks.
Apply for that program, to that school, for that major, and companies like Education Loan Finance (ELFI) will help you there comprehensive student loan financing options. Contact them to know more about loan refinancing and other services they offer too.
Don’t settle for what will make you the most money; find what will drive your passion!