Payscale is new College Salary Report found that petroleum engineering is currently the highest-paying major overall. Graduates in this field are earning nearly six figures and more than $200,000, especially just starting out, with 10 or more years of work experience.
After petroleum engineering, operations research and industrial engineering majors are the second highest paying majors, followed by interaction design, applied economics and management, and construction science.
Technology jobs also took up the most spots in the top 10 list of current highest-paying jobs, according to a separate report from job search site Ladders.
“Although technology hiring has slowed, there is still demand for software engineers and project managers. I suspect the rise of AI is a big factor here,” said Ladders founder Marc Cenedella.
According to another recent analysis by the US Census Bureau on bachelor’s degrees and average earnings, students seeking a degree specifically in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or economics – still predominantly STEM subjects – will earn the most overall.
Higher wages have led to an increase in the number of STEM graduates
“Up until 10 years ago, the focus was almost entirely on the umbrella name of the institution – now people are looking at pre-professional programs more from a financial perspective,” Greenberg said.
“The rise in tuition is making people pay much more attention to value,” he said.
College has come a long way in the last decade more expensive. Tuition and tuition fees at four-year private universities rose by around 36% College Boardwho pursues Trends in college prices and student aid.
Over the same period, the number of STEM graduates at all levels of study in U.S. colleges and universities has skyrocketed, according to a study Pew Research Center analysis of state employment and education data.
This is likely to remain the case in the future, as the study shows. Pew also found that growth in STEM jobs will outpace growth in non-STEM jobs in the coming years.
“You don’t always need a degree”
However, according to John Mullinix, Chief Growth Officer at Ladders, “some STEM fields don’t always require a degree.”
A growing number of companies, including many in the technology industry, are doing this Lowering degree requirements for middle and even higher skill positions.
Between bootcamps, specialty programs and online certifications, Mullinix says there are more options at a lower cost.
“There is a huge opportunity there,” he said.
But jobs overall require more and more education, according to a separate report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce.
And the fastest-growing industries, such as computing and data processing, still require workers with disproportionately high levels of education compared to industries that are not growing as quickly.