Earning a bachelor’s degree is a pricey proposition. Figuring in not just tuition and college fees but also the cost of books, supplies, and room and board, the Education Data Initiative has calculated that an in-state student living on campus for four years at a public institution will pay an average of $103,456 for his or her college education, while an out-of-state student will need $174,885 — rising to as much as $215,796 at a private institution. And that’s for students who earn their BA in four years; some 60% take six. (An education will cost even more, of course, at one of the most expensive colleges in every state.)
Why bother with a degree, then? Because it pays off in the long run. The Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities has calculated that holders of BAs earn as much as $1 million more over the course of their careers than those with only a high school diploma.
To find the highest paying jobs in the Boston metro area that require a bachelor’s degree, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data at the metro area level. Data on median annual wage nationwide and in Boston for all occupations as well as per occupation comes from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics as of May 2020. BLS employment growth projections are for 2020 to 2030.
Note that for many of these positions, a bachelor’s degree would be the absolute minimum requirement but not necessarily sufficient in itself. For instance, many financial management and marketing jobs would require an MBA, while many kinds of engineers would need a master’s degree or doctorate.
Boston is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric and Liberty Mutual. The city also has an abundance of top universities, which draw in students from all over the world. Some stay for jobs after graduation, and this pool of talent has allowed the city to become a hub for research and technology. Boston’s life science and biotechnology industries are especially strong, but there are also plenty of engineering and tech jobs that run the STEM gamut. (Tech jobs are among the 25 highest-paying jobs in America.)
Whatever the field, these are all positions that could lead to long, profitable careers.