Moving on to college is still the mainstream decision for high school students after graduation. In 2022, over 62% of graduates enrolled in either a 4-year or 2-year college which is about the same rate of enrollment since 1993.
However, the cost of attending school has soared. Between 2000 and 2021, tuition and fees have jumped 70% on average while wage growth has risen just 3% in real terms.
Moreover, wage growth has not been uniform while some skilled industries have seen massive wage growth over time while others have lost tremendous earnings power. However, there are still a handful of degrees that pay works well above the median wage rate in America.
More students and families are taking a hard look at after high school options and finding the best value they can. Ultimately, that means finding a degree that most affects their ROI.
With that being said, here are 14 bachelor’s degrees that earn more than $70,000.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $71,060
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $109,100
Chemistry graduates work in numerous fields including materials science, pharmaceuticals and energy, amount others. The job industry for chemists continues to growth with a 6% jobs growth rate projected through 2032.
13. Political Science
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $72,420
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $102,700
Political Scientists typically work in government, research, law or in teaching positions. For those looking to work in public policy or lobbying, advanced degrees are probably necessary. The job market is above average with 7% growth through 2032 expected according the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $73,440
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $88,750
Marketing professionals create and implement strategies to promote products or understand new markets opportunities for firms. Digital marketing has been a high job growth area in the field for several years and the job market growth is expected to increase by 6% over the next 8 years.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $73,560
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $99,060
Registered nurses are in high demand and typically can negotiate higher wages when selecting a job opportunity. Specialized nurses require advanced degrees that offer higher salaries but require 1-2 more years of education.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $74,570
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $96,280
Business majors work across various industries and typically take on managerial roles or move into consulting, or business development. Depending on industry, MBA’s could be important stepping stone after a few years in the field. The job market is expected to grow faster than average through 2032, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $76,350
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $96,530
Mathematicians work in numerous statistical or problem solving roles but typically find work in technology, finance and research fields. The job outlook is outstanding however, with the market need for mathematicians expected to grow 30% by 2032.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $77,200
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $102,000
Higher paying accountant jobs are typically found in financial management, compliance or as Certified Public Accountants (Although this role will require additional personal study and tests). While some work is now being replaced via technology, the market for accountants is expected to increase 5.6% in the next 8 years.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $89,750
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $122,100
Economists analyze market data, conduct research and work in advisory roles across numerous industries, but particularly in the public sector. The job market is expected to grow 6% by 2032.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $91,400
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $116,100
Finance jobs are usually in investment management, sales, market risk, banking or corporate finance. These jobs typically require advanced degrees, likely MBA’s for future job mobility (particularly in investment banking), but the pay increases are greater than other business fields.
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $90,490
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $116,100
General engineering jobs entail design, project management, development and problem solving roles. In many cases, a professional degree is needed to career advancement. The market for engineers is likely to grow 3% in the next 8 years.
4. Civil Engineering
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $94,370
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $107,500
Civil engineering in a more focused degree overseeing construction projects, highways, bridges, hospitals and larger building projects. The job market is better than general engineering, with civil jobs likely to rise 5% by 2032.
3. Mechanical Engineering
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $99,180
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $124,900
Similar to civil engineering, mechanical engineers are more specialized and focus on machinery, energy and HVAC work. Degree holders are likely to work or be associated with manufacturing, aerospace or automative industries. The job market is expected to grow 10% by 2032.
2. Computer Science
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $101,600
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $128,800
Computer science has been one of the fastest growing and highest paying job markets in the past 2 decades, with jobs in software development, algorithms, and application development in several other industries. New fields continue to develop where new skilled workers are needed, including artificial intelligence and cyber security. The market is expected to increase 5% by 2032.
1. Electrical Engineering
- Bachelor’s Degree Median Earnings: $106,600
- Advanced Degree Earnings: $139,400
The highest paying jobs for bachelor degree holders is electrical engineering. Jobs in this field include electrical systems, power generation and distribution and technology. The job market for electrical engineers is also expected to increase by 5% over the next 8 years.
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