5 Most Popular College Majors That Pay Well


For those who are wondering which degree has the highest return-of-investment after college, here are the 5 most popular college majors that pay well. The salary information was based on the median salary information from PayScale while the number of online job postings was from Burning Glass, a company that provides job market analytics to both employers and job seekers.

Civil Engineering

According to PayScale, the starting salary of a civil engineer is at $55,600 while the mid-career salary is $94,500. As for it demand, Burning Glass said that there are 243,717 annual job postings for various civil engineering projects, such as building sewer systems, tunnels, and airports. Furthermore, the projected growth for civil engineering jobs for 10 years is 17.2 percent.

For those who are interested in pursuing a degree in civil engineering, some of the subjects that will be tackled will include structural design and analysis, thermodynamics, and fluid mechanics.

Biomedical Engineering

The second spot for the most popular college majors that pay well is biomedical engineering, whose main focus is designing, creating, and maintaining equipment that will improve health care. The annual job posting for biomedical engineering jobs is 54,865 with a starting salary of $60,900 and the median salary of $96,400. Moreover, it has a 25.7 projected growth in 10 years.


Nursing is considered one of the best jobs in the future with a projected growth rate of 25.7 percent by 2025. Nurse practitioners make almost $93,000 annually while registered nurses earn more than $69,000 a year. Moreover, 83 percent of nurse practitioners reported via PayScale that they are satisfied with their jobs.

Computer Science

Among the top 5 most popular college majors that pay well, computer science has the most number of annual job postings online at 3.1 million. Furthermore, there is a 15.5 percent projected growth rate for computer science jobs in 10 years. Computer scientists usually receive $63,100 annual salary while the median salary is in $105,000. Those who want to pursue a career in computer science must possess strong skills in math as well as creativity.

Information Security

Now that cyber-attack is becoming more and more rampant, there is a big need for more information security analysts. In fact, its projected growth rate by 2015 is 30.9 percent. Those who pursue a career in computer science will not be disappointed since the starting salary is at $57,100 a year while the median salary is $86,600.

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