And The Highest Paid College Majors Are...

Tyler Durden's picture

Presented with little comment but perhaps it is time to rethink that $100,000 loan and the extended MBA program...


  • Petroleum Engineering: $93,500
  • Computer Engineering: $71,700
  • Chemical Engineering: $67,600
  • Computer Science: $64,800
  • Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering: $64,400
  • Mechanical Engineering: $64,000
  • Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering: $63,400
  • Management Information Systems/Business: $63,100
  • Engineering Technology: $62,200
  • Finance: $57,400



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Oh regional Indian's picture

Hardest work, dangerous to boot, pays best in this petroleum driven world. Not really a aurprise it's number 1.

Butt, finance at the butt end? Shocking.

Seems there is a glut of thieves in training.


idea_hamster's picture

But what kind of bonus does a petro-engineer get?  


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Exactly. The money in finance isn't in the salary, it's in the bonuses and graft. The salary is just there to provide a taxable income to make it look legit.

Atlas Shrugged's picture

I have to say that the chem eng double major worked out quite well for me...

steve from virginia's picture




The column on the far left produces what all the other columns destroy ...


No column for 'tycoon' ...

gmrpeabody's picture

I didn't see park and rec in that chart..., what gives?

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Chemical Engineers, pollute rivers and kill fish. Hell ya bitches!!!!!

GoBadgers's picture

Same here with a EE/CS double major. The finance bitches might make more, but I get to spend time with my family. Priorities.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild's picture

+1 for the Badger 4-peat...Fuck Bret Bielema in the goat ass

mkkby's picture

The richest person I know is a $60k per year bus driver, who will have a gov pension after 30 years of service.  Anyone else would have to have $1-2 million savings in the bank to duplicate that.  No way any of these college degrees earn that much.

donsluck's picture

Hooold on! Start at 25, work until 55, live until 85. 30 years retirement. $60,000/$1,000,000=6%. So, if you can manage 6% return, you never use the capital. If you manage 3% return, you'll still never run out of principle. I think you exagerate how much you need to retire. I figure $400,000 for me, with a paid-for house. Maybe less...

dark pools of soros's picture

who the hell is getting 6% ?  you do know once the nest egg gets trashed, there is not a real good way of averging back right?  That is why everyone is in safe crap 1% mud


Rentenmark's picture

It is not an exageration because the $60k pension is there regardless of how much money that guy saves for retirement.  The private sector guy has to save up the $1M prior to drawing his $60k income from it.  Big difference!

Long_Xau's picture

This must be the guy with the highest and farthest-out promise from the least solvent entity.

This "rich" guy will never actually be able to afford to live like one. The way things are going, he'll actually be pretty poor.

57-71's picture

You can count on another 30% for an average year in a large company.

Some go to 60% depending on the mix of cash and stock, and in a very good yearfor the company.

azzhatter's picture

Are you say I wasted my money on my Russian History degree?

Ahmeexnal's picture

Should have gone for Fem Lit.

Fox-Scully's picture

However, if you can read Russian, you will be able to converse with all of the young ladies from Russia--the ones that you get unsolicited emails from.

Whalley World's picture

Hey, Natalia may have cost me a couple of G's but at least I still have her framed photo.

McMolotov's picture

My degree in Lesbian Basket-Weaving was worth every bit of the $100,000 debt.

somecallmetimmah's picture

Funny, I don't see the Communications Arts, English majors, crimminal justice lackeys, or womyn's studies losers anywhere on that chart.

Oooop, my bad.  They're covered under "escorts".

Suisse's picture

Some of those degrees you mention are stepping stones to graduate programs.

somecallmetimmah's picture

In Escortology, right?

(Knee pads not included)

Dixie Rect's picture

They also forgot Chicano Studies.

Colonel Klink's picture

If you can lick'em, join'em!

Harbanger's picture

I saw an Ad once that said,

Are you a beautiful single female who needs help paying for your college tuition?

Then you need a "college tuition sugar daddy".

mick_richfield's picture

You know -- I actually applied for that gig.

The old man took one look at me and said "Can't you read?"

I said: "Well -- I figure, you know, I got two out of three of the qualifications."

He was not amused.

RafterManFMJ's picture

My degree in Lesbian Basket-Weaving was worth every bit of the $100,000 debt.


Not mine. Every Lesbian basket I weave ends up looking like an angry, malformed taco.

uno's picture

or a angry boy like Rachel Maddow

MSimon's picture

I'd love to see a basket made of Lesbians. Got any pics?

Georgiabelle's picture

My 24 year old daughter is a liberal arts grad making over 70K two years out. There are many companies looking for graduates with top notch critical thinking, writing, and foreign language skills. If you can make it through their grueling testing process you can make some decent money. 

Georgiabelle's picture

Ummm, no. I think I know how old my daughter is. She graduated at 22, in May of 2011. That's pretty normal---4 years in college.  My point is that there are a good number of recent grads who are making decent money in spite of not having a degree in engineering. I'm sorry if that hurts the feelings of the tech/engineering types out there. It is indeed a tough economy, but sharp grads with a good work history can find jobs if they are flexible, even those with liberal arts degrees. She has been working part-time since she turned 16 and her employer said that makes a difference to them. Too many college grads have never worked, even part-time, and hiring them is a huge gamble.

vicorjh's picture

Hard work does payoff. Good to hear! Congrats.

I agree with many of the other points you are making, as well.

Sharp grads shouldn't have to be "flexible", though. Problem is, HR is completely clueless (along with many of those in managerial positions). Simply put, they do not know when they are looking at the gift horse in the mouth!

HardAssets's picture

Hiring your daughter to work in your company doesnt count.

Georgiabelle's picture

I don't have a company. I don't even work anymore. Ironically, she works for a financial services company, which in no way relates to her majors. 

owensdrillin's picture

I wouldn't really call being a petro engineer dangerous. Also, not real hard work, just super long hours and lots of paperwork.

The bonuses paid last year were the best I have ever seen for drillers, rig managers, mud men etc. The drillers on the project I was on in northern Canada (coring) were getting 15K bonus on top of real good wages over the winter drilling program (2.5 months). The rig crews were making a years income over the program as they basically worked just about the whole time.

For the first time that I have seen, the tool push was being paid more than my job as the engineer. There is a real shortage of qualified rig workers when the winter drilling season starts. The pay is great but you have to be prepared to be outside on a rig in -35 degree weather some days and that is just not much fun. Also, you are gone from home for an extended period and that doesn't always bode well for marriages/family life.

Spitzer's picture

Yep. The pay is good up here. Too bad income taxes are so insane though.

Ruffcut's picture

My kid is new engineer, but those wages don't mean shit.

I live in D town , motor city and during the outsourcing years, many a non engineer with half brain were coining in, making parts,

Those industiral areas, many many, are now ghost towns. I serviced many in my first careers. These people 20 years ago created some real wealth, an engineer wage is just good wage. BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE. Sorry, but the neighborhoood ain't lyin. It be dyin, and no ponzi scheme money printing bullshit is gong to save it.

James_Cole's picture

Problem with petro industry is it's boom-bust + the obvious drawbacks to being in that industry. Surprised computer engineering is so high on the list, I know a lot of senior computer engineers getting laid off. Sure, they bounce back but my sense was there's a lot of downward pressure on wages from offshoring. 

Engineers took seven of the top ten spots in NACE’s April survey, with petroleum engineers–a category added this year–earning the most, with average starting salaries of $93,500.

This list is also probably skewed because the more specialized engineering fields I guess aren't registering but generally seem to pay better than any of these in my experience.  

Edit- didn't realize post grad (saw MBA at the top) was excluded from this, makes A LOT more sense now

Karlus's picture

Depends on what you do. If you are a J2EE monkey, you better be a Hindu as they will only typically hire Hindu.

If you are doing something a bit more cutting edge you can get by. By and large real Americans are in leadership positions and the coding is done offshore. Business requirements, testing, project management...etc all American typically.

Its all a cost play. If we can get the skills overseas we will. Does not matter if it kills the consumer here, or whatever. India coder average cost $25/hr. Onshore $85/hr (not saying the resource gets that, I am saying that is the cost to the company)

To summarize, computer sci is one of the few fields where skipping college may be better and start getting work experience. You can always find something (may not be the best) if you know tech.

Ballin D's picture

The thing with CE is that kids fresh out of school tend to have relevant knowledge of current software and processes while someone with a 20 year career has 15+ years of antiquated knowledge that theyd like to be paid for.

pitz's picture

Senior Computer Engineers laid off.   Young grads mostly not even being hired despite being qualified for the positions.  Its a real disaster for US citizen computer/electrical engineers, that's for sure.  Some sit in the basement and code open source, but most of them just suffer an intellectual death after studying for such a difficult degree. 

IBelieveInMagic's picture

May not be true. I hear from friends in IT that they are paying top dollars for local IT talent and still they can't find enough :(

IBelieveInMagic's picture

May not be true. I hear from friends in IT that they are paying top dollars for local IT talent and still they can't find enough :(