What are the top 10 highest paying degrees?

There are hundreds of different majors available for graduates and they correspond with different career paths. A college student pays the same amount of money to study each major, but the monetary rewards are not equal. Some degrees command higher starting and mid-career salaries than others. This is generally dictated by the economic demand for the jobs that align with the degree. Another factor is the supply of graduates with a particular degree; if there are more people holding degrees in a field than the amount of jobs available, the salary will naturally come down. This is because more people will inevitably take lower salaries to work due to the difficulty finding employment. Here are the top ten highest paying degrees:

1. Petroleum Engineering - A number of factors come together to make the petroleum engineering degree the number one Bachelor's degree. The curriculum is quite difficult, meaning that not too many people will undertake the degree. Oil prices have been at historic highs in the last decade, and that money trickles down to the oil company employees. The average starting salary for a petroleum engineering degree is $93,000 and the median mid-career salary is $157,000.

2. Chemical Engineering - The chemical engineering degree is second on this list for many of the same reasons as the petroleum engineering degree. Commodity prices for many chemicals have increased and this dictates the high salary for the chemical engineering degree. The average starting salary for a chemical engineering degree is $64,800 and the median mid-career salary is $108,000.

3. Nuclear Engineering - A nuclear engineering degree commands an average starting salary of $63,900 and a median mid-career salary of $104,000. This degree is in demand due to the complexity of nuclear reactions and the increased research into their potential.

4. Computer Engineering - Given the increased use of computers for movies, shopping, and many other activities, it comes as no surprise that a computer engineering degree is among the highest paying degrees. The average starting salary is $61,200 and the median mid-career salary is $99,500.

5. Electrical Engineering - An electrical engineering degree is marketable due to the constant demand for electricity from United States residents. The average starting salary is $60,800 and the median mid-career salary is $104,000.

6. Aerospace Engineering - An aerospace engineering degree affords an average starting salary of $59,400 and a median mid-career salary of $108,000. The complexity and lack of graduates trained in the field of aerospace engineering dictate the high salaries for the degree.

7. Materials Science and Engineering - Materials science and engineering degree graduates learn how to create proper packaging for products. The average starting salary for a materials science and engineering degree is $59,400 and the median mid-career salary is $93,600.

8. Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical engineering students learn how to create mechanical systems such as engines, vehicles, and other machines. The mechanical engineering degree has an average starting salary of $58,300 and a median mid-career salary of $97,400.

9. Industrial Engineering - Industrial engineering degrees teach students how to enhance industrial processes and create innovations to them. The average starting salary is $58,200 and the median mid-career salary is $97,600.

10. Software Engineering - Software engineering degrees instill knowledge of computer programming and application development within graduates. The average starting salary is $56,700 and the median mid-career salary is $91,300.

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