Highest-Paying College Majors

Posted by Matin Varshochi in College LifeJanuary 27, 2023(Last Updated January 30, 2023)3 min read
Key Takeaways
  • One of the norms growing up in the older generations was to become a high school graduate and study higher education at college.
  • College degrees open paths and opportunities that allow people to land jobs and learn a skill that could be useful for the rest of their lives. 
  • The truth about college degrees is that they do not guarantee success, and they are dependent on your career path.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

One of the norms growing up in the older generations was to become a high school graduate and study higher education at college. Although becoming a college graduate can be extremely beneficial in your career, it is important to consider the costs and the potential lifetime earnings that could be earned from getting a degree. 


Most Popular College Degrees

When attending college, it is important to know that there many different majors a person can choose from. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, below are some of the most popular majors that college graduates are currently pursuing. 




business coworkers

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Median Income: $65,000


A business degree can be used to go into different fields, such as finance, economics, accounting, and marketing, among other things. Consequently, a business degree can be beneficial if you want to learn skills in different business areas. 



Median Income: $63,000


A health degree can be useful for those wishing to go into different aspects of health, such as nursing, public health, and nursing. Also, a health degree could present the opportunity for a person to potentially pursue higher education if they wish to become a doctor or surgeon. 


Social Science


Median Income: $64,000

Like many other degrees, a social science degree has a diverse range of options available. For example, people can pursue history, sociology, and political science. This type of degree is typically chosen by those who wish to learn about history or become politicians. 


business handshake

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Median Income: $93,000


Becoming an engineer is a career path that many people pursue because there are different branches. There is civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering, to name a few. Due to its variety, many people go down this path because of the range of career options it provides. 

Computer Science


computer science

Image Credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

Median Income: $85,000


Computer Science is one of the more upcoming degrees many people are pursuing. Because of the increasing dependence on technology, computer science has become a desired role companies are trying to find. 


Law Enforcement


Median Income: $45,760

Law enforcement is a job that is always needed. Having a degree in law enforcement could allow you to work for the police department, but you can use it to potentially land a position at a federal institution. 


What is the Return on Investment?

Return on Investment on a college degree varies, it depends on the field you choose to pursue. Your income will typically increase as you begin working in the field once you graduate. As you build up your career and learn new skills, you can begin working and earning more money over time. As a result, by investing four years of your life, you can learn a skill that can be useful to you for the rest of your life. 


student coding

Image Credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com


Recommended Read: How to Transition from College to a Career

The Truth about College Degrees


Although learning a valuable skill through an accredited college can help put you in a better position than those with only a high school diploma, there are some setbacks. The first major disadvantage of getting a college degree is the cost. According to Bankrate, paying off student loans takes around 10 to 30 years. 


The long repayment period could mean degree holders have a portion of their income for at least the next decade tied with paying back their degree. Because of the long-term financial commitment, it leads to some contemplating whether the degree will be worth it. 


Is Getting a College Degree Worth it?


There is no definite answer to whether a college degree is worth the money. The answer varies depending on the career path you want to pursue. For example, some people who want to become doctors, lawyers, and engineers must have a degree from an accredited college. Therefore, pursuing higher education and taking the costs is worth it for these professions.

Recommended Read: High Paying Jobs with No Degree Requirements

However, for other professions where a degree may not always be contingent on becoming successful, some people may choose not to pursue a college degree because it is irrelevant to their career goals. Therefore, before pursuing a degree, research the profession you want to enter and see whether attaining higher education would be beneficial. 


The Money Wrap-Up


A college degree does not necessarily define or guarantee success. Success is based on hard work, and a college degree means nothing without a strong work ethic. As a result, when choosing a career path, ensure you will do your best. Whether the degree is necessary or not for your career, the ability to work hard is.

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