Engineering degrees pay off

A new report shows that engineering degrees are far and away the highest earning among all college programs.

07/27/2009


The National Assn. of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has released its list of the top-earning college degrees, and engineering is well-represented at the top.

Eight of the top 10 degrees feature some type of engineering, with petroleum engineering running away with the No. 1 spot thanks to an average starting salary of $83,121. Chemical, mining, computer, electrical, mathematical, industrial, and systems engineering also were listed, each offering a starting salary of more than $56,000. Aeronautical, agricultural, and biomedical engineering ranked 12 through 14 on the list, with salaries starting at more than $54,000. NACE collects its data by surveying 200 college career centers.

The report states the reason engineering degrees lead to high salaries is due to a lack of students majoring in these fields . According to the NACE director of research Ed Koc, engineering field make up about 4% of all college graduates, while social science and history each comprise 16%.

"It's a supply and demand issue," Koc said. "So few grads offer math skills, and those who can are rewarded."



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