Engineering degrees pay off
A new report shows that engineering degrees are far and away the highest earning among all college programs.
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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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey