Looking to boost your bank account right out of the gate when you graduate college? Consider blending the worlds of oil and technology.
A recent study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) looks at the top-earning majors for the class of 2020—and, as you might expect, the technology-centered ones top the list, with petroleum engineering leading the group. Graduates who earned a degree in the field had an average starting salary of $87,989 last year.
On the whole, 2020’s graduates were off to a better start than those who graduated in the two years before. The survey found the 2020 average salary of $55,260 was 2.5% above the class of 2019’s average starting salary of $53,889 and 8.5% higher than the Class of 2018’s average starting salary of $50,944.
“In some cases, salary increases most likely reflect these unique times,” says Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director in a statement. “For example, the increased demand for nurses as frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic may have fueled the 2.1% increase in the average starting salary for registered nursing majors, from $57,416 for these graduates from the Class of 2019 to $58,626 for Class of 2020 registered nursing graduates.”
Here’s a look at the majors that had the biggest starting salaries last year:
Petroleum engineering – $87,989
Computer programming – $86,098
Computer engineering – $85,996
Computer science – $85,766
Electrical, electronics, and communications engineering – $80,819
Operations research – $80,166
Computer and information science – $78,603
Statistics – $75,916
Applied mathematics – $73,558
Chemical engineering – $72,713
More must-read business news and analysis from Fortune:
- These are the most overvalued housing markets in the U.S.
- This one chart puts Biden’s student loan cancellation into perspective
- Is “Big Day Care” the solution to America’s childcare woes—or is it risky to mix profits and toddlers?
- What’s fueling “The Great Resignation” among younger generations?
- All the major companies requiring vaccines for workers
Subscribe to Fortune Daily to get essential business stories straight to your inbox each morning.