These college majors have the highest starting salaries
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
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