7 College Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

Are you searching for college degrees that lead to top-paying jobs? Naturally, a good return on your money would be nice, right? When deciding on a degree, a college-bound student needs to ask the right questions.

Does this major align with my interests? Will it allow me to grow in my passion? Will it lead me to a fulfilling and stable career? And then there are questions that point to finances, which are equally important.

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It is no secret that individuals who have earned a college degree can expect to do better financially than those with less education. In fact, research proves that the more that workers increase their educational attainment, the more that their unemployment probabilities drop and earnings climb.

One other important question to consider when picking a college degree is this: Will the college degree I choose boost my earning potential in the future and my chances of obtaining one of the highest-paying jobs? And for all the right reasons, it is an essential factor to consider.

After all, going to university to earn a college degree is an investment. And while at it, it doesn’t hurt to find out which degrees actually pay you back and promise a brighter financial future.

The Lowdown:
If you are looking for the highest paying college major, whether it’s for a bachelor’s degree job or requires a master’s degree, it will serve you well, without a doubt! And here’s the logic… If you are going to spend your time, effort, and energy on earning a degree, it should also benefit you financially in the long run. Check out the top high paying career choices below!

Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

Physician, Anaesthesiologist, or Surgeon

Start by earning: Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology, Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology, Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, or Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Surgical Technology

Considering their highly demanding training, not-so-cheap education, and professional requirements, surgeons and physicians are paid handsomely throughout their careers.

Typically, they start by earning a bachelor of science degree before proceeding to earn a medical school degree on top of that and finally completing residency programs. Also, a master’s degree may be required, depending on the position.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Physicians and surgeons earn an annual median salary of $229,3000. Employment in physician’s offices, academia, government, and hospitals is expected to grow up to 3% between 2022 and 2032.

Research reveals, in fact, that majors relating to the field of health and science lead to the highest-earning careers.

Office or Organizational Executive

Start by earning: Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA or B.P.A.), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA or B.B.A.)

Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

An individual who has taken the Chief Executive Officer job position is tasked to be the organization’s leader, planner, and director, ensuring that all goals are met.

The work that top executives do is applicable in practically every industry, particularly in large companies and businesses with up to thousands of employees.

There are several business degrees geared toward becoming a top executive. Bachelor’s degrees in business-related fields are plentiful.

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for someone who aspires to be a top executive and earn an annual median salary of $189,520.

More importantly, considerable experience is a must in this highly demanding type of career. It is inclined toward the business side, which means that an undergraduate and, more importantly, a post-graduate degree, such as a master’s degree in business-related topics, provides an advantage.

Other high-paying careers include marketing management, human resource management, construction management, financial managers, and leadership positions in any capacity.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Start with: Bachelor in Computer Information Systems

Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

With an annual median salary of $164,070, a career in computer and information systems management is a promising one.

Anyone pursuing this career should start with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a computer-related field, as it is the minimum requirement for the job.

A computer science, computer systems manager, or IT project manager is tasked to determine and meet the overall IT goals of a company or organization in the private sector or public sector.

The position requires the candidate to be an expert in management, planning, coordination, and, most importantly, computer-related skills.

As such, higher educational attainment, training completed, and certifications obtained play a key role in landing the position.

Architectural and Engineering Manager

Start with: Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.Arch), Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies (B.A.Arch), Bachelor of Engineering (B.E., B.Eng., or B.A.I.) as undergraduate degrees

Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

Earning an annual salary of $159,920 per year, architectural and engineering managers are tasked to plan and fulfill those plans and achieve goals in the company or organization they work for.

To be an architectural and engineering manager, the candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. Above all educational attainment, work experience in the field is a crucial requirement.

Research shows that demand for architectural and engineering managers is estimated to rise by 4% between the years 2022 and 2032.

Airline and Commercial Pilot

Start by earning: Bachelor of Science in Aviation – Professional Flight, Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation – Aviation Administration

Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

By navigating and flying airplanes and other aircraft, pilots earned a median salary of $148,900 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For starters, aspiring pilots can start by enrolling in aeronautics or aviation bachelor’s programs where their coursework includes English, aeronautical engineering, physics, and mathematics.

Following completion of a bachelor’s degree, future pilots must then complete an aviation or aeronautics program that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and obtain an Airline Transport Pilot or ATP certificate issued by the FAA.

Experience and more hours of training are prerequisites for employment as an airline pilot.

Petroleum Engineer

Start with: Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering

Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

Petroleum engineering deals with evaluating, exploring, extracting, recovering, and producing oil and natural gas for profitability.

Petroleum engineers seek out and maintain the best techniques and tools and enact the processes for efficient drilling operations in pre-determined sites.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, petroleum engineers get a median salary of $131,800 annually. A majority of petroleum engineers worked for gas and oil extraction companies.

This profession’s growth rate is projected at 2% between 2022 and 2032. Entry-level positions in petroleum engineering require a bachelor’s degree. Nuclear engineering is also a great option to consider.


Start with: Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS)

Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

Working in drug and health care is most suitable for college graduates with a background in the sciences. A bachelor’s degree (BSPS) can lead one to become a Doctor of Pharmacy or Pharm.D.

To become a pharmacist and practice this craft, a bachelor’s or doctorate graduate must also pass two exams and become licensed.

A pharmacy-related career offers a median annual salary of $132,750, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Highly probable places of work for graduates of Pharmacy or related degrees include clinics, hospitals, and general merchandise.

Are you in the process of learning how to find a college major? Here’s a tip: consider whether or not your degree of choice can secure a stable and strong career path for you. Find out how individuals in the same major actually fare in the real world. The informed decision you make definitely impacts your financial future.

Key Takeaways:

Good-paying jobs are hard to find for most people. How can you assure yourself of job security and a lucrative median salary? Consider these points: 

  • Bachelor’s degree jobs are a dime a dozen, but to procure a good return on your money, the above-best college majors will assure a top-paying position.
  • Although stem degrees have a reputation for top-earning median pay results, other types of bachelor’s degrees can also yield top earnings, such as a business degree.
  • Keep in mind that post-graduate degrees are often required to earn top dollar.
  • Top-paying careers can be located in the public or private sector. Often, top money can be earned by those with entrepreneurship abilities as business owners themselves.
  • Lucrative job opportunities include positions in software engineering, as a financial manager, civil engineer, software developer, software engineer, physician assistant, and much more. Others become computer hardware engineers, mechanical engineers, aerospace engineers, construction managers, chemical engineers, nurse practitioners, nuclear engineers, and more.
  • With a bachelor’s degree, you can sharpen your critical thinking skills, communication skills, and management skills, proven skills needed for a successful leadership role.
  • For the highest-paying careers, much responsibility and education may be required. Are you prepared to give it your all?

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