7 College Degrees That Lead to Top-Paying Jobs

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.

It is no secret that individuals who have earned a college degree can expect to do better financially than those with less or without. 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 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.

Here are the jobs and their corresponding college degrees that lead to a big earning potential in the business or corporate world:

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

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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’s degree before proceeding to earn a medical school degree on top of that and finally completing residency programs.

Physicians and surgeons earn annual median pay of $208,000 as of 2016. Employment in physician’s offices, academia, government, and hospitals is expected to grow up to 13% until 2026.

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.)

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An individual who has taken Chief Executive Officer as 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.

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for someone who aspires to be a top executive, and earn an annual median pay of $181,210, according to 2016 data. More importantly, considerable experience is a must in this highly demanding type of career. It is inclined toward the business side, which means that undergraduate and more importantly, post-graduate degrees in business-related fields provide an advantage.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Start with: Bachelor in Computer Information Systems

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With 2016 annual median pay of $135,800, a career in computer and information systems management is a promising one. Anyone pursing this career should start with a bachelor’s degree in computer-related field, as it is the minimum requirement for the job.

A computer and information systems manager or IT project manager is tasked to determine and meet the overall IT goals of a company or organization. The position requires the candidate to be experts in management, planning, coordinating, and most importantly, computer-related skills. As such, higher educational attainment, trainings 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

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Earning a median pay of $134,730 per year as of 2016, 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 minimum. Above all the 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 6% within the years 2016 and 2026.

Airline and Commercial Pilot

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

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By navigating and flying airplanes and other aircraft, pilots earned a median pay of $105,720 per year as of 2016. 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 prerequisite employment as an airline pilot.

Petroleum Engineer

Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering

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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 for drilling operations in pre-determined sites.

Petroleum engineers get a median salary of $128,230 annually as of May 2016. As of 2012, roughly 53% of petroleum engineers worked in gas and oil extraction companies. This profession’s growth rate is projected at 10% between until 2024. Entry-level positions in petroleum engineering require a bachelor’s degree.


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

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Working in drug and health care is most suitable to 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 median annual salary of $122,230 as of May 2016. Highly probable places of work for graduates of Pharmacy or related degree include clinics, hospital, 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 secures 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.