For a large majority of college students, the ultimate goal is to land a high-paying job and build a sustainable career. While this shouldn’t be your only motivation for choosing a major, you’ll definitely want to consider your earning potential in some way before committing to a specific course of study.

We looked at several umbrella majors such as science, math and humanities and highlighted some of the most profitable degree programs. Keep in mind that these are estimates based on the national average and actual salaries will vary between employers. Regardless, there is some serious earning potential for everyone!

Here are some of the highest-paying college majors:


It should be no surprise that the highest-paying jobs are also the most technical. Engineers are responsible for many of the products we use everyday, such as smartphones, household appliances, cars and many more. There are all kinds of jobs out there in a variety of industries if you have a degree in engineering. Here are some of the highest paying engineering degrees:

  • Petroleum Engineering ($60,000 - $100,000)
  • Chemical Engineering ($61,000 - $100,000)
  • Aerospace Engineering ($60,000 - $100,000)


If you were to survey a group of college students and ask what their favorite subjects are, you would probably find mathematics somewhere near the bottom of the list. Maybe this is why jobs that require mathematical skills are in such high demand.

These three mathematics degrees are among the highest-paying college majors:

  • Applied Mathematics ($50,000 - $100,000)
  • Statistics ($50,000 - $90,000)
  • Finance ($46,000 - $90,000)

Arts and Humanities

Okay, so science and math are not your best, or most favorite, subjects. You can still earn a high-level salary with a bachelor’s degree in arts and humanities. While jobs in these fields are usually very competitive and starting salaries can be on the lower end, successful candidates have the potential to double their pay by mid-career. Some of the most promising arts and humanities degrees include:

  • Fashion ($35,000 - $70,000)
  • English ($40,000 - $65,000)
  • History ($49,000 - $71,000)


While business majors can definitely earn a comfortable living right out of the gate, fierce competition makes it hard to measure up to the starting salaries of engineers and mathematicians. However, the potential for riches later in your career is very high. Here are some of the more valuable business degrees and what you can expect to make early to mid career:

  • Entrepreneurship ($40,000 - $85,000)
  • E-commerce ($50,000 - $86,000)
  • Marketing ($50,000 - $90,000)

The Future is Yours!

As you can see, there is some serious earning potential no matter what program of study you choose. Of course, there are many factors that can affect your salary such as what company you work for, where you live, etc. However, these numbers should serve as a general guide when comparing salaries across different majors.



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Tagged: Career Advice