If You Want a High Starting Salary, Then Major in Engineering [RANKINGS]

November 24, 2014

4:30 pm

I know, I know – the notion that studying in engineering can lead to a high-paying career is not at all a new discovery. With companies like Google, Intuit, and Intel as some of the best and most sought-after companies to work for, it’s not surprise that more students are flocking to majors that get them more involved in computing and engineering. According to a recent study conducted by Michigan State University, those who major in electrical engineering start off with some of the highest starting salaries immediately after college.

The study from MSU shows that electrical engineering majors make, on average, $57,030 at their career starting points. This is followed by computer engineering majors (who average $56,576) and mechanical engineering majors (who make $56,055 on average). Looking at the rest of the rankings on the list, 8 out of 10 are tied to engineering or computing – with mathematics and construction being the two exceptions.

The study was done by MSU’s College Employment Research Institute and focused primarily on looking at whether there will be changes to the average salaries across various fields. What is particularly remarkable about the study is that those graduating with an associate’s degree in engineering or computer science actually have higher average starting salaries than the overall average for all bachelor’s degrees; the same applies on the graduate level, with those holding graduate degrees in computer science and engineering having higher average starting salaries than those graduating with MBAs. Another thing that’s notable is the designation of certain majors that seem to be, um, the same thing…? For instance, why are computer programming, computer science, and software design three different majors?

Take a look at the top 10 college majors that lead to some of the highest-paying starting salaries:

  1. Electrical Engineering: $57,030
  2. Computer Engineering: $56,576
  3. Mechanical Engineering: $56,055
  4. Software Design: $54,183
  5. Computer Programming: $54,065
  6. Chemical Engineering: $53,622
  7. Computer Science: $52,237
  8. Civil Engineering: $51,622
  9. Mathematics: $47,952
  10. Construction: $45,591

Read the entire study from Michigan State University (it’s only four pages long, so definitely a quick read).

(H/T Business Insider)

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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