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Want to make six figures straight out of college? Read this article! We’ll show you 7 college majors with high starting salaries for entry-level employees.

Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in your young life. But once you’ve done that, you’ll have another big decision to make:

Your college major.

It’s important to follow your heart and study something you’re passionate about. But it’s also important to pick a major that can set you up for financial freedom after graduation.

College is expensive, and if you’re paying for school with student loans, you’ll need a job to help you pay those loans back.

Based on data from Glassdoor and Payscale, these are the top seven college majors with the highest starting salaries.

1. Engineering

To be fair to the engineers out there, we know that every engineering discipline is unique. But since engineers of varying types take 7 out of the top 10 spots on this list, we’ve grouped them all together in one overall “engineering” category.

If you’re already studying to become an engineer, you’re poised to make more money when you graduate than most of the other students you know!

Here are the median starting salaries for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in engineering:

  • Petroleum engineer: $96,544
  • Computer engineer: $74.026
  • Chemical engineer: $73,627
  • Nuclear engineer: $73,175
  • Electrical engineer: $71,659
  • Systems engineer: $71,510

Petroleum engineers take the top spot with an average starting salary of just under $97,000 per year.

Why is this such a high-paying career?

Because you’ll be working in the oil and gas industry, which accounts for 2 to 3% of the entire global economy!

Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting natural gas and refining oil. This is a unique and highly specialized skill that’s in high demand by oil and gas companies around the globe.

Computer engineers, on the other hand, can expect a starting salary closer to $74,000. It may not be as close to $100k, but it’s not bad for an entry-level position!

2. Physician Assistant Studies

Graduate with a degree in physician assistant studies, and you can start your career making an average of $85,200 per year. This course of study requires education in biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, and other sciences.

PAs also learn about medical ethics, disease prevention, and other areas of medicine.

With this degree, you can take your career in a variety of different directions. PAs can work as ER assistants, infection control specialists, or medical practitioners.

As a physician assistant, you can do a variety of tasks that a licensed MD does. This includes interpreting diagnostic tests, diagnosing patients, and treating minor injuries.

3. Computer Science

With a computer science degree, you can work just about anywhere you want, and you’ll make an average of $71,200 when you start.

Get your degree in computer science and you might find yourself working as a systems analyst, a mobile app developer, or a UI/UX designer. You can also work as a software engineer, web designer, or data scientist – jobs that are necessary in just about every company around the world.

If you major in computer science, you won’t just learn how to code or build a website. You’ll need to take your fair share of math classes, study calculus and probabilities, and learn about data structures and algorithms.

4. Dental Hygiene

With a starting average salary of $65,400, working as a dental hygienist doesn’t mean you’ll be scraping plaque and brushing teeth in a dental office. 

This degree actually opens the door to a variety of interesting career paths. If you don’t want to practice in a clinical setting, you can put this degree to work in research, administration, or education.

With a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, you can become an educator or instructor to new students entering the field. You could find yourself working in a public health office or managing a dental practice.

If you want to work hands-on with patients, you can land a job with as little as an associate’s degree and a state license. But the additional two years of schooling will provide you with endless opportunities that don’t involve patient care.

5. Statistics

Ready to earn an average of $60,000 when you graduate? You may want to get your degree in statistics.

If you love numbers, majoring in statistics opens up the door to a variety of career paths. You just might find yourself working in the field of computers, healthcare, or even sports.

With a statistics degree, you can work as an actuary, a data scientist, or a sports statistician. You can also work as a computer systems analyst or a bio-statistician.

If you can handle the analysis and interpretation of numerical data, this major will allow you to take a variety of interesting career paths.

6. Nursing

A bachelor’s degree in nursing will put you a step ahead of RNs that only have associate’s degrees and state licenses. With a BSN, you can earn an average of $58,928 per year upon graduation.

This degree can steer your career in a number of different directions.

You can work in a hospital or medical office collecting lab specimens and running basic tests. You can provide emotional support, take patients’ vital signs, and administer medication. You can also work toward a higher-paying specialty by becoming a surgical nurse, ICU nurse, or OBGYN nurse.

7. Finance

Since we’re talking about money today, it’s fitting that the 7th-highest-paying major on this list is finance.

Graduate with a BA or BS in finance, and you can earn $54,900 to start. Every company in every industry has financial experts on-staff, so this is a major that you can put to use in infinite directions.

You can become a financial analyst, financial planner, or accountant. You can also find employment as a credit analyst, budget analyst, or investor relations associate.

From Main Street to Wall Street, finance majors are always in need!

Want to start your career making upwards of $50,000? There are a few majors that will put you on that path:

  • Petroleum engineering
  • Physician assistant studies
  • Computer engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Nuclear engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Systems engineering
  • Computer science
  • Dental hygiene
  • Statistics
  • Nursing
  • Finance

Don’t love your current major? Haven’t declared one yet? If you want to start your career in a high-paying role, now is the perfect time to segue into one of these fields!

Author Bio:

Dominique Daniels is the Business Manager for Anthology at Vista Station. With over 10 years of experience in the multifamily industry, she is one of the most dedicated managers in her field. She loves to help others and takes great pride in working in a community that so many love to call home.

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