HOUSTON—It’s graduation season, and the Class of 2010 -- with freshly inked diplomas in hand—is looking for work. And according to the consumer website Walletpop.com, some of them can expect pretty hefty paychecks right out of college. Below is the site’s list of Top 10 Most Profitable College Majors. Walletpop.com reports use data from Payscale.com. Click here for the full report.
Ten most profitable majors:
1. Engineering. This includes (in order of highest first-year salaries) aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, environmental engineering and civil engineering. Instead of making a list where seven of the 10 highest paying careers are in engineering, they are rolled into one mention.
Average first year salary: $59,000. Average mid-career salary: $101,000.
2. Economics. A pretty ubiquitous myth is that economics is all statistics and math. The fact is, they also study a wide range of topics, including social science, psychology, political science and history. Economists are needed to create public policy—domestically and internationally.
Average first year salary: $50,200. Average mid-career salary: $101,000.
3. Physics. Physics is a good springboard major into a broad range of science, engineering and education careers. With a BS in physics, students can pursue careers as high school science teachers, laboratory technicians, computer programmers and meteorologists.
Average starting salary: $51,100. Average mid-career salary: $98,800.
4. Computer Science. Majoring in computer science will allow you to navigate through the algorithmic processes that create, describe and transform information—and that makes you an asset to any company. Other than going into Information Technology, there are plenty of career options for computer science majors, such as software designers, start-up company partners and freelance computer programmers.
Average starting salary: $56,400. Average mid-career salary: $97,400.
5. Statistics. Often statisticians collect and interpret data for marketing purposes.
Average career salary: $48,600. Average mid-career salary: $94,500.
6. Biochemistry. Graduates with this major can find work as lab technicians, analytical chemists and research assistants. This major also opens the door to advanced or medical degrees.
Average starting salary: $41,700. Average mid-career salary: $94, 200.
7. Mathematics. The one thing most of the items on this list have in common is a strong emphasis on math. Majoring in math leads to a wide range of fields, such as banking and finance, computing services and the insurance industry.
Average career salary: $47,000. Average mid-career salary: $93, 600.
8. Construction Management. A construction manager’s job is to oversee a construction project from its planning to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Average starting salary: $53,400. Average mid-career salary: $89,600.
9. Information Systems. For students who feel a strong connection with both business practices and the world of computer science, this major may resonate strongly. Every business uses information systems to keep track of their products and payroll.
Average starting salary: $51,400. Average mid-career salary: $87,000.
10. Geology. Knowledge of physical and chemical processes of the earth’s atmospheric, oceanic and land systems, lends itself to making both money and sound environmental choices.
Average starting salary: $45,000. Average mid-career salary: $84,200.