Highest Paying Jobs for College Graduates

Choose the Best Field of Study

Just being a college graduate does not necessarily mean that you're going to get the highest paying jobs. The unemployment rate for college graduates is the highest now since 1970, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

It is very important to know the job trends and choose your major and type of college degree carefully. Certainly part of this decision is based on whether you're getting a bachelors degree, a master's degree or doctorate. For instance, a four-year degree in English will not necessarily get you a job, when a Masters degree in English can be utilized to become an English teacher. Another example would be a degree in psychology. This degree will be useful in the job market if you get further education to become a psychologist or psychiatrist or combine it with some business courses for a Human Resources job.

Son's Graduation

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Higher Paying Jobs - Pros and Cons

Physicians, particularly surgeons, neurosurgeons, lawyers, psychiatrists or even dentists are some of the highest paying jobs. However, they require more education and quite often, huge student loans to complete that education. In addition, if they want to set up their own office, that is another huge expense, so it takes several years for them to even break even.

Top Choices for the Future in Business

Some of the degrees that are more marketable in today's world are bachelor’s degrees in business administration. Business administration degree employment actually rose 2.2% last year, which puts these graduates in a good position to find employment, and it is a very good career builder if you want to move up the ladder of success. Furthermore, this individual could move into accounting, management and analyst or insurance underwriting.

If you already have your bachelors degree in business, consider getting a Masters degree in business administration, as this will open doors into leadership and increase your income. According to a 2005, Forbes article the mid-career median pay is $109,000 annually. The Department of Labor states this is the preferred degree and often a requirement for employees in leadership positions. A few possible careers in the corporate world would include financial analyst, marketing manager and database administrator.

Technology and Communications

As we watch technology and communications advance at a rapid clip, a bachelor’s degree in computer and information sciences is a great career choice. Technology is one of the specialties currently in the greatest demand, and the average salary offered for graduates grew by 4.4% last year. Other potential careers linked to this degree are a computer systems administrator, database administrator, and computer programmer to name just a few.

Degrees in Healthcare

Healthcare positions are always looking for new employees. A bachelor’s degree in nursing or physical therapy will ensure you steady employment with a good salary. If you decide to get a masters degree in nursing you can be assured of employment in management, possibly teaching nursing students or you can specialize as a nurse practitioner.

If you are interested in healthcare but are not interested in hands-on work, than a bachelors degree in healthcare administration may be a good option. With this degree you would learn all aspects of overseeing healthcare, including financial management, human resources and policy making. In our economy these skilled professionals will always remain in demand. According to the Department of Labor, healthcare management positions are expected to grow approximately 14%.

Marketing and Communication Degrees

Another good choice for a bachelor's degree is marketing/communication. This degree lets you develop the skills necessary to identify customer needs and to effectively market a product or service. If you are already media savvy and looking for a stable career this may be a good choice for you, as you will have that extra edge over other potential employees. According to the Department of Labor employees in these fields tend to be the last to be downsized. This field can open up a career in marketing, public relations, and advertising or as a promotions manager.

Otherwise Choices

There are certainly many other careers that pay well and some of them are air traffic controllers, optometrists, pharmacists, airline pilots and sales managers to name just a few.

Engineering Degrees

Engineering jobs also pay very well and it is wise to study math and science if you are interested in these fields. Petroleum engineers top the list, however, other excellent engineering jobs include chemical, electrical, materials science and engineering, aerospace, computer, and nuclear engineering. These are all good choices for job security that pays well.

Top 10 Occupation from 2004-2014

The top ten fasting growing occupation between 2004-2014 are:

  • Home health aids
  • Network systems and data communications analysts
  • Medical assistants
  • Physician assistants
  • Computer software engineers
  • Dental assistants
  • Personal and home care aides

Not all of these even require a bachelor’s degree but they do require some type of formal training. For instance, home health aids and medical assistants usually require about six months of training in most states but, of course, they do not pay as well as those jobs that require a higher degree.

Graduation Day Cap

In Conclusion

If you are getting ready to begin formal education or perhaps changing your occupation it is worthwhile to find out what type of job you are suited for and what type of demand this job has in the community. I believe all education is beneficial as it broadens our general knowledge base, but if you are driven to achieve a higher paying job it is important to understand the type and amount of education necessary to meet your goals. Typically college graduates are going to get the highest paying jobs.

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Comments 29 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Excellent information for high school students that are about to begin thinking about the different type of career choices and for those that want to further their education.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Susan, Thank you so much for your comments.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Pamela - We meet again. This is a very well organized article. Your son looks so professional and handsome. You picked a good subject, as so many people are looking for jobs. You did a lot of good research. I sure hope your health is good and you are enjoying your writing. It makes my day, but I don't have many hubs. I am addicted to this site. Take care. Audrey


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Barbara, I am not writing too often either but when I think of a topic that peaks my interest I enjoy doing the research and writing the hub. It's good to hear from you again and I appreciate your comments.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Fact filled and well balanced article about job trends, wages and the education required for certain jobs.

I get upset when I see simplistic articles that only focus on telling people that a college degree will lead to higher wages and more job opportunities. Students who don't examine the whole picture taking today's economic situation, job outlook and realistic wages into account may be disappointed and disillusioned when they graduate with a mountain of debt and still can't find a job, or find one that pays far less than they anticipated because they chose a major that offers few job prospects.

Thanks so much for sharing this excellent article.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Maybe all the kids who are bartenders should have researched the right degree to go after before committing. Great hub. Up and useful.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Happyboomernurse, I absolutely agree with you. Thank you for your comments.

BPOP, Good point! I appreciate the comment.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

My nephew graduated with an IT degree and quickly got a job in the middle of this economic mess.;)

Thanks For Sharing Pamela.;)


Snurre profile image

Snurre 5 years ago

Very interesting hub, Pamela. Not all college degrees lead to high-paying jobs, so it's always important to understand that. I never had any problems finding a job with either of my degrees - music and journalism :) Not particularly high paying, but fine for me.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Excellent info. Pamela. In my area, the health field is always needing to hire. Thank you. A well written Hub that will help i'm sure.....


"Quill Again" 5 years ago

Well done Pam... thanks for all the work.

Blessings and Hugs


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Mentalist Acer, That is great for your nephew. Thanks for your comments.

Snurre, Liking what you do for a living is more important than the pay in my opinion. Thank you for your comments.

always exploring, That's my field too. I appreciate your comments.

Quill, Thank you so much for your comments. God Bless.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

Good information. My son just went off to college, so this is invaluable. Rated up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

anflnwu, I am glad this is such good timing for your. I appreciate your comments.


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 5 years ago

Excellent hub for those students who are about to begin their careers.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

katrinasui, Thank you for your comments.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 4 years ago from Utah

Good hub. Especially because it reinforced the good decision my children have made in career choices.

...BTW, they all have jobs. And the wives don't have to work. A true blessing in today's world.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Hanna, You and your family obviously made some good choices. Thanks for sharing your comments.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Pamela, you have great information about the highest paying jobs for college graduates. You open my eyes about great jobs outside my country. Vote up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Prasetio, I'm glad this hub is helpful to you as I'm sure you have a wonderful future with all your talents. Thanks for your comments. It's good to see you again.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US

I got a liberal arts degree, but I am going to continue my further studies in health care. It is a tough time for college graduates who didn't chose a profitable field.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

stephaniedas, It sure is and I'm glad that you will be able to continue your education. I appreciate your comments.


TropicalSnowAngel profile image

TropicalSnowAngel 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

This is good information for students entering college. It's such a shame that high schools don't do a better job of informing students on what to look for when they go on to college and eventually a career.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Tropical SnowAngel, I agree that high schools could do more to help children so they end up with a good career. Thanks for your comments.


Innocent 4 years ago

I need help plz.I'm in nigeria need help plz i need permit weither work or school to travel out plz help my name is innocent.My mobile 08031348837 plz help me i'm very hard working


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

I am sorry that have no way to help you with permits for work or school. I would not know how to begin. I hope someone in Nigeria can help you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

I have no knowledge of any way to help with a permit for work or school. I hope someone in Nigeria can do that for you.


Ganesh prasad 2 years ago

This is very helping thank you...

Now My list of possible jobs i can do have many options.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States Author

Garnesh, I am glad the hub was helpful to you. Thank you for your comments.

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