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Highest Paying Jobs for College Graduates

Updated on September 26, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

I'm interested in social issues, relationships, problems of daily living, jobs, exercise, poems and fiction, plus safer living conditions.

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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.

Higher Paying Jobs - Pros and Cons

Physicians, particularly surgeons, neurosurgeons or cardiovascular surgeons, lawyers, psychiatrists or even dentists are some of the higher 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 to even break even.

College, however, is not for everyone. Electricians and plumbers can make an excellent Income. There are apprentice programs for training as well. Follow your heart because if you end up in a job that you just don't like, then you will not be happy. Evaluate your skills and be comfortable with your chose.

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.

Top 5 paying jobs for college graduates!

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 is projected to grow by 13 percent from 2015 to 2026. The projected number of new jobs is 557,100.

Other careers with great potential 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. The median salary for careers, such as registered nurses and dental hygienists was $64,770 in May 2017.

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 prospective 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. It is also a good degree that lays down a good foundation for numerous other degrees.

Engineering Degrees

Engineering jobs also pay very well, and it is wise to study math and science if you are interested in these fields. The median starting salary for a computer hardware engineer is $63,970, which is a relatively newer field.

Petroleum engineers top the list, however, other excellent engineering jobs include chemical, electrical, materials science and engineering, aerospace, computer, and nuclear engineering. Mining and geological engineers and nuclear engineers are some of the top paid engineers, starting at $100,000 plus annually.

These are all good choices for job security that pays well.

Top 10 Occupation for College Grads

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

  1. Software Developer—Systems Software
  2. Software Developer—Applications
  3. Market Research Analyst
  4. Accountant/Auditor
  5. Networks/Computer Systems Administrator
  6. Elementary School Teacher
  7. Computer Systems Analysts
  8. Management Analyst
  9. Public Relations Specialist
  10. Insurance Sales Agent

Top 30 Highest Paying Trade School Jobs and Vocational School Careers

In Conclusion

If you are getting ready to begin formal education or perhaps changing your occupation, it is worthwhile to see what jobs are available in your community if this is where you want to live following graduation.

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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • profile image

    Ganesh prasad 

    7 years ago

    This is very helping thank you...

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • profile image


    9 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • TropicalSnowAngel profile image


    9 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • stephaniedas profile image

    Stephanie Das 

    9 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    9 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • HealthyHanna profile image


    10 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    katrinasui, Thank you for your comments.

  • katrinasui profile image


    10 years ago

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • anglnwu profile image


    10 years ago

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • profile image

    "Quill Again" 

    10 years ago

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

    Blessings and Hugs

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    10 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.....

  • Snurre profile image


    10 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.

  • Mentalist acer profile image

    Mentalist acer 

    10 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.;)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

    BPOP, Good point! I appreciate the comment.

  • breakfastpop profile image


    10 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.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 

    10 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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • brakel2 profile image

    Audrey Selig 

    10 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Susan, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    10 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.


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