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.
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.
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 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 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:
- Software Developer—Systems Software
- Software Developer—Applications
- Market Research Analyst
- Networks/Computer Systems Administrator
- Elementary School Teacher
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Management Analyst
- Public Relations Specialist
- Insurance Sales Agent
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.
The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.