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The 12 Highest Paying College Majors

4 minute read

Reviewed by Josianne Campbell Choosing a major is a big decision that can affect your income for the rest of your life. Doing career research is key to such an important choice. Not only should you consider what you like to do as well as your skillset, things like starting salary and median salary are important as well. It’s important to consider that some careers may start at a lower salary yet have bigger salary growth over time. Take a look at our list of the 12 highest paying college majors—some may surprise you!


Starting salary: $70,000 – 95,000 depending on specialty Median salary: $144,000 – 176,900 depending on specialty With focus areas including electrical, mechanical, petroleum, chemical, civil, computer, and aerospace, these majors pay well upon graduation and increase at a high rate as you gain experience over time. Check out our Engineering Degree Path for helpful tips on how to get started in this lucrative career.

Computer Science

Starting salary: $67,000 Median salary: $140,000 Encompassing both hardware and software know-how, careers range from design and development for tech companies like Google to creating systems for NASA. Be sure to check out our technology courses, which include IT, programming, and certification classes that can help you decide if this career is for you.


Starting salary: $62,000 Median salary: $138,000 Mathematics can play into many careers, including actuarial, mathematician, and operations analyst. Additionally, annual salary increases more on average than many other careers. See our full list of online college math courses 

Business Operations Research

Starting salary: $77,900 Median salary: $137,100 Jobs designed to increase business efficiency means graduates will be in high demand. View our Business Degree Path for helpful tips on how to get started in your business career.

Political Economics

Starting salary: $57,600 Median salary: $136,200 How political and economic variables combine to influence public policy can lead to a variety of well-paying careers in and around public policy and financial planning. Get started in economics by taking micro or macroeconomics with us.

Business Analytics

Starting salary: $57,200 Median salary: $133,200 Business analysts use data to streamline processes and procedures to make the company more efficient. Big growth is expected inside IT and healthcare in the next few years. Check out our full suite of online business classes and see if this career is for you.


Starting salary: $79,600 Median salary: $132,500 The need for pharmacists is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade, as the growing elderly population increases and creates more health care demand. Enrolling in a pharmacology course is a good way to give this field a try.


Starting salary: $73,100 Median salary: $131,600 These careers focus on the design, manufacturing, and testing of everything that flies in the skies and beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Be aware salary growth may be slower than other careers.


Starting salary: $60,100 Median salary: $131,000 Economics majors working in econometrics, banking, investment, government, and academia can expect higher than average salary growth over the next ten years. We offer two economic classes, macro and micro, that can help you see if this career is for you.


Starting salary: $56,400 Median salary: $130,800 Certified public accountants can find work in the areas of tax documentation, auditing and preparing financial statements, and consulting. Passing your state CPA exam is required. If you're want to give accounting a try in a low-risk environment, you can enroll in an accounting class today at StraighterLine.

Business Management

Starting salary: $61,000 Median salary: $115,000 Management careers include human resource management, production management, sales management, and training managers, to name just a few. StraighterLine offers a Principles of Management course that can help you get a feel for this diverse field. If you are considering pursuing a career in one of these high paying majors, you can increase the ROI (return on investment) of your degree by taking some of your general education courses online. The lower your cost of college -- and the faster you earn your degree -- the quicker you can get into one of these higher paying careers that you want.

Take Your Career to the Next Level

Ready to take your career to the next level? We can help you earn the credentials you need at a low cost and on your schedule. At StraighterLine, we are committed to student success. Each StraighterLine class includes 24/7 tutoring, student support, and textbooks for no additional fee.  Sign up for one of our courses today and start earning credit for your college degree! Enroll in a StraighterLine Class, Get Started Immediately Additional  Salary Resources:

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