Choosing a Degree Course That Will Pay You Back

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The average cost for students taking a degree course in the United States can top $30,000 a year. It’s a significant sum that can lead some students having to reach to meet the required payments. A few will benefit from various scholarship and grants, but not all are so lucky. With such overwhelming financial demands on modern students, it is worth considering carefully which degree course to take. Obviously some people will have a “calling” that they just can’t ignore. Others who aren’t quite so sure about their choice of career may be influenced by courses that can reasonably be anticipated to reward their initial financial commitment with lucrative salaries.

The PayScale College Salary Report analyzes and ranks the best undergraduate college degrees by salary. With a clear lead of over $40,000 more than the second ranking course, Petroleum Engineering was ranked as the most lucrative degree choice with an expected starting salary of $97,900 and mid-career median pay of $155,000. The next five places are all taken up by subjects also in the engineering field: chemical, electrical, materials science, aerospace and computer engineering. The expected starting salaries for these courses range from $61,800 to $64,500 and mid-career median pay from $101,000 to $109,000. These are fairly impressive salaries by anyone’s standards, but of course not everyone is destined to become an engineer. Thankfully there are several other popular choices of degree slightly further down the rankings table with lower but still highly respectable possible salaries.

Tony Moton writing for Yahoo Education identifies a number of degree disciplines that are likely to offer students a significant return on their investment in education.

– Business: With an overall median starting salary of $47,748, business degree courses are as valuable to students as they are to a range of employers. Economics graduates can expect a starting salary of around $54,800, finance graduates $49,700, and accounting graduates $47,800.

– Computer Science: With an overall median starting salary of $56,383, computer science is a popular choice that can lead to several interesting career choices. Outright graduates in computer science courses attract a starting salary of $58,300 with information sciences and systems graduates looking at around $52,000.

– Health Sciences: With an overall median starting salary of $43,477, caring professions may be just the ticket to those looking to help others while they help themselves. Nursing majors can expect a starting salary of $43,400 and majors in health and related sciences $36,400.

Making a choice about the rest of your life is hardly ever going to be an easy decision, but with an ever-increasing cost of living, it pays to study a subject that will offer a respectable rate of pay in coming years. Choose a degree that will pay you back and you are unlikely to regret your decision.

About the Author:

Linda Forshaw is a freelance writer, editor and published author from Liverpool in the UK. She specializes in social media, marketing and technology. She is a contributor to Degree Jungle.

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