The Best Paying College Degrees

Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary
Degrees Degrees

(Methodology: Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have 2 years of experience; mid-career have 15 years. See full methodology for more information. Source:

Training and education are the best ways to increase your value as a worker; everyone should consider adding education to his career plan.  But before you lock yourself into a 4-year degree, think about your return on investment. has listed the best-paying college degrees, and it’s no surprise that engineering degrees top the list.  Economics, physics and computer science complete the roster of degrees that really pay off. 

A 2006 report estimated the cost of a mechanical engineering degree in Florida to range between $29,000 and $48,000.  According to American School Search ( an engineering degree program costs an average of $11,700 per year in tuition, and engineers can expect to earn an average compensation of $58,870 per year, even shortly after graduation.  But what if you’re not exactly a rocket scientist? (Aerospace engineering is number 1.)

Certificate programs offer an affordable alternative to people who can’t afford or commit to a four-year program. Certificate programs offer training in almost every industry, and usually take less than 2 years to complete.  They’re offered at both universities and community colleges, giving you plenty of options for location and class times.  Four-year colleges focus on the general education of a student for the first two years, and move into the degree’s focus during the second two years. This kind of “well rounded” education is part of a Bachelor’s Degree’s foundation. For someone studying for an Associate’s Degree, or two-year degree, the education will be more focused, tailored to a specific type of education. Certificate programs cut to the chase; they typically spend almost all the instruction time in classes that directly relate to your on-the-job skills. 

According to community colleges that offer certificate programs, certificate courses:

  • Put you on the fast-track to reaching your career goals
  • Are designed to equip you with a specialized skill set for immediate employment or to upgrade your skills for job advancement
  • Can be completed in one year or less (anywhere from 12 to 35 credits)
  • Do not contain general education courses, but rather courses related directly to your job

If you’re planning to transfer to a four-year university eventually, you’ll want to pursue the Associates Degree track.  But if just in time learning for success is what you need, a certificate program might just give your career a jump start.

Related articles:

Is your degree worth $1 million — or worthless?

Is a College Degree Worth the Cost?

Placing Value on a College Degree

5 thoughts on “The Best Paying College Degrees

  1. A college education in the long run will reward you highly and will give you the quality of life that you deserve. This was great info!


  2. Being a graduate of a tertiary institution is one of the ways to keep you being viewed as valuable to an ailing company. For most people who are already working and are too busy fulfilling their responsibilities as breadwinners of their families, going back to school is hardly an option. Someone has to keep earning the paychecks that would pay for the bills. Read more. online bachelors degree programs


  3. You will find that an online learning will be significantly less expensive compared to an academic from an on-campus university. This is in general because the expenses are not high. However, you will also find that from a program cost to another will be different. So ensure to look into your online program and find the amount your desired will cost you in total, and on a basis of per credit. Read more. choosing accelerated online degree


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