Your undergraduate major is important enough to decide your finances for the rest of your life. You might want to pursue your studies just for the sake of learning, but overwhelming amounts of data indicate that what you major in at college plays a huge role in your future. The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University recently analyzed census data for 137 college majors to find out which churned out the most economic benefits for students after they graduated. Read ahead to check out the shocking results for 5 high pay college majors:
1. Petroleum engineering
This may not be the hippest major on campus, but petroleum engineering graduates made a whopping $135,754 annually by the time they were in their mid-20s. This is a hefty income compared to all other majors. If you don’t know, petroleum engineers are the experts who help energy companies locate oil and gas deposits below ground. It requires a whole lot of organic chemistry and a steady GPA to graduate with this major.
This may come as a shocker. Pharmaceutical sciences and administration has nothing to do with engineering or business, but these graduates reel in a surprising $113,000 a year. Pharmaceutical majors study how to create, test and deliver medicinal drugs, which we all know is a huge money-maker. Maybe you should really consider at least minoring in pharmacy with that music major.
3. Metallurgical engineering
To all you theater majors, it means the study of chemical and physical aspects of metals and their alloys. If you can manage to major in this highly specialized field, you can earn almost one hundred grand a year ($98, 000 to be exact). That’s quite surprising considering that in the past, metallurgical scientists, a.k.a. alchemists, only specialized in turning lead into gold.
4. Mining and mineral engineering
Modern society would not exist as we know it today if not for the minerals that are extracted out of the earth. Everything from the copper wiring in your motherboard to the aluminum around your frozen turkey is there for our use thanks to mineral engineers. These majors are highly valued by companies and can earn a median annual salary of $97, 000. That’s not bad for a job that in reality is utterly boring.
5. Chemical engineering
Once again, an engineering major rakes in $96,000 a year beating all those sleek business and finance majors. Chemical engineering is not an easy subject to major in. Graduates are expected to be well-versed in chemistry, physics, biology, economics and computer science. This is an interdisciplinary field that applies knowledge of chemistry to industries such as energy, food production and water treatment. Because chemical engineers are highly qualified, they are paid more than many other similarly specialized fields. Bet you feel bad about not paying attention in chemistry class now.
In general, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors, along with business and health graduates, made the most money. On the other hand, those who majored in early childhood education, performing arts and theology made the least amount of median annual wages in comparison. The difference between the top-paying and the lowest-earning college majors is an astonishing $3.4 million in wages earned during a lifetime.