The average cost of a bachelor’s degree is roughly $70,000 for a state university and the average graduating students debt was over $26,000 in 2012. With the impending costs of student loans, their high interest rates, it’s difficult for young adults to decide whether going to college is really worth the financial problems that come along with it.
However, there are a few majors that have a high return on investment in college. Here are the 5 college majors with the highest return on investments according to US News.
Petroleum engineering is concerned with the production of natural gas or crude oil, and is mostly concerned with the recovery of these materials from subsurface reservoirs. Entry-level positions are some of the highest paid positions available, with the starting pay roughly around $97,900 and increases over time to around $155,000. Petroleum engineering does require a heavy focus in math, physics and geology, as well as geophysics and economics.
Students majoring in chemical engineering open a lot of doors for themselves in employment. Chemical engineering applies the physical or life sciences to maths and economics in order to convert raw materials or chemicals into forms that are more useful and valuable to society. Such examples of chemical engineering include nanotechnology and fuel cells.
Students majoring in chemical engineering can also get jobs in the areas of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, medical manufacturing and agriculture. Starting pay is around $64,500 and get increase to about $109,000.
Electrical engineering focuses in the area of the applications of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism, and also covers the areas of computers, radar and communications systems. Electrical engineering students can enter maintenance, manufacturing and design positions for power systems and electrical equipment. Graduates can expect to start off with a pay of about $61,300 and watch it increase to $103,000.
Such an interesting major focuses on the application of the properties of matter to the fields of science and engineering. Materials Science and Engineering examines the relationship between the structure of materials at an atomic or molecular level and what their macroscopic properties are. College students interested in this major will have to concentrate on applied physics and chemistry, and a degree in this major will pay off, especially with the increasing attention on nanotechnology and nanoscience. Starting pay can be around $60,400 and can increase up to $103,000.
Aerospace engineering is the primarily concerned with the design, construction, and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two primary focuses: aeronautical engineering (craft that stays within the Earth’s atmosphere) and astronautical engineering (craft that operate outside of it). However, the area of aerospace engineering covers a variety of topics that can attract employment in a number of other fields, such as electrotechnology, aeroelasticity, avionics, astrodynamics and fluid mechanics. Income can start at $60,700 and increase to roughly $102,000.
Trying to find a degree that will increase the rate of investment in a career one can enjoy can be difficult, given the problems of the economy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible if one knows where to look. While there are colleges that offer free tuition, it’s often best to find a major that will provide you with the highest ROI possible (and hopefully it’ll be something you enjoy).
The additional cost of getting the above degrees is marginal compared to the increased lifetime earnings as shown on this student loan ROI calculator (calculator).
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