The highest paid degrees vary throughout many different areas of study and at different levels. Generally speaking, the following areas of study have a good ROI, with the highest salaries coming from:
Read on to learn more about the highest paying degrees for now and the future.
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Below are the top 10 highest paying degrees. You can review a summary of the degree, what careers people work in with that degree, salaries to expect with each career, and more. You can also view the highest paying careers here.
The Highest Paid Degrees
1. MS in Nursing
Nursing has always been a huge part of the healthcare field. People that have a passion for helping others have found that nursing provides everything they need for a satisfying and fruitful career. At the master’s level, nursing professions have grown to an even greater importance in the medical field. Over the years, nurses have been given more opportunity due to their great knowledge of the healthcare field and the application of treatment programs and patient health procedures.
Some nurse specialties at the master’s level have even reserved the right to prescribe medications and have their own private treatment clinics just like many physicians. Other nurses have specialty designations that allow them to provide helpful hands during surgery and even childbirth. If you are interested in getting involved with the highest paying degree program on our list, you should consider a degree program in nursing. Our experts have listed some of the highest paying positions for nursing graduates below.
Top Careers with a MSN Degree:
- Nurse Anesthetics – $157,140 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Nurse Practitioner – $98,190 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Nurse Midwife – $92,510 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
2. BS/MS in Engineering
If you are looking for a career that truly changes the way that the world operates – then engineering is a great place to start. Professionals in this field are highly sought after due to their knowledge of physics and the various techniques that go into standard operation procedures. Degrees in engineering provide a profound level of importance to society and how it progresses. Engineers provide innovative and unbelievable solutions to technology, natural resources, and even safety.
If you are interested in pursuing a degree in engineering, you will be pleased to discover that it is one of the leading profitable degrees on our list. While a lot of engineering specialists go forward to obtain master’s level, most engineering specialties only require a bachelor’s degree. There is a lot of hard work and critical thinking that goes into this degree field, but it is well worth the effort for the end result. See some of the highest earning positions in engineering below.
Top Careers with an Engineering Degree:
- Petroleum Engineering – $129,990 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Aerospace Engineering – $107,830 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Chemical Engineering – $97,360 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Electric and Computer Engineering – $95,230 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
3. BS/MS in Business
Business takes on many different titles and representations in society as we know it. People are shopping and looking for services on a constant basis, making the business degree field an ever-growing entity for future success. If you are looking for a profitable degree path, business should definitely be considered. There is so much earning potential in the field of business. Whether you decide to start your own business or become a part of a large organization, the potential for growth is outstanding.
Most business degrees provide specialty education for learners that are looking for something particular to complement their major. There are focuses that polish learnersâ€™ skills in marketing products, managing large staffs of employees, and even managing finances. Regardless of which path is chosen, the earning potential for this degree program is excellent. We have provided a few of the top earning positions in business below for you to review.
Top Paying Careers with a Business Degree:
4. MS in Mathematics
As we grow up and make our way through grade school, it is clear that mathematics is one of the most important subjects we take. Our teachers explain that we will use math in nearly every aspect of our lives and that we should do our best to understand its application and properties. Mathematics provides support for science, medicine, and even in everyday life.
For a degree field, mathematics has proven itself as worthy of our consideration. It is one of the leading degree paths in earnings, which makes it a great place to settle into a career. Math is used in every aspect of the working environment, so specialists in the field are highly regarded in professional settings. If you are fond of mathematics and are considering this as your degree path, then you have made a wise choice. A few of the more popular career options for mathematics specialists are listed below.
Top Careers for Mathematics Majors:
5. BS/MS in Computer Science
It is really no surprise that computer science is on the list of highest earning degrees. The trend towards technology has progressed at an unbelievable rate over the last decade. Nearly every family has a computer in their home, making computer development and support a necessity for all people. Computer science specialists are important to the development of new and helpful programs for hospitals, businesses, and even recreational uses. Pursuing a degree in computer science is not only a wise choice due to the earning potential, but also due to the continuously growing need for technologically advanced program design and support throughout society. Since most companies have switched to computers for information storage and processing, the need for education computer science professionals will rise in the years to come.
Top Paying Careers for Computer Science Degrees:
- Computer Network Architects – $100,620 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Software Developers – $100,690 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Information Security Analyst – $90,120 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
6. MS in Life, Physical, or Social Science
Life, physical, and social sciences are a great choice if you are interested in researching what the earth and society has to offer. Social sciences deal with how society exists as one unit in relationship to other specialized topics. Life science studies living organisms and how they develop, live, and change over time.
Physical sciences, on the other hand, focus on inanimate objects and their contribution to the earth and living things. Choosing any of these fields for a degree path can prove to be beneficial, since science and research have always been popular fields. People in society have a yearning to know about the world in which they live, so the need for knowledgeable and dedicated scientists is always at a high point. If you are a curious-natured person with the desire to learn about life and the earth, that one of these specialties are a choice for you.
Top Careers in Social Science:
- Political Scientists – $99,730 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Geoscientists – $89,700 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Economists – $99,180 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
7. MS in Psychology
Psychology is a field that requires patience, understanding, and a caring personality. When dealing with the general public, a profound desire to improve quality of life and better self-esteem is required in order to truly make a difference in the lives of others. Understanding how people develop, interact, and feel is important in making sense of personal decision making and the relevance of inner thoughts.
Psychology is on the list of top earning careers at the master’s level, since this field is so important to the overall mental health of communities all over the nation. Although there are careers available at the undergraduate level, earnings increase significantly with the addition of a master’s degree and licensure. Professional psychologists have the potential to seek out careers working in therapy, schools, law enforcement, or even research. Depending on the specialty, the earnings can vary greatly.
Those that are passionate about working with others that are struggling with mental illness or just having difficulties with everyday problems are a great fit for this field.
Top Paying Psychology Careers:
- Psychologists – 94,590 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Industrial/Organizational Psychologists – $77,350 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists – $70,580 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
8. MS in Health Administration
The Master of Science in Health Administration allows for professionals to become a part of a totally different side of the healthcare industry. Management and supervision of healthcare facilities is conducted by educated professionals that not only know the ins and outs of standard hospital operation, but also have general knowledge of disease and illness from a theoretical perspective.
If you are interested in getting involved in the healthcare field, but do not wish to have an applied medical career, then health administration should definitely be considered. This degree path has great earning potential for individuals that have completed master’s level education and the job availability can only continue to grow with the change in health technologies.
Top Paying Health Administration Careers:
- Medical and Health Service Managers – $94,500 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialists – $70,210 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Government Healthcare Management – $101,190 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
9. MS in Education
Education is one of the most important factors to consider when working towards a more efficient society. Children are a vital piece to a productive future, so educational programs and facilities must have able professionals leading them. Pursuing a master’s in education does not always mean that teaching careers are going to be the only jobs available after graduation. Education research specialists are curriculum design centers work hard to develop effective and relevant curricula that help children lead knowledgeable and productive post-education lives.
Principals and school superintendents provide leadership and authority in school systems to help children focus on the important aspects of learning while they are in K-12 schools. At the local, state, and government level, educational specialists work hard to develop grants to better schools as well as advocate for better educational programs in less fortunate areas. If a meaningful career that provides well financially is what you are looking for, education is definitely the place to start.
Top Paying Teaching Careers:
- Elementary, Middle, and High School Principal – $90,410 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Postsecondary Education Administrators – $88,580 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Postsecondary Teachers – $72,470 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
10. MS in Finance
With a nice mix of mathematics and business, finance is a specialty degree program that prepares learners for important careers dealing with money and budgeting. Finance specialists are very important parts of businesses that seek the most profitable routes or companies that are in need of advice about future spending or investments. With a degree in finance, you can work independently or among a staff of others in an effort to properly plan and manage the income and output of business funds.
State and government agencies work with budget specialists to decide the most money-saving ways to fund projects, without having to incur unnecessary debt. Having a degree in finance can potentially make you an asset for individuals and businesses that are interested in maintaining a stable budget and finalizing successful ventures. There is a multitude of available job positions for finance specialists, so we have listed a few of the more popular choices for employment below. Depending on the company in which you work and the job responsibilities that your job entails, earnings can vary significantly. Take a look at a few of the finance options for those that choose a degree in this field.
Top Paying Finance Careers:
- Financial Analyst – $80,310 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Personal Financial Advisor – $89,160 on average per year (BLS; 2015).
- Budget Analyst – $71,590 on average per year (BLS; 2015).