Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary

Economics is #5!

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35 Responses to “Best Undergrad College Degrees By Salary”


  1. 1 Kaitlin E September 9, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    I had no idea an Economics degree would be number 5 when rated by salary. I would be interested to find out more about what types of careers are well suited to someone with a degree in economics. I can assume they would have something to do with the economy and finance, but more specifically? I would have guessed that my major, Accounting, would have ranked higher, but it comes in at number 27. Maybe its time to switch majors!

  2. 2 Taylor L. September 10, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Go Econ majors!! This is my major and I love it. I didn’t know it was ranked this high, but I have heard that someone with this major can pretty much work in any job field. Sort of like a Business Admin. degree. Correct me if i’m wrong!

  3. 3 D. Colin Sorenson September 10, 2009 at 7:55 AM

    This is a very intriguing article in the sense that, not only is an Economics undergrad degree ranks 5th highest, but 6 out of the top 10 degrees are engineered based. Our country thrives on innovation of new technology and simply rewards those who are constantly coming up with new ideas. Those engineers that are working the latest and greatest get a pretty penny.

  4. 4 Deb Snyder September 10, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    My, those engineers are holding the top spots, aren’t they?

    The article didn’t say but I venture to guess those dollar amounts are a national average. All of us here in the Bay Area need to remember (in a good way) that our salaries are typically higher than the national averages, making these jobs even more attractive.

    I was rather disappointed to see how far down Accounting is on the list. Having been a Non-Profit Accountant for the last 30 years or so (has it really been that long??), I love the field and am glad I got into it.

  5. 5 Amanda Chow September 10, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    I was actually surprised that many of these career salaries were not higher but maybe the survey was more on a national level because generally speaking these jobs would pay much higher then what is posted. I was kind of disappointed to see accounting on the lower side because I am majoring in accounting at the moment, but i was excited to see that geology was somewhere in the top spot even though I heard that many gradates (from Oregon) who majored in geology cannot find a job right now. So maybe geology is gaining more popularity that the competition is rising

  6. 6 Kathryn Koller September 11, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    I was super surprised to see economics up there with the engineering majors! It really makes me wonder what types of econ based jobs are out there…I expected, like some of the other commenters have already stated, that accounting would be higher than economics, but that’s because I know accountants have jobs like doing company books and taxes. And that’s pretty important and requires people to take the CPA exam and that just seems like to go through that they would get paid really well. I’ve actually never really known what econ majors did besides teach econ?

  7. 7 Ciara Pedroncelli September 12, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    Along with the majority of the comments that have already been posted, I was also very surprised to see that Economics was number five. I honestly assumed that science majors and business majors would be the highest because they lead on to doctors and business people. I would like to see a similar graph for previous decades and see how the majors have changed throughout the decades. I think that certain engineering majors probably rise and fall depending on what is happening in the world. But I feel like Economics is probably something that has a constant place because the study of economics has been, is and always will be so important to society. Finally, I also thought the salary prices were pretty low but I guess it is because I only hear of salary prices in California which normally has higher numbers than national averages.

  8. 8 panama September 14, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    i didnt know Economics made good money. i mean they could make good money but i didnt know they were number 5 on the graph. this makes me think about what other jobs out there that i dont know about that make good money. i always thought it was mainly docters and pepole like that that made all the money but i guess not. this is cool though and its good to know about jobs that make good money that people never think about. i like information like this.

  9. 9 Maria Rogan September 14, 2009 at 7:52 PM

    Wow! Econ is 5th! I never would have guessed that. This article is pretty interesting. I am actually thinking about majoring in the liberal arts/teaching department so it sucks how they don’t make tons of money. I already knew this to begin with so its not a huge surprise. But, it still bugs me because without teachers we would not be in schools learning the things we need to know in order to do well and have a career. On the other hand, Econ for example is important too, so its hard to say which career is more important than another. It all depends on what the person wants to do with their life. The way I see it, we should be doing something we love. Not just working for money. I want to have a job that does not feel like work. That’s enough for me.

  10. 10 Gina September 15, 2009 at 7:25 AM

    Wow! this article is very interesting. I honestly would never have though economics would be so high on the list. I would think that my major, business administration would be high up on the list, but it is actually one of the lowesr. hmm. Hopefully it gets higher once I graduate.

  11. 11 Ben Petersen September 15, 2009 at 7:35 AM

    There are many different job opportunities and areas that could fall under economics, so this is not much of a surprise to me. Our country, as well as the most of the world, continues to advance economically and technologically at a great pace as time goes on. A majority of these jobs in the top ten have to do with either of the two, showing just how important these advances are at this time.

  12. 12 Alex Stauffer September 15, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Well it seems from this chart that an Engineer is the best way to go! I was definitely intrigued when I read the title of this article, because let’s be honest everyone hopes to make a lot of money once they graduate and or do what they are passionate about. When looking at this graph I, like everyone else who has commented was surprised to see Economics the number 5th highly paid major. I happen to agree with Ciara with her comment on how science majors and or medical majors aren’t on very high on the list. As I grew up my parents, teachers and other elders tried to cram it into my brain that if you want to be a wealthy and successful adult you should be a doctor or a lawyer. But now a day I feel that people are starting to see Economics as a big part of everyone’s education at some time in everyday life so why not take this as your career path.

  13. 13 Yolly T. September 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    As Amanda said, I am very surprise how the jobs ranked. Though all the engineering is bound to be up top since we are moving along very fast with that. More people are considering majoring in engineering. I found out that female engineers are being hired more than the males. Though they’re not getting paid as much but then again this survey was distrubuted so that we can see the range of salaries for each job.

  14. 14 David Perez September 16, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    I don’t think it’s a matter of the degrees themselves being a ticket to a higher salary, but the fact that these jobs don’t have alot of competition. Physics, economics, chemical engineering all require classes that usually deal with loads of math (calculus and beyond), science, and critical thinking. Let’s be honest here, not alot of students are up to that challenge of taking “hard” classes. So what happens? You get students that end up majoring in subjects that are considered easier by academic standards usually within the social sciences (psychology, poli sci, etc.)and humanities. That is not to say that people cannot make a comfortable living in the social sciences or humanities fields, but rather their competition is increased. I think if you truly love what you are studying curently that isn’t on the list, declare yourself a double major with one of the above degrees.

  15. 15 Kirstie Scott September 17, 2009 at 11:29 PM

    I am going to have to go ahead and agree with David Perez, as a college student myself I found it tempting to take the easy road and opt for a major in something comfortable that I found interesting that did not require much work but the reality is I know that it would not be very beneficial to me in the future.

  16. 16 Samantha Vavricka September 18, 2009 at 12:39 PM

    No surprise that education is at the bottom of the list. It amazes me that people still want to become teachers. They obviously do it for other reasons besides money. I’m in the wrong business should have went to school to become an engineer. I was surprised to see business administration so low on the list. Higher paying business adminstration grads must have a concentration in a certain field.

  17. 17 Tiffany Molinar September 26, 2009 at 9:55 AM

    Looking at this list of the highest paying degrees makes me a little weary. Although I have known that what I want to do (teaching) was never top 5 on the list. Which I never understood. Without teachers where would we be? No where. However, I can see why engineers have high paying jobs. They do deserve what they get, but at the same time other people who have degrees in other subjects that may work just as hard won’t get paid as much because of the field that they chose to get into. It surprises me that econ is so high on the list, I never would have thought that it would be such a high paying job, but I guess it makes sense in that economics is pretty much what makes the world go ’round.

  18. 18 Jessica Whalen September 26, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Money’s great and all, but honestly I’m more interested in where all those hing paying majors that everyone seems so interested in getting rank in job satisfaction. I’d rather be enjoy my job than have a slightly higher salary.

  19. 19 Christopher Morris September 29, 2009 at 7:38 AM

    Does that seem fitting? That economy is the study of, well realistically, money, and it’s among the top 5 under grad degrees money wise? People that like econ like money simple as that so there’s no suprises to me here. Economists know money and their way around it so they know where and how to get it. I’m suprised it isn’t 3rd maybe even 2nd.

  20. 20 Robert Rey, Econ 101 October 6, 2009 at 9:33 PM

    Even if the unemployment rate is pretty high, especially in my state, I guess that’s encouraging. Economics has an important role in a country. The biggest priority is on assessing a layer of a country’s well being. However, what will most people in the field will be responsible for, as in regular trained/educated people in it? Probably not something that important, but at most helping keep a company, or self-owned company, afloat against competition is still a huge responsibility. It should be a high paying job because of the responsibility and knowledge experts should bring into the field. As long as the economy balances again and new job opportunities start coming in, by the time I get my degree there should be enough room for me to get into it very quickly. Though, in terms of what I might actually be getting, it’ll probably be at most lower range of that economics bar. As for the other careers mentioned in the list, at least there are a lot of alternatives I can go to as a plan B or C in this economy.

  21. 21 selduhhh October 19, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    Seeing this article made me very happy, knowing that my major, business administration is in the middle of the list.

    As for the rest of the majors there’s always room to get more money. My dream is to become a CEO of a mega-corporation, and I’ve heard a range of salaries from thousands to millions! So I’m sure all the other majors can make more than the what’s listed.

  22. 22 Rene Martinez October 22, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    Wow thats surprising i thought for sure that doctors would take a least the first 10 spots haha. This is awesome for me since im thinking about majoring in economics

  23. 23 Nicole Hernandez November 10, 2009 at 9:20 AM

    That article was interesting. A lot of people might want to look at their major in terms of the salary, but if you don’t like it then you wouldn’t be happy with your job. I never thought that economy would be in the top 10th and it seems like mostly all of them are some type of engineering.

  24. 24 Genine Lobo November 17, 2009 at 5:14 PM

    I never knew engineering was such a well paying field! It is also suprising to seem some of the lower paying salaries, such as physcology and human resources were lower on the list, but this may be due to this major’s competitiveness. We also must take into account that this is the median salary for these different majors, so some of these salaries may be lower and higher than the price listed.

  25. 25 Kali Hardcastle November 17, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    i agree with so many others that posted before me but i honestly had no idea that a career in economics was so high on the list. i was slightly disappointed when i saw that my major (biology) was a lot lower on the list. i originally thought that the money would be made moreso in the science category rather than engineering. however, i do realize that engineering could be associated with the sciences. just goes to show how much our society is driven by technology and money. interesting article.

  26. 26 Anna Hernandez November 28, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    i am not surprised by the list. i am also not surprised social workers, who can only be social workers with a master’s degree, are at the bottom of the list. unfortunately, those who try to make a difference are paid less; however, that’s the route they choose to take while fully aware of the lack of financial compensation.

    as for the top-paying positions, these degrees are impressive but i believe that a degree is impressive because of where it was earned, not the degree itself. a business degree from yale looks better than one from san francisco state. this does not mean that the students are inferior to those from yale, it means the yale students simply paid more for the brand paired with the degree. university of pennsylvania students, i believe, are paid about 70% more than students from other schools upon graduating and acquiring their first job. now does that mean the student is more qualified for the position they are offered? no, it simply means the school they went to has a better reputation but it says almost nothing about the students themselves.

  27. 27 Evan Schlinkert November 29, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    Like Amanda I was actually very surprised that some of these salaries were not higher. To me these numbers could be this low because of the state that our economy is in, but it just seems that many of these jobs should get a much higher pay. It did surprise me a bit though that geology was one of the higher majors because it just doesn’t seem to me that that would be that high.

  28. 28 Nick Pasquale December 6, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    I am not suprised to by the list as the jobs that are at the top of the list are all very important jobs that have a lot of responsibility in our culture. I am not suprised that Econ is ranked so high because the economy today is so complicated and hard to understand they need econ majors to get to work immediatlely and figure out solutions to save the economy.

  29. 29 Martin M December 6, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    I know this has been said by many, but I as well am shocked that pursuing a career in Econ could be so beneficial. I had no idea Economics would be ranked so high up there. I am planning to possibly major in Business Admin or Psychology. They are both slighlty on the bottom of this list but I am ok with the number. Psychology is said to have a starting salary of $36,000 where as Business Admin would make $42,900. Yes, money means a lot in the U.S. but I see it as whatever you love doing, go head and pursue it.

    I am still amazed about the ranking of Econ though!

  30. 30 Alejandro Plascencia December 8, 2009 at 7:06 PM

    I did not know that econ majors earned that amount just starting out. Even if the information doesnt guarentee that thats what you will earn with that degree it is still nice to know when looking at major choices. It does not surprise me that the engineering majors run the top half of the list.

  31. 31 Nubia Cazares December 9, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    I think this is definitely great for the Economics majors. I can definitely see how this could be on the top five majors. It deals with money and the economy and people want to fix this recession we are in, who better to do that then economists? Economy is a very prominent major, but very hard I would say. I would like to know how long it has been in the top 5 or if it recently got in the top 5 majors, something to think about.

  32. 32 Brodeick Nickelberry Jr. December 13, 2009 at 3:59 PM

    This is good to hear. It shows us busyness majors we need to work hard in economics because it will be good for us in the long run. And economics is a good thing to try to help this economy out. so it might e a good major to think about.

  33. 33 Hayden Scott December 14, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    It’s fairly amusing that to even be represented on that graph one would need to be either an economist, a physicist, or an engineer of some kind. Seeing as I’m rubbish in the latter two I’m fairly glad that I’ve picked #5 for my major. Now here’s to hoping this whole thing pans out. And hey, as an added bonus, this is a FINE time to be an economist, the whole world is ripe with questions about old paradigms and models and a desire to find that new way of thinking.

  34. 34 Ryan Moura May 2, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    This article was very interesting to read. I had no idea that economics would be so high up on the list of degrees to get based on salaries. I is also interesting, because I could’ve guessed that all those engineering majors would be the primaries brad winners, but they also require the most schooling. For someone like me, who is planning to pursue a life in marketing, it was comforting to see that that wasn’t so far down the list, but it could be better. I am sure everyone could say that though

  35. 35 Colette Whitney May 18, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    This seems pretty accurate. I knew that the sciences and engineering would be at the top. I am not surprised that economics is number 5. Economics is very important in life, and it requires very intelligent people. I bet that if you showed these stats to incoming students it would affect what their major would be. One thing that struck me was that philosophy receives a higher pay than a business. I do not see how that is possible. THe stats show that if you do pick a harder major, the start pay will pay off. However, if you pick a major that you are really passionate about, and are good at you could very well have a degree in something that is on the lower scale of pay and work your way up. I bet there are some business majors that make more money than somebody with a degree in science. Its all about your skills and knowledge in the end.


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