what degree make the most money

The average salary for workers with a bachelor’s degree in 2020 was $68,000, up from $53,000 for those with an associate degree and $27,000 for those with only a high school diploma.

The top-paying degrees include engineering, science, and business majors. But don’t rule out social sciences and humanities majors, which also pay well.

Optical Science and Engineering

Optical science and engineering is an in-demand degree for many jobs in the medical field, electronics industry, military research, atomic research, robotics, water-quality monitoring, and telecommunications. Optical engineers design and create optical devices, including cameras, lasers, and microscopes.

Those with an engineering bachelor’s degree in optics often begin their careers as assistants to senior engineers and progress to management positions. They may also pursue a master’s or doctorate degree as they gain experience and advance to higher-ranked positions.

Optical engineering majors need strong math, physics, and manual dexterity skills. They also need to be able to use a variety of scientific and laboratory equipment. They must be able to use optical design and analysis tools, such as Zemax or Code V, and have excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is a broad field that includes the design, development and testing of many devices found in modern society. These include automobiles, aircraft, dishwashers, lawnmowers and more.

Mechanical engineers use a combination of science, mathematics and computer technology to build, develop and test these devices. They also create plans to ensure that the devices operate as expected.

As a mechanical engineer, you’ll need to have excellent problem-solving skills. You may need to work with other engineering disciplines to develop a complete solution for your client.

You’ll spend a lot of time studying, theory and practical work in the classroom and labs. Some universities also offer placement years to allow you to do some real-world work in the area of your choice. This will help you decide if this is the career for you. It’s a subject that is ever-changing, with new technologies and techniques constantly being developed.

Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Manufacturing engineers use their knowledge of engineering to create and build equipment for the production process. They also design and implement systems that can improve the efficiency of a company’s processes.

Using their skills and experience, they are able to determine how to make products better, faster, safer and more affordable than competitors. They may also be tasked with finding ways to eliminate waste without compromising production.

A manufacturing engineer’s responsibilities are to research and develop design layouts, build the equipment that makes it possible, and ensure that the company follows all safety protocols. They are also tasked with maintaining the production equipment and following organization standards to keep production running smoothly.

Accounting and Computer Systems

Accounting and computer systems are two of the most popular majors for college students. These degrees offer excellent job prospects and a solid salary.

An accountant keeps track of business transactions, compiles data and prepares invoices. They also provide financial advice to clients.

A computer science major requires advanced math skills. It involves solving complex algorithms and coding software programs.

Like any other college major, both accounting and computer science will present you with courses that are easy and those that are hard. You will need to work hard to earn your degree and keep your grades up.

Industrial Relations

Industrial relations is a broad field that encompasses all aspects of the employment relationship, human resource management and union-management relations. It also includes governmental intervention in the labor market to ensure that workers and employers have a safe working environment.

While many people in this field work in the HR department of a large company, there are several other career paths that can be pursued by those with a degree. The median salary for an early career in industrial relations is $74,000 per year.

Industrial relations can be a rewarding career for those who are passionate about the labor movement and want to advocate for worker rights. In addition to earning a lucrative early-career salary, those who major in this degree have the opportunity to advance into higher-level positions within organizations.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high doses of X-rays, protons or other types of energy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It can treat more than half of all people with cancer.

The most common type of radiation therapy is external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). This involves using a machine outside of your body to aim a beam of radiation at the tumor.

Another type of radiation therapy is internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy). This means the radioactive substance is placed inside your body, close to cancer cells.

Before treatment starts, you may undergo radiation simulation to make sure you lie still during the procedure. This helps your team position you correctly and get a detailed view of the area to be treated. You’ll also receive a CT scan or MRI to help with this process. Then, your treatment team will mark the areas where you’ll be receiving radiation.

Computational and Applied Mathematics

If you are interested in working with numbers and leveraging them to solve problems, computational and applied mathematics is the degree that can give you a leg up on the competition. It is an interdisciplinary program that introduces students to the basic concepts of computation, optimal decision making, probabilistic modeling, and statistical inference.

The masters in computational and applied mathematics program prepares you to create computable solutions for a variety of challenges that arise in industry and business. You will learn to design and implement complex mathematical models, dynamic systems, and innovative computing solutions in areas such as engineering, biology, transportation optimization, financial mathematics, and more.

According to BLS data, the median early-career salary for a graduate with a computational and applied math degree is $83,200. Those with advanced degrees make even more.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Biomolecular engineering is a growing field that uses molecular biology and biophysical chemistry to develop drugs, fuels, food and other products. It’s a rapidly expanding industry with many job opportunities.

Chemical and biomolecular engineers use chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology to turn raw materials into useful products. Their work helps advance health, safety and environmental initiatives worldwide.

In a time of climate change and pandemics, these career paths are more relevant than ever. Our undergraduate major in chemical and biomolecular engineering gives you the foundation you need to tackle these challenges.

We offer courses in a variety of topics, including green engineering, nanotechnology and data analytics. We also offer extensive undergraduate research opportunities in which you work directly with faculty.

Corporate Accounting and Finance

Corporate accounting is a profession that involves keeping track of the financial records of a business. This allows the executives of the company to make smart financial decisions about how they can improve their business operations.

It also enables them to keep their accounts in order and comply with all legal requirements. This allows them to optimize day-to-day operations and meet the expectations of investors.

A finance degree can lead to a variety of careers, including accountants and auditors. These professionals prepare tax returns and audit financial documents for legal compliance.

A bachelor’s degree in corporate accounting and finance enables you to pursue a career in this field, providing specialized education that prepares you for the competitive job market. You’ll develop the skills needed to create information structures and systems that maximize organizational performance.


Packaging is the process of covering, wrapping or crating goods into a package. It is a crucial part of manufacturing and retailing, as it protects products from damage and preserves them until they are used.

It can also play a role in advertising and marketing, as well as help to increase sales. It can even be used as a way to differentiate one product from another.

This includes the ability to attract attention, describe the product’s features, give consumers confidence and make a positive overall impression. It can also be used to increase consumer affluence and brand loyalty.

Choosing the right major can have a big impact on your future career. Some degrees are more in demand than others, with many offering higher starting salaries and median salaries over time. The degree that makes the most money depends on the skills you learn and your experience as a student.

Chelsea Glover