Education costs money and time and you want a good return on your investment. For example, a master’s degree can cost between $20,000 and $50,000. No matter what degree you pursue, in exchange for years of school and high tuition you want to earn a degree that will earn you a good living when you graduate and for years thereafter.
The most profitable degree to obtain in today’s economy may surprise you. Most people think doctors earn the highest salary. But medical school brings high tuition, residency requirements, and malpractice insurance premiums. Today, an engineering degree delivers the strongest return on your education investment, followed by biochemistry, economics, and computer science.
Engineering Is Number One
In today’s economy, the most profitable degree to obtain is an engineering degree. Engineers enter the workforce with salaries averaging $100,000 year. These salaries can be even higher, depending on the type of engineer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that biomedical engineers will enjoy a 61.7% growth of job opportunities– more than any other college degree. Depending on their interests, engineers can choose from among several emerging, lucrative specialties:
• Biomedical engineers develop medical technology. In addition to making a good living, biomedical engineers can work on ground breaking developments that will help cure diseases and make life easier for people living with diseases while a cure is being developed.
• Aerospace engineers design aircraft used in commercial and military flights, including planes, rockets, planetary rovers and satellites. Aerospace engineers get the excitement of working on new developments that may one day help mankind explore new solar systems and find new habitats.
• Petroleum engineers study geological data, including plate shifting and core densities, and help determine where to drill for oil. A petroleum engineer will earn $100,000 in the first year and with experience can expect this yearly salary to double.
Regardless of which type of engineering interests you, engineering programs offer the most profitable degree to obtain for long-term salary return.
Number Two: Biochemistry
If you enjoy the study of chemical processes in living organisms, a biochemistry degree is the second highest-paying major. Biochemists work at the interface of biology and chemistry in a variety of jobs including health, education, and research sectors. When considering what is the most profitable degree to obtain, consider whether you will need an advance degree, because more education translates to more time and tuition. Biochemists can work in the biochemistry field with only a bachelor’s degree.
Number Three: Economics
Economists apply statistical trending and modeling to a wide range of topics, including social science, psychology, political science and history. Economists are used by political think tanks, universities, and government policy-makers. If you want to work in a field where data-driven decisions can have a huge impact on policy development, economics may be right for you.
Number Four: Computer Science
Most major companies either employ or contract the services of software designers in the development of their company. Computer science degrees are in demand because almost every company needs IT to map, project, develop, and manage their product and human skill output. Daily Finance reports that IT majors can expect a mid-career average salary of $97,000.
Before you decide what degree to pursue, do your homework. To determine the most profitable degree to obtain, look into fluctuating markets, and economic trends both domestically and abroad. What affects the US economy may differ in other economies; since we export and import globally, factors abroad will affect the markets at home. For information about which sectors of the economy are growing the most rapidly, including growth projections, visit the US Department of Labor’s online resource page.