If you’re reading this article, either you are hoping that your current degree lands on our list and you can start looking for a lucrative career change in 2012, or you’re interested in pursuing a degree that will come with the promise of a high-paying job once you have that magic ticket in your hands. The good news for anyone who has been dreaming of stacking some serious cash in their bank account is: the degrees that landed on our list of Highest Paying College Degrees in 2012 are projected to continue to provide opportunities for new grads, but new grads are not the only people who will be excited about this list.
Professionals who already have the following degrees will also be glad to hear that job opportunities are expected to increase for them in 2012 – and beyond. The education and experience they have worked hard for might just pay off within the next few years with a possible career change that offers more prestige and responsibility, a change of pace in the working world – and the best part – a much higher salary.
Without further ado, here are the highest paying college degrees in 2012:
Masters of Science in Engineering – The top paid engineers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, were documented in 2008 as earning a six-figure salary. To top these numbers off, the BLS has also announced that they expect people with Masters of Science in Engineering degrees to see job opportunities increase over 11% through the year 2018. Careers in petroleum engineering will pay the most to new grads, who can earn up to $100,000 in their first year out of college. Next in line are the chemical and electrical engineers, aerospace engineers, and computer science and IT managers.
Masters of Science in Finance, Accounting, or Economics – You are going to have to pick one major to focus on out of the three listed here, but projections for all three degrees are equally exciting. If you have an affinity for numbers, budgets, revenues, and becoming a Chief Financial Officer, Certified Public Accountant, or a similar position title, salaries may start out modestly in many companies at entry level, but after a few years of experience, that hard-earned degree can earn more than $100,000 per year, and the BLS stated that top CFO’s earned over $300,000.
Master of Science in Nursing – Besides the fact that the nursing industry is going to be one of the fastest growing fields as we move into the future, professionals in the nursing industry have also experienced the lowest unemployment rates during the recession, according to a Georgetown University study. Although the associate’s and bachelor’s level nursing degrees will open doors to well-paying job opportunities, the master’s degree in nursing is going to be the ticket for the highest paying spots in the industry, which land in mostly administrative and executive level positions.
PhD in Biology – A PhD that majors in biology will always be a top degree to have, with the projections for growth in population and the need for health care increasing. Beyond routine health care, professionals with their PhD in biology can also work in laboratories of various types, where they can study how human and animal cells function and conduct studies that help with creating future treatments and cures. Microbiologists earn a lucrative salary, and most professionals with their PhD in Biology can earn between $50,000 and $100,000 right out of college, if they are planning to enter a career field as a professor or working in a research laboratory.
Now that you have heard the projections, it’s time to get working on that degree.