Kiplinger Finance Magazine Names 10 Most Lucrative College Majors

Is your college search underway or are you considering going back to school? Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based finance publication, has some advice for which major or area of study to choose.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a worker with a bachelor’s degree or higher typically earns 79 percent more than someone with just a high school diploma. But as Kiplinger magazine points out, it’s what you major in that really matters.
For the magazine’s September issue, researchers analyzed data for 128 popular college majors and which ones lead to hefty paychecks both right out of school and down the road. The top majors listed by Kiplinger include nursing, civil engineering, computer science, actuarial mathematics, statistics, physics, finance, economics, software engineering, and management information systems.
As part of the research process, Kiplinger also looked for majors that are in high demand based on recent online job postings, as well as long-term growth expectations for related occupations.
Here is a list of salary information and job growth projections for the 10 most lucrative college majors and areas of study:


Starting salary: $56,900 (median for all 128 majors: $41,600)
Mid-career salary: $73,600 (median for all 128 majors: $71,650)
Annual online job postings: 911,018
Best related job: Registered Nurse
Projected 10-year job growth: 16.3% (all occupations: 11.1%)

Actuarial Mathematics

Starting salary: $60,800
Mid-career salary: $119,600
Annual online job postings: 21,782
Best related job: Actuary
Projected 10-year job growth: 23.0%


Starting salary: $54,900
Mid-career salary: $103,100
Annual online job postings: 103,270
Best related job: Statistician
Projected 10-year job growth: 24.1%

Computer Science

Starting salary: $61,600
Mid-career salary: $103,600
Annual online job postings: 1,874,509
Best related job: Computer and Information Research Scientist
Projected 10-year job growth: 15.9%

Civil Engineering

Starting salary: $55,100
Mid-career salary: $93,400
Annual online job postings: 152,412
Best related job: Civil Engineer
Projected 10-year job growth: 17.8%


Starting salary: $57,200
Mid-career salary: $105,100
Annual online job postings: 72,732
Best related job: Physicist
Projected 10-year job growth: 11.3%


Starting salary: $50,900
Mid-career salary: $89,300
Annual online job postings: 1,029,020
Best related job: Financial Analyst
Projected 10-year job growth: 16.0%


Starting salary: $51,400
Mid-career salary: $97,700
Annual online job postings: 799,117
Best related job: Economist
Projected 10-year job growth: 15.3%

Software Engineering

Starting salary: $61,700
Mid-career salary: $99,800
Annual online job postings: 735,513
Best related job: App Developer
Projected 10-year job growth: 23.4%

Management Information Systems

Starting salary: $56,300
Mid-career salary: $95,500
Annual online job postings: 2,306,724
Best related job: Computer and Information Systems Manager
Projected 10-year job growth: 16.7%

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