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These are the highest paying college majors for recent graduates in the United States in 2023

While going to university can be expensive, the right degree can be a great investment. Here are the best paid college degrees for recent US graduates.

The highest paying college majors in the USA

Choosing a college major can be a great investment when you consider what your future earnings might be after graduation. According to a new study by The HEA Group, in the United States, a student’s major, along with their alma mater, can make a big difference in their average salary after graduation.

These are the highest paying college majors for recent graduates in the United States in 2023

According to analysis by The HEA Group, a research and consulting agency focused on college access and success, the college majors that lead to the highest-paying jobs after graduation are centered in STEM fields.

The term STEM is an acronym for the English terms Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Highest paying college majors in the United States

According to the study, students who choose one of these fields earn, on average, the highest salaries of any college graduate four years after receiving their diploma:

  • Operations Research: $112,097
  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering: $109,121
  • Computer Science: $104,799
  • Maritime Transportation: $103,626
  • Computer Engineering: $99,063
  • Veterinary Medicine: $97,533
  • Petroleum Engineering: $96,957
  • Systems Engineering: $95,224
  • Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration: $94,136
  • Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering: $91,693

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The highest-paying college majors focus on the STEM field, however there are some niche subjects among them, such as naval architecture and marine engineering, with graduates in those fields earning, on average, more than $100,000 four years after graduation.

On the other hand, students who pursue well-paying degrees at the best universities have an extra factor to generate higher earnings.

The most popular degrees in the United States

According to the study, the highest-paying majors are not the most popular fields among students. The most popular bachelor's programs do not necessarily lead to the highest salaries.

While all show their graduates earning more than $40,000, only three of the top 10 lead to initial career earnings of more than $50,000 per year (Business Administration, Registered Nursing, and Accounting).

  • Business Administration, Management and Operations: $58,088
  • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research, and Clinical Nursing: $76,510
  • Psychology: $43,409
  • Criminal Justice and Corrections: $47,089
  • Accounting and Related Services: $64,298
  • Communication and Media Studies: $48,829
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development: $41,598
  • Biology: $48,628
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities: $44,200

Lowest paying college majors in America

Students majoring in these fields have the lowest earnings four years after receiving their bachelor’s degrees:

  • Music: $34,643
  • Audiovisual Communications Technologies: $34,310
  • Allied health and medical assistance services: $33,914
  • Religion/Religious Studies: $33,889
  • Alternative and Complementary Medicine: $32,644
  • Teaching English or French as a Second Language: $32,173
  • Dance: $30,218
  • Drama/Theater Arts and Performing Arts: $29,672
  • Business Operations Support: $25,407
  • Cosmetology: $16,072

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