Top 50 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees for 2021

Looking for a career that can give you a great return on your educational investment? Take a look at the Top 50 Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees here.

We’ve identified the highest paying bachelor degrees for 2021. See what field of study you might be interested in and what types of careers you can get with your degree.

Highest Paying Bachelor Degrees

These are the highest paying bachelor degrees, but the job growth varies for each field. The national average is 3.7%, so you can judge if a market is higher or lower than average.

50 Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degrees

All career statistics and salary data are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click on the area of study you’re interested in to jump to that section.

  1. Information Technology
  2. Engineering Management
  3. Petroleum Engineering
  4. Engineering Science
  5. Finance/Financial Management
  6. Pharmacy
  7. Physics
  8. Political Science
  9. Computer Engineering
  10. Aerospace Engineering
  11. Nuclear Engineering
  12. Systems Engineering
  13. Chemical Engineering
  14. Software Engineering/Development
  15. Mathematics
  16. Economics
  17. Electrical Engineering
  18. Meteorology
  19. Construction Engineering Management
  20. Plastic Engineering
  21. Metallurgical Engineering
  22. Marine Engineering
  23. Geoscience
  24. Biomedical Engineering
  25. Fire Protection Engineering
  26. Mining Engineering
  27. Mechanical Engineering
  28. Industrial Engineering
  29. Cognitive Science
  30. Civil Engineering
  31. Computer Science
  32. Operations Management and Information Systems
  33. Manufacturing Engineering
  34. Health Informatics
  35. Genetics
  36. Real Estate Finance
  37. Agricultural Engineering
  38. Structural Engineering
  39. Psychology
  40. Architectural Engineering
  41. Industrial Distribution
  42. Nursing
  43. Accounting
  44. Food Technology
  45. Aviation Management
  46. International Business and Finance
  47. Forestry
  48. Nutritional Science
  49. Public Relations
  50. East Asian Studies

Yes, there are a lot of engineering majors listed, but there’s also a few for non-math and science students.

Information Technology

network administrator working on her computer in a data center

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $146,360
  • Job Growth: 10%

One of the most popular bachelors’ degrees in the 21st century, information technology, can help open up a wide range of career choices for its graduates.

In the broadest sense, information technology is the field of study concerned with the development, application, and maintenance of computer software and systems for various business requirements.

Graduates of information technology work in a variety fields, such as cybersecurity, software development, and programming, among others.

A degree in information technology can help graduates pursue a wide variety of career opportunities. Graduates may work as network administrators, computer network architects, database administrators, information security analysts, and computer system analysts.

As their careers advance, they may take up more senior roles within an organization, such as IT security managers, chief technology officers, IT directors, and chief information officers.

Engineering Management

Engineering managers collaborating on a project

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $144,830
  • Job Growth: 3%

Engineering management is the branch of engineering concerned with the practical application of engineering principles to improve business practices. Graduates of this course are typically tasked to handle the planning, control, monitoring, scheduling, or organization of engineering projects.

Engineering managers tend to be highly coveted in many industries, such as manufacturing, engineering, architectural and related services, government, and scientific research.

They may also find themselves working in government and the private sector. Most of them work in an office setting, although others work in industrial production plants, construction sites, and research laboratories.

Their duties and responsibilities may vary depending on the size and nature of their employers. Engineering managers typically make detailed plans for new product and design development, hire and supervise personnel, and determine budgets for programs.

Other duties may include coordination work with managers and leading research and development for new products, designs, or processes.

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineer working in a gas extraction company

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $137,720
  • Job Growth: 3%

Petroleum engineering is a field of engineering concerned with oil exploration, extraction, and production. This undergraduate degree produces skilled professionals that are vital to modern society, as oil is needed to power industries and communities.

Petroleum engineers design methods for extracting oil and gas and ensure that oilfield equipment is properly installed and maintained. They also conduct testing and analysis to ensure that oil wells can produce oil.

Not surprisingly, a majority of petroleum engineers work for oil and gas extraction companies. Others work in mining firms and architectural and engineering services. Petroleum engineers are also sometimes employed as company managers.

Petroleum engineers often work at drilling and well sites. Many also frequently travel to meet with other oilfield workers and clients.

Graduates with a traditional or bachelor’s degree online in petroleum engineering are expected to have analytical skills to compile and interpret large amounts of technical information. They are also expected to have advanced mathematical and problem-solving skills.

Engineering Science

Engineering scientists working on a machine

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $132,450
  • Job Growth: 2%

Engineering science or engineering physics is a specialized field that combines various disciplines, such as mathematics, engineering, and physics to develop and apply new solutions in engineering.

Engineering scientists deal with complex problems in various scientific areas, such as quantum optics, materials science, solid-state devices, energy systems, and nanotechnology.

Some engineering scientists find work in traditional engineering disciplines, like power distribution, while others are employed in alternative energy technologies, communications, medical, and semiconductor industries. Others also work in government research centers.

A solid background in mathematics, statistics, biology, chemistry, and physics is useful for engineering scientists.

Finance/Financial Management

financial manager working on her computer

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $129,890
  • Job Growth: 15%

Financial management is typically a four-year program that introduces undergraduates to the concepts or disciplines of economics, financial analysis, banking, and management. It is usually considered ideal for undergraduates who wish to pursue a career in banking and finance.

This degree can help you acquire the skills and competencies that are necessary for making sound financial decisions.

Undergraduates of financial management typically tackle coursework in accounting, business, finance, taxation, basic microeconomics, and credit and banking. They may also study principles of investments, central banking, and financial policy.

Financial management degrees can help open the door to many career options. Financial management majors may join banks and work as cash managers or branch managers. They may also work as financial controllers, credit managers, risk and insurance managers, treasurers, and finance officers.

As they progress in their careers, they may hold senior-level management positions, such as international finance managers, directors, and managing directors.


pharmacist checking a medicine on computer

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $128,090
  • Job Growth: -3%

Pharmacy is a field of study that is concerned with the proper, effective, and safe preparation and distribution of medication.

Pharmacists often pursue careers at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities as well as commercial establishments, such as drug stores, grocery stores, and general merchandise. They are also required to pass exams to be licensed.

Pharmacists typically fill prescriptions and verify instructions from doctors on the right amount of medication for patients. They are also expected to ensure that the medications they give to patients won’t interact negatively with other drugs that the patients may also be taking.

Pharmacists must provide patients with proper instructions on how to take the prescribed medicines.

Pharmacy degrees can help students obtain an advanced understanding of human anatomy, clinical toxicology, and biochemistry. Pharmacists are typically trained to be analytical and have keen attention to detail. They are usually expected to have superior research and problem-solving skills.


physicists working on their research

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $122,850
  • Job Growth: 7%

Physics is a field of natural sciences concerned with the use of mathematics in quantifying changes in matter and energy.

Graduates are called physicists and are usually in high demand in industries such as aerospace, energy, defense, education, engineering, oil, manufacturing, and telecommunications.

Many physicists develop scientific models that explain natural world properties, like gravity and the formation of sub-atomic particles. They often plan and oversee scientific studies to test those theories.

They may also develop computer software for analyzing model data, or write scientific papers that are published in scientific journals.

Physics research is commonly held in laboratories, but some areas, such as nuclear physics require expensive equipment like nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.

Some physicists work in office settings, while others work away from home. Many also frequently travel to discuss ideas with colleagues and present research results.

Political Science

political science professor teaching in a university

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $122,220
  • Job Growth: 6%

Political science is a sub-field of social sciences concerned with power and politics from various perspectives. Common topics it covers are ideologies, political ideas, policies, diplomacy, and law.

Graduates often end up as political scientists who work for the government as well as the academe.

Political scientists study the origins, development, and operations of various political systems. They typically research subjects that are political, like foreign relations.

They may collect and test data from sources like public opinion surveys, monitor current events, and develop or test political theories. Some also forecast political and economic trends.

Political scientists usually work in offices. They are typically trained to be analytical, creative, and critical. They also tend to be expected to have excellent communication skills.

Computer Engineering

computer engineer working in an office

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $117,220
  • Job Growth: 2%

Computer engineering incorporates principles of two fields of study, electrical engineering and computer science, for advancements in technology and computer systems.

Computer engineers most commonly use their advanced knowledge of computer programming, software, and hardware to design computing platforms and applications.

Computer engineers are typically valued for their versatility at work as they are capable of working with computer software and hardware. They can also handle computer architecture and programming.

In general, they are responsible for building computer-based systems, testing new hardware or software, upgrading hardware and software, and adjusting designs.

Computer engineers often find jobs at scientific research organizations, system design firms, financial institutions, and technology companies. Most of them work in an office setting, although an increasing number now work at home.

The most commonly useful skills for computer engineers are the abilities to be creative, analytical, and capable of solving problems. Advanced mathematical, communication, and troubleshooting skills are also often needed for this career.

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineer checking on an airplane

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $116,500
  • Job Growth: 3%

Aerospace engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the practical application of principles and methods of flight. Aerospace engineers primarily design aircraft and spacecraft, as well as missiles and satellites.

They are highly in demand in many industries, such as aerospace parts manufacturing and service, federal governments, engineering services, and research and development.

The duties of aerospace engineers may vary depending on the size and type of their employers. They usually supervise the design, testing, and manufacture of aircraft and spacecraft products.

They may also determine if proposed projects can meet defined goals and result in safe operations, and assess project proposals and ensure that these are financially and technically feasible.

Aerospace engineers specialize in either aeronautical or astronautical engineering. Aeronautical engineers are involved in the design of aircraft and propulsion systems, while astronautical engineers work on the study and technology of spacecraft.

Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear Engineer working at a thermal power plant

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $113,460
  • Job Growth: -13%

Nuclear engineering is the branch of engineering focused on the study and application of nuclear radiation processes, including the production and use of radioactive materials for research, medicine, and industrial applications.

Nuclear engineers work in various fields, such as manufacturing, electric power generation, scientific research, and engineering services.

Nuclear engineers perform a wide variety of tasks depending on their position and the company they work in. Generally, they are expected to take the lead in the design and development of nuclear equipment.

They may supervise the maintenance activities of nuclear power plants and ensure that these meet safety standards. They may also monitor the operations of nuclear facilities and take corrective actions in case of plant shutdowns or emergencies.

Due to the sensitive nature of their work, nuclear engineers are usually expected to be detail-oriented. They also tend to have excellent analytical, mathematical, and problem-solving skills.

Systems Engineering

systems engineer using laptop to analyze server in server room

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $112,690
  • Job Growth: 5%

Systems engineering is the branch of engineering specializing in the design and management of complex systems.

Systems engineers develop computer systems for the particular needs of their employers or clients. They often employed in industries such as aerospace, banking, health care, energy, defense, manufacturing, retail, transportation, and technology.

Common tasks of systems engineers include overseeing the monitoring and management of computer hardware and software and providing guidance to their teams in keeping computer systems running smoothly.

Some responsibilities they may have are documenting specifications on the design and installation of computer hardware and software and providing guidance on design concepts, project costs, and troubleshooting of systems.

They may also monitor computer systems to detect and mitigate potential problems.

Strong backgrounds in mathematical concepts such as calculus and statistics as well as other disciplines, such as psychology and accounting are useful for system engineers. They are typically trained to be highly organized, analytical, and creative as well.

Chemical Engineering

chemical engineer working in a laboratory

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $108,770
  • Job Growth: 4%

Chemical engineering is the field of study incorporating principles of chemistry and other disciplines such as economics, physics, biology, and mathematics in the efficient design, production, use, and transportation of energy and materials.

Chemical engineers are in-demand in the automotive, aerospace, medical, electronic, and military industries as they lead in the development and improvement of a wide range of products.

Chemical engineers are typically expected to lead the conduct of research for the development and improvement of manufacturing processes.

They may set safety procedures in working with dangerous chemicals and develop ways for separating components of gases and liquids using different chemical processes.

They may also perform other tasks like designing and planning the layout of laboratory equipment or estimating production costs.

These professionals typically work in research laboratories and manufacturing plants. They are often required to wear protective equipment like goggles and hard hats.

Software Engineering/Development

Software Engineer working on his computer

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $107,510
  • Job Growth: 21%

Software engineering is the field of study that focuses on the design, development, and maintenance of computer software. It is closely related to other disciplines such as computer science, economics, management science, and system engineering.

Software engineers or developers create programs running on a computer. In short, they are the creative geniuses behind computer applications.

Their duties may vary depending on the type and size of their employer, but they are usually expected to analyze, design, test, and develop software to meet users’ needs.

They may also recommend software upgrades and work with other computer experts in creating optimum programs.

Software engineers are commonly work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, finance and insurance, and computer systems design. They are typically expected to have superior analytical, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills. They are also usually expected to be creative and detail-oriented.


Mathematics professor teaching in a university

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $105,030
  • Job Growth: 33%

As a degree, Mathematics is the study of data and numbers to solve everyday problems.

Mathematicians are found across a wide range of sectors, from the academe, government, medicine, and health, business, IT, petroleum, nuclear, space science, engineering, and manufacturing.

Mathematicians are relied upon in the development and application of mathematical concepts and theories in branches, such as algebra and geometry. They may use these theories and concepts in solving practical problems in fields such as business and the sciences.

Matematicians are commonly used in the collection and analysis of data. They design surveys, conduct opinion polls and experiments to collect data, and then develop statistical models to analyze it. They then interpret the data and conclude from their analyses.

A degree in mathematics can help an individual with develop many useful skills, such as time management, decision-making, self-management, and communication. Many mathematicians are also noted for their ability to work independently.


data analyst working on her laptop in a nice office

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $105,020
  • Job Growth: 14%

Economics is the branch of social science that explores the various issues affecting the production and distribution of wealth. It is concerned with how the world’s resources are utilized by and distributed among institutions and individuals.

There are two major veins of economics. The first is microeconomics, which delves into the interactions of individual agents like buyers and sellers.

The second is macroeconomics, which analyzes economies on a bigger scale and looks at issues, such as monetary and fiscal policy, inflation, and unemployment.

Graduates of economics often find themselves highly coveted in the job market. They may find employment in various industries, such as banking, finance, and the government.

Some of the jobs that may suit graduates of economics include auditors, statisticians, investment analysts, data analysts, and certified public accountants.

Those who pursue further studies, such as a master’s degree, may become economists who undertake research on economic issues, interpret market trends, and advise governments and businesses on economics topics. They may also become postsecondary teachers.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineer inspecting cable connection

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $98,530
  • Job Growth: 5%

Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that focuses on harnessing the technology of electricity. Its graduates are called electrical engineers and work on a wide variety of components and systems, from as small as microchips to as large as a power station generator.

Electrical engineers are commonly work in industries such as power generation and transportation.

Their responsibilities may vary depending on the size and type of their employer. However, they are generally expected to design ways or processes to use electricity in improving or developing products.

They may also design or oversee the installation of electrical systems, implement designs, create test procedures, and even undertake relevant research.

Aside from their superior mathematical skills, electrical engineers are expected to have analytical and problem-solving skills. They are also typically trained to work with a team and work well under pressure.


Meteorologists monitoring a hurricane

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $95,380
  • Job Growth: 6%

Meteorology is the field of science concerned with weather processes and forecasting through the study of the atmosphere. Students of meteorology study the impact of weather and climate on human activities.

The most common duties of meteorologists are to collect and analyze data from fieldwork, develop forecasts, and advise the general public or clients on risks as well as opportunities brought about by changes in climate or weather.

Meteorologists typically work in government service, although they may also find employment opportunities in research and development services as well as the academe. Some also work as weather forecasters on television and broadcast media.

Most meteorology programs include training in analytical and critical thinking. They also usually involve courses in advanced mathematical skills, since math like calculus and statistics are used in developing models for weather forecasts.

Meteorologists are also typically expected to have excellent communication skills so they can effectively communicate their knowledge about the weather.

Construction Engineering Management

Construction Engineering Manager supervising a construction

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $95,260
  • Job Growth: 8%

Construction engineering management is a field of study concerned with the practical application of engineering theories and principles to construction projects.

It blends two related fields, engineering and construction management for design, management, and project execution. Construction engineering managers are in demand in the engineering, architecture, and construction industries.

Construction engineering managers may find themselves heavily involved in a wide range of projects, such as building construction, drainage and sewage system design, or even big-ticket items like highway and railroad construction.

They may also focus on a particular specialty, such as housing construction, electrical system design, and heavy construction.

Construction engineering managers typically work in an office setting but also may report to job sites.

Their duties are varied and may include surveying the job site before the start of a project, addressing local laws and environmental issues before construction, and coordinating with contractors and subcontractors involved in the project.

Plastic Engineering

Plastic Engineers examining a mechanical plastic hand

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $93,360
  • Job Growth: 2%

Plastic engineering is the field of engineering concerned with the development, design, processing, and manufacturing of plastic products. Engineers in this profession deal with plastic materials and machinery, devices, and tools for plastic production.

Plastic engineers are primarily tasked to design products that meet certain specifications, particularly costs.

These professionals may also be called upon to develop cost-efficient manufacturing processes, analyze and improve production lines, and design or develop engineered plastic parts.

These professionals often take on a wide range of roles, including production managers, project engineers, process technicians, tool design engineers, and manufacturing engineers.

Depending on the nature of their job or the operations of their employer, plastic engineers may split time between different work environments. Some work in an office, while others spend most of their time in a laboratory.

Metallurgic Engineering

Metallurgic Engineer casting metals in a plant

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $93,360
  • Job Growth: 2%

Metallurgical engineering is the field of engineering focused on the development and processing of metals, including iron, steel, copper sheet, zinc, copper, and aluminum.

Metallurgical engineers can be found in many industries, such as mining, steel fabrication, motor vehicle production, and manufacturing.

The most common task for metallurgical engineers is to use their specialized knowledge of metals in solving quality or efficiency issues. Performing a process called failure analysis, these professionals research and determine the cause of a component failure. They will then make recommendations on improving the future performance of materials.

Metallurgical engineers need advanced mathematical and analytical skills and the ability to think analytically and logically. Creativity, the ability to be innovative, and adaptability are also useful traits for metallurgical engineers.

Marine Engineering

Marine Engineer working in engine control room

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $92,400
  • Job Growth: 1%

Marine engineering involves the design, construction, and maintenance of ships ranging from sailboats, tankers, submarines, and aircraft carriers.

The most common duties of marine engineers (also called maritime engineers) include monitoring and maintaining the mechanical systems of vessels, inspecting marine equipment and machinery, and oversee ing the transfer of fuel from a bunker station to the ship.

They may also perform other tasks like coordination with regulatory bodies to ensure that ship repairs are performed according to industry standards or prepare design and construction schedules.

Advanced mathematical skills are useful for marine engineers to have in order to analyze and troubleshoot various parts of a ship. Superior problem-solving skills are also be helpful in designing mechanical systems.

Marine engineers are usually expected to have advanced communication and interpersonal skills as well. They typically spend months onboard ships, although there are also those who opt for shore jobs.


Geo scientist analyzing rock formations

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $92,040
  • Job Growth: 5%

Geoscience is the field of natural science that is concerned with the physical aspects of the earth. Geoscientists assess the various ways that human activity affects earth systems and interpreting geophysical data.

They may use their degree in finding employment in a a variety of industries, such as engineering, mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, and related services. They may also work in the federal government, healthcare, and the academe.

Geoscientists typically plan and perform field studies to conduct surveys and collect samples. They may also analyze rock samples, aerial photographs, well logs, and other data sources to locate deposits.

Other tasks that they may perform include the preparation of scientific reports and the creation of maps and charts.

Aside from analytical, critical, and problem-solving skills, geoscientists are often expected to be physically fit due to the nature of their job.

They often split time working in offices, laboratories, and in the field. They may also spend months doing research work in remote locations all over the world.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomechanical engineer working on an equipment

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $91,410
  • Job Growth:5%

Biomechanical engineering or bioengineering is a multidisciplinary field that incorporates principles of engineering and biology for practical application in medicine and healthcare. Biomechanical engineering is commonly used for designng, developing, and improving devices, equipment, and computer software used in healthcare.

Biomechanical engineers are usually highly valued for their diverse skills. They are often employed in medical supplies manufacturing, healthcare services, and life sciences research and development. They may also work in educational institutions.

These professionals may take on various duties, such as overseeing the maintenance and repair of biomedical equipment and the design of biomedical devices.

Others may oversee the evaluation of the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of biomedical equipment and systems, while some may be tasked to train clinicians on the proper use of equipment.

Graduates of biomechanical engineering are typically expected to have a strong background in mathematics, including allied principles, such as algebra, calculus, and geometry, as well as science and technology.

Fire Protection Engineering

Fire Protection Engineer inspecting a fire control system

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $91,410
  • Job Growth: 4%

Fire protection engineering is the field of study concerned with the design and application of solutions to mitigate risks of fire in buildings and other structures.

Fire protection engineers are commonly tasked to perform the inspection of buildings and prevent the occurrence of fire. They often work with architects and builders on the installation of fire protection equipment and abiding local fire codes.

They may also create plans for preventing fire damage or destruction as well as manage the purchase, use, and maintenance of fire protection systems.

Fire protection engineers may find employment in the government as well as in the private sector, particularly in insurance companies, oil refineries, and consulting firms. Some fire protection engineers teach, while others work as independent contractors.

In large manufacturing firms, fire protection engineers may occupy senior-level positions, such as department manager or supervising engineer.

Mining Engineering

Mining Engineers working in a coal mine

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $91,160
  • Job Growth: 4%

Mining engineering is the field of study concerning the assessment and development of mineral deposits. Graduates are traditionally called mineral engineers but may also take on other names such as geophysical engineer, seismic engineer, or simply a mining expert.

Mineral engineers usually work in mineral extraction companies that sell materials extracted from the ground to manufacturers and refineries. Mineral engineers may work in an office setting or on-site.

Their responsibilities may vary depending on the company they are working for or the position they are in. Usually, mining engineers are in charge of supervising all activities in a mining site, particularly the extraction and transportation of minerals.

They may also be tasked to design, develop, and test techniques, machines, and processes necessary for extracting geological materials.

Useful skills for mining engineers include advanced mathematical understanding and extensive knowledge of math principles, such as calculus, and superior analytical and problem-solving skills.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineer working on a machine

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $88,430
  • Job Growth: 4%

Mechanical engineering is a diverse and versatile branch of engineering. It is a field of study concerning objects and systems in motion.

It touches practically every aspect of modern society, and its graduates typically highly coveted in a wide range of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, electronics, energy, and manufacturing.

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, research, and test mechanical devices and machines, such as electric generators, steam and gas turbines, and refrigeration systems.

They perform tasks that range from the design or redesign of mechanical or thermal devices using computer-aided design and analysis of problems or issues affecting mechanical devices. They may also conduct research and investigation of equipment failures and recommend remedies.

Advanced mathematical understanding, the practical application of statistics and calculus, and creative and analytical thinking are common skills needed by mechanical engineers.

Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineers looking at a plan in a manufacturing factory

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $88,020
  • Job Growth: 10%

Industrial engineering is the field of engineering focusing on the development, evaluation, improvement, and implementation of production and manufacturing processes.

Industrial engineers typically use their extensive knowledge of engineering principles and methods to minimize or eliminate wastage of resources, such as money, materials, energy, and time.

Industrial engineering is a promising field and can open the doors to a variety of employment, such as logistics providers, service industries, research and development firms, manufacturing companies, and consulting and engineering services.

Common tasks for industrial engineers include overseeing or leading production and operations planning, logistics and operations scheduling, materials handling, and internal operation management. Industrial engineers may work in an office setting or a factory, depending on their tasks.

Like other engineers, industrial engineers  are typically expected to have a strong background in mathematical principles, such as calculus and trigonometry. They are also commonly trained to have superior analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Cognitive Science

professionals consulting each other in an office

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $88,020
  • Job Growth: 10%

Cognitive science is the field of study concerned with the human mind. It is a multidisciplinary field covering other areas of study, such as computer science, psychology, philosophy, and linguistics.

The ideal candidates for a cognitive science degree are those who are curious about the function of human brains. Those fascinated with artificial intelligence and eager to delve further into it tend to enjoy this study.

Students who are willing to undertake research and experiments in cognitive laboratories and making scientific presentations are often attracted to cognitive science as well.

Cognitive scientists often pursue careers at technology companies, communications firms, consulting services, e-commerce services, and the government. They may also find work in the publishing sector, social research service, statistical service, and the media.

Civil Engineering

civil engineer working at a construction site

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $87,060
  • Job Growth: 2%

Civil engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering. In a nutshell, civil engineering is concerned with the design and development of infrastructure projects ranging from roads, buildings, transport systems, and water supply networks.

Civil engineers can be found involved in all aspects of building a structure from planning, budgeting, design, surveying, and management. They may manage the repair and maintenance of public or private infrastructure.

Other responsibilities often include analyzing survey reports, managing construction costs, submitting permit applications to state or federal regulators, and analyzing test results on building materials.

Civil engineers often work for engineering or construction firms, local government units, schools, and hospitals.

Useful skills for civil engineers include a strong background in mathematics and science and a deep understanding of physics and economics.

Computer Science

network administrator fixing the cables in IT control room

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $86,550
  • Job Growth: -9%

Computer science is one of the most popular bachelor’s degrees. It is the study of computer technology with a wide range of core areas, including computer theory, software and hardware systems, and scientific computing.

Graduates of computer science are usually highly employable as they can often take on a wide variety of roles or jobs, such as network administrators, database administrators, computer programmers, and systems analysts.

Their duties and responsibilities may also vary depending on their jobs. Generally speaking, graduates in computer science are tasked to develop and maintain computer-based applications to improve and operate their organization’s computer systems.

Graduates of computer science are typically known for their strong programming background as well as advanced mathematical, technical, and analytical skills. Most also have a strong attention to detail.

Operations Management and Information Systems

industrial production manager supervising a worker

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $85,260
  • Job Growth: 10%

Operations Management and Information Systems is a multi-disciplinary field that focuses on business operations and information technology management.

This unique field of study combines analytical approaches with quantitative methodology in solving problems in various areas of an organization. Graduates may specialize in operations management or information systems.

Graduates of operations management and information system can pursue employment in many industries. They may work as an operations analyst, inventory control manager, purchasing manager, or industrial production manager.

Their studies of IT and business functions can help them assess, design, and improve business processes.

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing Engineer working on his computer

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $83,720
  • Job Growth:10%

Manufacturing engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the analysis, research, and application of complex manufacturing and industrial systems. These systems may include machine tools, computer networks, and robots, among others.

It is a multi-disciplinary degree synergizing various fields, such as mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, computer science, and management.

Manufacturing engineers can pursue careers in a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and drinks, and oil production, among others.

They can be assigned to various areas of operations, such as logistics and distribution, supply chain management, quality management, and life cycle management.

These professionals perform a variety of tasks, such as designing products, recommending the most efficient technologies and processes for manufacturing, planning, and designing factories or plans that will produce the product.

They may also be assigned to oversee the management and maintenance of the factory.

Health Informatics

Health Informatics working on her computer

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $83,710
  • Job Growth: 7%

Health informatics is the field of study concerned with the application of information technology in organizing and analyzing health records for improving healthcare.

Also called health information systems, this discipline deals with resources and methods for the acquisition, retrieval, storage, and use of information in the healthcare sector.

Health informatics specialists supervise the implementation of technology in hospitals, clinics, and other similar establishments. They are responsible for the training of personnel and creating documentation for healthcare systems and procedures.

They are also called upon to oversee the troubleshooting of equipment and systems. They are also expected to be updated on the latest compliance and regulatory standards.

Graduates of healthcare informatics may be employed as clinical analysts and informatics nurses. As they gain more experience, they may move up the corporate ladder and assume senior leadership positions, such as health informatics director.


scientists in a coverall conducting a research

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $82,220
  • Job Growth: 2%

Genetics is a field of study concerned with heredity and genetic variation in humans. Also known as the science of heredity, it is traditionally viewed as a sub-field of biology. However, it encompasses other life sciences.

It is also connected with the study and the use of information systems. Graduates often find employment in hospitals, government agencies, and university laboratories.

Students of genetics take a variety of courses, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biostatics. Their usual coursework covers topics like genetic modeling, the biology of cells, genetics of plants, and bioinformatics, among others.

A degree in genetics can help open the door to numerous job opportunities. Geneticists often work as consultants, biotech sales engineers, genetics laboratory supervisors, and senior scientific officers.

Some work as researchers to understand the inheritance of traits at the molecular level, while others evaluate patients with genetic disorders.

Real Estate Finance

Real Estate broker closing a deal with a young couple

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $81,590
  • Job Growth: 5%

Real estate finance is a field of study concerned with the analysis of the financial feasibility of investment opportunities in the real estate market.

Real estate finances are expected to have advanced knowledge of the real estate market, finances, insurance, mortgages, and zoning and tax laws. As, such, they are often sought after in the finance, banking, and real estate sectors.

Graduates of real estate finance may work as mortgage loan analysts in mortgage companies and banks. They may also work as investor services associates who manage the timing and accuracy of monthly payments to be reported and remitted to investors.

They may also find other employment opportunities, such as real estate underwriters and property mortgage brokers. As they advance in their careers, jobs such as portfolio managers may await them.

Graduates of real estate finance are typically inclined in mathematics, economics, finance, statistics, and the law.

Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural Engineer checking quality of plants in a green house

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $80,720
  • Job Growth: 2%

Agricultural engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and enhancement of farming equipment and processes.

Integrating technology to improve farming, agricultural engineers seek to resolve a variety of issues concerning the agricultural sector, such as efficient use of structures and facilities, storage of agricultural products, and control or abatement of environmental issues.

Agricultural engineers often work in the government, technical consulting services, educational institutions, research institutes, and crop production companies. Their duties vary depending on the size and type of employer.

For example, they may design new farming equipment or introduce new and more efficient tasks. They may also take the lead in the design and construction of infrastructures, such as warehouses and dams. Others develop new types of biofuels.

These professionals are typically expected to have advanced analytical, mathematical, and problem-solving skills. Superior communication skills to communicate their ideas on systems and solutions are useful as well.

Structural Engineering

Structural Engineers working in a construction

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $80,720
  • Job Growth: 2%

Structural engineering is a specialized field of civil engineering concerned with the structural strength or integrity of structures like buildings, bridges, and towers, among others.

Applying principles of mathematics and physics, structural engineers help to ensure the safety and durability of construction materials, such as steel, stone, concrete, timber, and other engineering materials like polymer and aluminum.

Structural engineers have a wide range of roles and responsibilities. They are heavily involved in the survey of construction sites to determine the suitability of the site for proposed projects.

They deal with the design of structures by calculating the load and stresses that the proposed construction will have to deal with. They may also responsible for organizing and ensuring the delivery of materials and equipment required for the construction project.

Structural engineers need to have a strong grasp of physics and mathematics and be creative problem solvers. They often work in construction sites although they may also be found working in traditional offices.


psychologist having a group therapy session

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $80,370
  • Job Growth: 3%

Psychology is an applied science concerned with understanding individuals and groups through the application of general principles.

Through their observation and interpretation of how people relate to each other and their environments, psychologists record and recommend findings for improvement of behaviors and processes.

There are numerous types of psychologists working in different fields.

These include clinical psychologists who diagnose and treat mental disorders, clinical psychologists who provide diagnostic tests to families and individuals, and counseling psychologists who help patients in dealing with issues at home or at their workplace.

There are also forensic psychologists, developmental psychologists, and rehabilitation psychologists.

Graduates may find employment in a wide range of industries, such as business, health care, social work, marketing, sales, finance, and retail. Their duties can range from the conduct of scientific studies of human behavior to interviewing and surveying individuals.

Some identify issues ranging from behavioral, emotional, and organizational and diagnose disorders. Others write research papers and supervise counseling professionals.

Architectural Engineering

architectural engineer working on his blueprints

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $76,340
  • Job Growth:2%

Architectural engineering is the field of engineering concerned with the practical application of engineering theories and designs to building systems.

It is a multi-disciplinary degree that combines principles from mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering to design, construct, and maintain various infrastructures.

Architectural engineers usually design, supervise, and coordinate activities in engineering and architectural companies. They may also work with other architects and engineers in setting the functional layout of building projects.

They are also responsible for various systems within a structure or complex.

Aside from engineering and architectural firms, architectural engineers may find employment in construction firms, industrial or manufacturing plants, and scientific research services. Others also work in government institutions, such as the military.

Architectural engineers are expected to have advanced mathematical, technical, visualization, and analytical skills.

Industrial Distribution

industrial manager managing a manufacturing factory

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $74,750
  • Job Growth: 4%

Industrial distribution is the field of study concerned with the improvement of the distribution of technological products through the practical application of mathematical, scientific, and supply chain management principles.

Industrial distribution professionals are needed in many industries, such as manufacturing, energy services, oil and gas, material processing, and construction.

Industrial distribution courses can help prepare their students for the demands of industries by providing coursework in finance, business, engineering, management, information technology, and human relations.

Graduates of industrial distribution may work as logisticians who are tasked to analyze distribution throughout the entire supply chain and determine areas for improvement.

They may also find employment as a purchasing agent who source products bought and sold by manufacturers, advise on contract renewals, and negotiate deals on products and equipment that add the most value to an organization.

As they progress in their careers, industrial distribution graduates may hold supervisory positions, such as sales managers and distribution managers. Industrial distribution professionals are typically analytical, highly organized, and detail-oriented.


nurses walking in hospital hallway

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $73,300
  • Job Growth: 7%

Nursing is an academic degree that trains its students to provide patient care. Graduates of nursing can pursue careers as nursing assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, or research nurses, among others.

It is also one of the more popular undergraduate degrees largely due to the aging population of many countries worldwide.

Nurses coordinate patient care, provide emotional support to patients and loved ones, and assist in education on various health conditions.

Their tasks range from recording medical histories and symptoms of patients, administering medicines and treatments, and consulting and collaborating with doctors as well as other healthcare professionals.

Nurses are usually employed in state, local, and private hospitals. They may also find employment opportunities in educational institutions, ambulatory healthcare services, and nursing and residential care facilities.

Their work environment can vary depending on the type and size of their employer, with most nurses working in physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, and home healthcare. Some nurses also serve in the military or travel to community healthcare centers.


accountants analyzing financial reports

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $71,550
  • Job Growth: 4%

Accounting is one of the most popular traditional degree courses. In general, accounting is a field of study concerned with the analysis and application of financial data for businesses and the general public.

Accountants provide businesses with financial information that helps senior executives make informed decisions. Accounting has two main career areas—public and private.

Accounting degree holders pursue a wide range of career options. Earning a certification can help them become public accountants who perform auditing, accounting, and tax-related tasks for clients, such as individuals, governments, and corporations.

They may also work as management consultants who analyze and record financial information of the companies or organizations they work for, or internal and external auditors who check for management of an organization’s funds.

Accountants and auditors typically perform tasks such as ensuring the accuracy of financial statements, computing taxes, preparing tax returns, and inspecting accounting systems.

They are often in charge of organizing and maintaining financial records. They may also recommend strategies for reducing costs, enhancing revenues, and improving profits.

Food Technology

Food Technologist checking quality of food in a factory

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $68,970
  • Job Growth: 4%

Food technology is the field of study that is concerned with all aspects of food science, from production to processing to distribution. Food technologists work to ensure the safety and quality of food products.

While these professionals are commonly employed by food manufacturing firms, they may also find employment opportunities in state and private colleges and universities, technical consulting services, and the government.

Food scientists or technologists take on various duties, such as to conduct research and experiments for improving the sustainability and productivity of crops and farm animals. They may also develop new ways to process, package, and deliver food products.

Some also study soil composition and recommend ways to improve it to improve plant growth.

Food technologists typically work in laboratories and the field. They may also spend time in an office, studying data, and preparing reports. They may also occasionally do fieldwork and visit processing plants and farms.

Aviation Management

Aviation Manager having a discussion with an aircraft mechanic

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $68,600
  • Job Growth: 6%

Aviation management is an academic program that introduces the core areas of business administration in the aviation industry. It can help prepare students for managerial positions in aviation firms around the world.

Graduates often work in airports and airline company offices handling administrative services, aircraft maintenance planning, budget management, employee relations, and staff scheduling.

Aviation management graduates can pursue management positions in the airline industry. The coursework commonly includes accounting, finance, marketing, and communication as well.

Aviation courses usually cover other topics like airport administration, insurance, labor relations, and transportation too.

Some of the duties of an aviation manager include management of airport employees, maintenance of aircraft records, overseeing business operations, and preparation of financial reports.

Aviation managers are also tasked to ensure compliance with FAA regulations and assist crews in flight preparation.

International Business and Finance

business consultants in a meeting

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $63,790
  • Job Growth: 17%

International business and finance is the field of study focused on the management of money on a worldwide scale. Graduates are expected to have a strong understanding or background in diplomacy, global currencies, and stock exchanges.

This degree can help open the doors to careers at consulting firms, financial institutions, and multinational corporations. Others find employment abroad.

A diploma in international business and finance should make a graduate qualified for entry-level positions, although many senior-level management positions require a master’s degree.

These include operations managers, logistics managers, sales managers, and human resources managers. Still, most graduates can find employment in a variety of business areas, such as marketing analysts, human resources generalists, business analysts, and even operations managers.

Course work in international business and finance typically includes a variety of management principles, such as people management, organizational leadership, and strategic planning. Graduates also expected to have a working knowledge of accounting, finance, marketing, and information technology.


forestry working checking young trees

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $61,790
  • Job Growth: 4%

Forestry is a degree program wherein undergraduates are trained in managing, growing, and protecting forest ecosystems. It incorporates basic sciences, such as chemistry, biology, and mathematics.

Graduates are called foresters and commonly work for governments, social advocacy organizations, and privately-owned lands.

Foresters play a key role in the management, improvement, and protection of a country’s natural resources. They perform tasks like the supervision of forest and conservation workers, monitoring of forest regeneration, and selection and preparation of sites for new trees.

Many foresters direct and participate in the suppression of forest fires. They may also recommend ways to remove timber.

Foresters are typically trained to be critical and analytical. Superior physical stamina is useful because they often walk long distances in wooded areas. They also work in all kinds of weather conditions.

Nutritional Science

nutritionists researching nutrients found in a fruit

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $61,270
  • Job Growth: 8%

Nutritional science is the field of study that examines the linkages between diet and health. Graduates can pursue careers in nutrition, food safety, and public health. They can look for employment in the healthcare sector, although jobs are also available in government.

Nutritional science synthesizes various disciplines, such as biology and chemistry. Common studies involve learning how to analyze the effects of food and medicine on the human body and the foundational concepts of anabolism and catabolism.

Graduates of nutritional science may work as dietitians and nutritionists.

Their duties can range from assessing the nutritional and health needs of patients and clients and providing counsel on nutrition issues. They may also develop meal plans, taking into account the preferences and budgets of patients/clients.

Public Relations

Public relations officer talking during a meeting

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $61,150
  • Job Growth: 7%

Public relations or PR is the field of communication science concerned with the delivery of information from an organization or an individual to a targeted audience.

Graduates of this bachelor’s degree may pursue careers as PR specialists who promote goods or services and boost the image of their clients, such as public figures, government officials, and organizations.

PR professionals primarily work in advertising and public relations firms. They may also find employment opportunities in business organizations, government, and educational institutions.

They typically craft press releases and information for dissemination to the media to create and maintain a good public image of the individual or organization they represent.

Other common duties include handling requests for information from the media, drafting speeches, and arranging interviews for top executives of their clients. They may also assess the public opinion of their clients through social media monitoring.

East Asian Studies

businessman closing a business deal with his asian translator

  • Annual Median Salary (Bureau of Labor Statistics): $46,270
  • Job Growth: 11%

East Asian studies is a multi-disciplinary degree that introduces students to the culture of East Asian nations, such as Japan, China, and Korea. Undergraduates study the history, language, and political institutions in this fast-growing region.

It typically incorporates sub-fields of social sciences, such as anthropology, sociology, and economics with those of humanities like art, literature, film, and music.

After graduation, East Asian Studies majors often pursue work as translators, foreign consultants, foreign correspondents, and international marketing specialists. Some even work as financial advisors for Asian markets.

They are often sought after for international relations, government or public service, academe, non-governmental organizations, intelligence, security, academic research, business, and journalism.

Graduates of East Asian studies are usually not only expected to be familiar with the culture of the East Asian nations but also with good written and oral communication skills. They are also typically trained to be analytical and open-minded.

What Is the Typical Duration For Completing a Bachelor’s Degree?

How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree is a common question. If you want to get a bachelor’s degree fast, a growing number of schools now offer accelerated courses.

Although bachelor degree programs are designed to be completed in four years, they can be completed more quickly with accelerated or condensed courses.

What Four Year Degree Pays the Highest?

Information technology offers the best pay among four-year degree programs, with its graduates capable of earning $146,360 a year (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Which Major Has the Highest Salary?

Science-related majors are among those that offer the highest salaries to its graduates. Pharmacy graduates can get as much as $128,000 a year (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Engineering majors also consistently rank well in this category. Nuclear engineering, petroleum engineering, and chemical engineering can all offer its graduates annual salaries, reaching six digits.

What Bachelor Degrees Are in Demand?

Graduates in mathematics are the most in-demand with job growth reaching 33%. There is also a huge demand for graduates in software engineering, information technology, health informatics, nursing, and aviation management.

Getting Your Bachelors Degree Online

Earning a bachelor’s degree can help undergraduates pursue a wide range of opportunities. Getting a bachelor’s degree may increase your access to job opportunities, prepare you for a specialized career, and increase your marketability.

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Joy Cromwelle
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.