Inside Jobs Blog

Best College Degrees for Big Money Careers

Education | June 17, 2013


Best_college_degrees_for_big_money_careers

College is a major financial investment. Between the tuition, books, and rent money (not to mention those late night trips to the campus snack bar), getting a degree can really add up. And with student loan debt hitting $1 trillion across the US, it’s smart to determine if your degree will really pay off.

So which degrees give you the best bang for your buck?

Bankrate.com has figured it out for you. Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the US Bureau of Labor they’ve calculate how long it takes a student to pay of their loans if they choose a career that aligns with their degree.

Check out three top careers fields where you can get ahead with a four-year bachelor’s degree:

1. Advertising or Marketing

Advertising Managers and Marketing Managers are all about promotion. Whether you’re creating a beautiful magazine ad, running a social media contest, or tracking an ad campaign, you’re focus is on getting your client (or their product) into the spotlight.

The Pay-Off: With a median salary of $108,000, Bankrate.com estimates you should be able to pay off your student loan in less than six years. Most people in this field get a bachelor’s degree in advertising, journalism, accounting, or statistics. Check out related schools near you >>

2. Civil Engineering

Civil Engineers combine big picture thinking with an eye for detail to design and supervise major construction projects. You spend your days drawing up plans for suspension bridges that can support thousands of cars a day or planning new water systems to bring clean water to millions of homes.

The Pay-Off: With a median salary of $80,000, Bankrate.com estimates you should be able to pay off your student loan in around eight and a half years. Most people in this field get a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Check out related schools near you >>

3. Microbiology

Microbiologists explore the teeny tiny world of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Whether you specialize as a Virologist, Immunologist, or Mycologist, you likely spend your days working as part of a research and development team. Your main goals? Expand scientific knowledge or solve a practical problem.

The Pay-Off: With a median salary of $66,000, Bankrate.com estimates you should be able to pay off your student loan in around ten years. Most people in this field get a bachelor’s degree in microbiology or biochemistry. Check out related schools near you >>

And the worst college degrees for your money? Bankrate.com reports that Veterinarians, Journalists, and Family Therapists will be stuck with their student loan for an average of 31 years. Of course, this all depends on whether you’re paying the full tuition amount—which Bankrate.com has estimated at $53,000 for a 4-year degree.

Would you consider potential salary when choosing a college degree or major? Tell us why or why not in the comments!


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