The Best Paying College Degrees


Degrees Degrees

(Methodology: Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have 2 years of experience; mid-career have 15 years. See full methodology for more information. Source: http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/degrees.asp)

Training and education are the best ways to increase your value as a worker; everyone should consider adding education to his career plan.  But before you lock yourself into a 4-year degree, think about your return on investment.

Payscale.com has listed the best-paying college degrees, and it’s no surprise that engineering degrees top the list.  Economics, physics and computer science complete the roster of degrees that really pay off. 

A 2006 report estimated the cost of a mechanical engineering degree in Florida to range between $29,000 and $48,000.  According to American School Search (http://www.american-school-search.com/engineering-schools.html) an engineering degree program costs an average of $11,700 per year in tuition, and engineers can expect to earn an average compensation of $58,870 per year, even shortly after graduation.  But what if you’re not exactly a rocket scientist? (Aerospace engineering is number 1.)

Certificate programs offer an affordable alternative to people who can’t afford or commit to a four-year program. Certificate programs offer training in almost every industry, and usually take less than 2 years to complete.  They’re offered at both universities and community colleges, giving you plenty of options for location and class times.  Four-year colleges focus on the general education of a student for the first two years, and move into the degree’s focus during the second two years. This kind of “well rounded” education is part of a Bachelor’s Degree’s foundation. For someone studying for an Associate’s Degree, or two-year degree, the education will be more focused, tailored to a specific type of education. Certificate programs cut to the chase; they typically spend almost all the instruction time in classes that directly relate to your on-the-job skills. 

According to community colleges that offer certificate programs, certificate courses:

  • Put you on the fast-track to reaching your career goals
  • Are designed to equip you with a specialized skill set for immediate employment or to upgrade your skills for job advancement
  • Can be completed in one year or less (anywhere from 12 to 35 credits)
  • Do not contain general education courses, but rather courses related directly to your job

If you’re planning to transfer to a four-year university eventually, you’ll want to pursue the Associates Degree track.  But if just in time learning for success is what you need, a certificate program might just give your career a jump start.

Related articles:

Is your degree worth $1 million — or worthless?

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/SavingForCollege/IsYourDegreeWorth1million.aspx

Is a College Degree Worth the Cost?

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/college-cash-101/2008/11/17/is-a-college-degree-really-worth-the-cost.html

Placing Value on a College Degree

http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2009/12/16/placing-a-value-on-a-college-degree/tab/article/

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5 thoughts on “The Best Paying College Degrees

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