STEM majors dominate salary-based college ranking

Petroleum engineering majors earn the highest salaries, followed by systems engineering majors, according to a new ranking from PayScale

STEM majors dominate salary-based college ranking
Credit: Thinkstock

A majority of the highest-paying college majors are in the engineering world. At the top of the heap is petroleum engineering, which yields a median mid-career pay of $172,000, according to a new ranking from research company PayScale.

Compsci-related majors also made a strong showing on the PayScale rankings. Graduates who earn a bachelor’s degree in "computer science and engineering" were ranked 5th, reporting a median mid-career salary of $116,000. "Computer science and mathematics" came in at number 11, with graduates earning a mid-career salary $111,000, while "computer science" majors, ranked 19th, earn a mid-career salary of $107,000. (See also: Top 25 computer science colleges)

1. Petroleum Engineering
Early career median pay: $96,700
Mid-career median pay: $172,000

2. Systems Engineering
Early career median pay: $66,400
Mid-career median pay: $121,000

3. Actuarial Science (tie)
Early career median pay: $60,800
Mid-career median pay: $119,000

3. Chemical Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $69,800
Mid-career median pay: $119,000

5. Computer Science & Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $71,200
Mid-career median pay: $116,000

5. Nuclear Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $68,500
Mid-career median pay: $116,000

7. Electronics & Communications Engineering
Early career median pay: $68,000
Mid-career median pay: $115,000

8. Electrical & Computer Engineering
Early career median pay: $68,100
Mid-career median pay: $114,000

9. Aeronautical Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $63,000
Mid-career median pay: $113,000

9. Computer Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $69,600
Mid-career median pay: $113,000

11. Computer Science & Mathematics (tie)
Early career median pay: $63,500
Mid-career median pay: $111,000

11. Physics & Mathematics (tie)
Early career median pay: $56,200
Mid-career median pay: $111,000

13. Applied Mathematics (tie)
Early career median pay: $56,100
Mid-career median pay: $110,000

13. Electrical Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $67,000
Mid-career median pay: $110,000

15. Electrical & Electronics Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $64,000
Mid-career median pay: $108,000

15. Industrial & Systems Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $63,800
Mid-career median pay: $108,000

15. Materials Science & Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $65,800
Mid-career median pay: $108,000

15. Physics (tie)
Early career median pay: $55,100
Mid-career median pay: $108,000

19. Computer Science (tie)
Early career median pay: $65,300
Mid-career median pay: $107,000

19. Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $62,600
Mid-career median pay: $107,000

19. Industrial Distribution (tie)
Early career median pay: $56,800
Mid-career median pay: $107,000

19. Mining Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $70,200
Mid-career median pay: $107,000

23. Aerospace Engineering
Early career median pay: $65,400
Mid-career median pay: $106,000

24. Government
Early career median pay: $49,600
Mid-career median pay: $105,000

25. Biomedical Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $62,700
Mid-career median pay: $104,000

25. Industrial Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $63,800
Mid-career median pay: $104,000

25. Structural Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $58,700
Mid-career median pay: $104,000

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The data used in PayScale's College Salary Report is from the company’s online compensation survey, which collects user-provided data about jobs, compensation, employer, demographics and educational background.

PayScale defines early-career employees as those with five years of experience or less, and mid-career employees as those with at least 10 years of experience.

This story, "STEM majors dominate salary-based college ranking" was originally published by Network World.

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