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Forbes Ranks College Majors by Average Starting Salary

Maybe your degree doesn't hold the title of most lucrative college major, but that hardly means all your four years got you was a meager paycheck.

Forbes gathered median salary information from for 20 popular majors, and while all jobs were included in the study anyone with an advanced degree was not part of it. PayScale's director of quantitative analysis commented that those with majors in economics, finance, and math have remarkable earning potential that can be realized with some experience.

  1. Computer Engineering
  2. Economics
  3. Electrical Engineering
  4. Computer Science
  5. Mechanical Engineering
  6. Finance
  7. Mathematics
  8. Civil Engineering
  9. Political Science
  10. Marketing

There are ten more on the list so just


  1. Accounting
  2. History
  3. Business Management
  4. Communications
  5. English
  6. Biology
  7. Sociology
  8. Graphic Design
  9. Psychology
  10. Criminal Justice


Jetsfan Jetsfan 9 years
Wanna hear something funny I graduated with a degree in criminal justice which is on the list...I work at Abercrombie and Fitch as a manager thanks Bush..............
jian9007 jian9007 9 years
I originally double majored in Accounting and Finance and spent several years in banking operations management but the job prospects are far and few between now. When the work is there it pays well (six figures plus and more at the VP level and above) but finding those jobs are tough right now. To that end I currently am one semester away from receiving my degree in criminal justice (with a focus on criminal law)so at least I will have 3 things on the list. However, with the way the economy is going, who knows which fields will be lucrative in the coming years.
ivegotspunk ivegotspunk 9 years
majoring in psychology was probably one of the biggest mistakes ive made. i dont even use any of the knowledge in my work now. Shouldve went into engineering or business!
Megatron Megatron 9 years
That made me feel a little better about job prospects.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
hmm, well, I was a political science major and I am not making a top ten salary...where are the jobs they are talking about??
geebers geebers 9 years
I was a former computer science major -then international studies (not on list) and now in health policy and management (masters). The article DID say they didnt focus on public degrees only private so I guess I cant compare.
lisseth0221 lisseth0221 9 years
I'm a Business Mgt. major. It's not my favorite (I wish I would have stuck with English or Political Science) but at least it's on the list!
gigill gigill 9 years
Yay - I've got communications!
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 9 years
:( Where's Materials Science and Engineering? :P
raieven raieven 9 years
Humanities major representing. Its like a cross between English and History.
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
I'm supply chain, too, tee! Yeah, not really a popular major, so I'm sure that's why it isn't on here. If I had had some sense, I'd have double majored in supply chain and MIS.
aburlock aburlock 9 years
What about statistics? I guess thats lumped in with math?
hmweis1 hmweis1 9 years
I majored in Economics and let's just say my salary doesn't scream #2.
mcreverie mcreverie 9 years
im an english major and dont make too much...hmm, what could i be doing wrong haha
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
History at 12? I wonder if most go into the legal profession, like I intend to do. It will pay of immediately when I start teaching this spring and continue as I obtain my law degree. My boyfriend is an Accountant so he will be happy to know he is ahead of me.
jspeed jspeed 9 years
Hooray for English majors! We aren't idiots for choosing that field. Almost every industry needs writers - it is a very flexible degree with a diverse array of career options.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Wow, marketing is at the bottom - at least we made the list.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
I'm on the bottom of the list! Psychology/Criminal Justice! :D
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yay for marketing! :WOOHOO:
syako syako 9 years
poor graphic designers :( man we get no love!
supercoolnat supercoolnat 9 years
I guess Chemical Engineering wasn't popular enough to make it onto their list of 20 majors, but it's definitely a lucrative major (or at least it was 5 years ago when I graduated). Number-wise, it's definitely up there with the other engineering majors they mentioned, possibly even higher.
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