Choosing a major is a complex decision, often a tug-of-war between personal interests and financial prospects. Recently there has been a heightened focus on colleges’ financial return on investment. Parents sometimes put pressure on their kids to choose majors that lead to lucrative careers, and last year the White House released a college scorecard that shows annual cost, graduation rate and average first-year salary.
Today GlassDoor released its list of the college majors with the highest starting salaries. It analyzed hundreds of thousands of resumes and their corresponding salary reports to create the list. The numbers don’t take into account any signing or annual bonuses that recent grads earn.
Computer science ranked highest, with a median base salary of $70,000. As technology continues to proliferate and technical talent remains in short supply, software engineers are among the highest paid jobs in America. Numbers two through seven on GlassDoor’s list include different types of engineering, from electrical (number two) to civil (number seven). U.S. state governments are currently trying to incentive more students to choose in-demand majors like computer science and engineering—at least 15 states already have these incentives in place.
Statistics was ranked eighth, with a median starting salary of $60,000. The growth and utility of data have likely contributed to a stronger need for statisticians. As of 2015, 90% of all of the data in the world had been created in the prior two years. New fields of work and study like data science have emerged as a result.