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Best and Worst Bachelor's Degrees by Starting Salary

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Last Updated: August 1, 2017

There’s no getting around it — college education is expensive. A four-year degree at a public university costs, on average, $37,343, while an education at a private school will set you back $121,930. While statistics show that a college degree will undoubtedly open doors and increase your earning potential, you need to choose your degree carefully to ensure you’re making a wise investment.

Ever wonder which college degree can get you the best salary the minute they hand you the diploma? The answer lies within the realms of engineering and technology. College graduates in the class of 2016 starting salaries were low- to mid-$60,000s for engineers and the mid-$40,000s for humanities majors.

While many factors contribute to job satisfaction, key among them is monetary compensation. This is especially true if you spent four years of your time, and money, in college studying for your chosen field. Hopefully, the work is rewarding in and of itself, but if you struggle to maintain a comfortable standard of living for you and your family, you may regret the trade-off. So if you or someone you know is weighing college degree options, the following list of the best and worst degrees by starting salary may be worth a browse.

Information from the graduating class of 2016 as reported by Forbes Magazine

TOP 10 BACHELOR'S DEGREES

STARTING SALARY

Chemical Engineering $  63,389
Computer Engineering $  63,313
Electrical Engineering $  61,173
Software Design $  60,104
Mechanical Engineering $  59,681
Computer Programming $  58,995
Computer Science $  56,974
Civil Engineering $  55,879
Management Information Systems $  51,690
Construction $  49,672

 

WORST BACHELOR'S DEGREES

STARTING SALARY

History $38,361
English $38,303
Psychology $38,079
Special Education $38,002
Elementary Education $37,803
Anthropology/Sociology $37,672
Social Work $37,115
Pre-K Education $35,626
Kindergarten Education $35,626

Is the degree of your dreams among the worst by salary? By all means, do not allow that to dissuade you. The truth is, the more passionate you are about a subject, the more adept you will probably be at its mastery. And the better you are at what you do, the greater your opportunities for advancements in all sorts of unforeseen, lucrative directions. On the flip side, if you're up in the air about your field of focus, why not consider a degree program that is the most lucrative among them?