Market Overview

10 Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degrees In 2019

10 Highest-Paying Bachelor's Degrees In 2019

Choosing a college major in 2019 can be a daunting task. In order to plan for the future, anyone considering a four-year degree should consider building a roadmap of their top preferred fields of study.

One of the most difficult questions when researching colleges is choosing your preferred degree path, and the financial viability of a major is at the forefront of the decision for many college-bound Americans. 

The Study

A recent study by PayScale shows that science, technology, engineering and mathematics — STEM — majors continue to lead nationwide salary earnings among bachelor's degree recipients.

The study was conducted to help identify the challenges associated with choosing a college major, and howa bachelor’s degree can impact immediate and future income levels upon graduation.

STEM Majors Continue Pay Dominance

Benzinga has analyzed data from PayScale on the highest-paying college majors. Data is organized by the median salaries earned by category of bachelor's degree.

Median salaries are then organized by early career and mid-career salary levels. Early career is considered three years of work experience. Mid-career is considered 20 years of work experience.

For 2019, the early career median pay for pharmacy majors is $58,900 per year. In other words, 50% of all degree recipients earned less than $58,900 and 50% of degree recipients earned more than $58,900.

Leading all salary earners among students studying with STEM degrees, the highest-paying bachelor's degree is petroleum engineering. Median mid-career earnings for petroleum engineers are $176,900.

Do Non-STEM Degrees Make The Financial Grade?

It’s important to recognize that while STEM fields dominate the rankings for highest salaries, there are fields that offer high-paying careers, outside of engineering.

Four of the top 10 median earning mid-career salaries are non-STEM degrees.

Leading the way in non-STEM degree earnings is applied economics and management. Median mid-career earnings for the field come in at a lofty $140,000.

If you are a political junkie with a knack for researching global economic issues, pursuing a political economy bachelor’s degree can also pay future financial dividends.

In fact, political economy majors earn higher median mid-career salaries ($136,200) than pharmacy majors ($132,500) and electrical power engineering majors ($134,700) in 2019.

The following are the highest-paying bachelor's degrees in 2019:




Major / Field of Study

STEM Field?

Median Early-Career Salary for 2019

Median Mid-Career Salary for 2019

Aeronautics & Astronautics








Business analysis




Electrical power engineering




Actuarial mathematics




Political economy




Operations research




Applied economics and management




Electrical engineering and computer science




Petroleum engineering





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