The Top 5 Paying College Majors in 2015

College is a time for students to enjoy new experiences, learn more about themselves and prepare for life in the “real world”.

While they’re still young, the choices they make during these four years can set the course for the rest of their lives — especially the major they choose to pursue.

It’s certainly no secret that some college majors have more job prospects than others, but students who opt for certain career paths may have the ability to enter the workforce with a starting salary much greater than the national average of $47,230 for all occupations.

PayScale.com analyzed data from 1,000 universities and 207 different bachelor’s degrees to determine which college majors have the highest immediate return on investment. The results prove that majoring in the math and science fields may be challenging, but the long-term payoff is definitely worth the extra effort.

5 Highest Paying College Majors of 2015

Curious about which areas of study are the most lucrative? These five college majors are currently topping the charts:

  1. Petroleum Engineering: The average graduate starts their career with the whopping six-figure salary of $102,300. By the time they’re at the mid-career level, they can anticipate an annual salary around $176,300.
  2. Chemical Engineering: Students can expect to be offered a salary in the $69,600 range upon graduation. After reaching the half-way point in their career, they will likely be earning around $116,700.
  3. Computer Engineering: The starting salary for this profession averages $67,300, increasing to $108,600 by mid-career.
  4. Nuclear Engineering: New grads can expect to earn a starting salary of approximately $67,000, nearly doubling to $118,800 at the mid-career level.
  5. Computer Science & Engineering: The average graduate transitions from school to a starting salary of $66,700. By the time they reach the mid-point in their career, these professionals can anticipate earnings in the $112,600 range.

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