Archive for July 9th, 2013

July 9, 2013

Petroleum engineer tops the list of highest paid majors

by Grace

Among graduates of four-year colleges, engineers dominate the list of top earners according to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers survey.  Petroleum engineers are at the top.

Here’s the list of top 10 majors, with starting salaries:

  • Petroleum Engineering: $93,500
  • Computer Engineering: $71,700
  • Chemical Engineering: $67,600
  • Computer Science: $64,800
  • Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering: $64,400
  • Mechanical Engineering: $64,000
  • Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering: $63,400
  • Management Information Systems/Business: $63,100
  • Engineering Technology: $62,200
  • Finance: $57,400

Engineering technology is different from engineering.

Engineering and engineering technology are separate but closely related professional areas….

Engineering programs often focus on theory and conceptual design, while engineering technology programs usually focus on application and implementation.

Also, engineering programs typically require additional, higher-level mathematics, including multiple semesters of calculus and calculus-based theoretical science courses. Engineering technology programs typically focus on algebra, trigonometry, applied calculus, and other courses that are more practical than theoretical in nature.

Average starting salary for college graduates is up from last year.

The average starting salary for a member of the class of 2013 is $44,928, up 5.3% from the previous year, driven by big gains in fields such as health sciences and business.

But these figures are relevant only for those grads lucky enough to find a job during college-recruiting season or soon after. A recent report from the Department of Labor looked at data from 2007 to 2011 and found that 13.5% of bachelor’s degree holders were unemployed a few months after their 2011 graduations (Bleak, but far better than the 17.6% unemployment rate among that group in 2009).

Be careful about picking a college major based on today’s hot jobs.

“In the wake of a one-year jump of 55% in the number of U.S. petroleum engineering freshman students”, students should “be realistic about future job growth“.

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