Which College Degrees Offer the Best Return on InvestmentWhen applying to schools and deciding on a career, it’s important to follow your heart, but it’s also important to look for college degrees with the best return on investment.

If you want to make sure that you’ll be financially secure once you start your career, take a look at these three degree options.


You might have to spend more time studying than your peers, but engineering is definitely a worthwhile field to get into. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you could end up making as much as six figures per year. The median salary for computer hardware engineers in 2012 was $100,920, and the median salary for petroleum engineers was $130,280. Unlike high-paying medical or legal careers, you’ll only have to earn a bachelor’s degree to start making the big bucks. Out of all the college degrees with the best return on investment, engineering is at the top of the list. To become an engineer, you’ll have to pick a certain field of study. If you’re interested in building bridges and skyscrapers, civil engineering would be a good choice, but if you’re more interested in building things that are literally out of this world, aerospace engineering might be for you. There’s even environmental engineering for people who want to help save the planet from problems such as pollution and excess waste.


If you love money, economics is one of the college degrees with the best return on investment. You won’t make a lot of money at first – your starting pay will probably be less than $50,000. Eventually, though, you’ll start receiving a larger salary. The average worker who has an economics degree and works in his field will end up making $94,700 by the time he’s mid-way through his career. Economists study society and the way resources are distributed. Many people think economists sit and crunch numbers all day, but the career is much more involved than that. Yes, you’ll still need to take some advanced math courses, but you won’t just be doing math problems all day once you get a job – by researching trends in the current economy, you’ll be able to help companies figure out the smartest way to use their resources and will consequently be one of their greatest business assets.


This isn’t exactly a popular major, but it could be right for you if you’re the academic type. The median starting pay is just under $50,000 per year, but by the time you hit the middle of your career, you’ll likely be making closer to $100,000 per year. Even though majoring in physics may seem limiting, there’s a lot you can do with this degree. You could teach physics, do academic research, get into engineering or even dabble in medicine. College degrees with the best return on investment usually prepare you for a specialized job or field, but there’s still enough wiggle room to find your niche.

Concluding Thoughts

When deciding on a major, keep in mind that you’re paying for your education. Make your time at college count and make wise decisions to prepare for the future. If you’re interested in math or science, there are plenty of college degrees with the best return on investment.

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