10 High ROI College Majors


With college costs continually rising, many students don’t want to waste time or money on a career path that doesn’t offer a high return on investment. Some college graduates may choose to pursue a graduate or professional degree in order to raise their income potentials, but others would prefer to start earning good money after four years. Not only will the right bachelor’s degree open up many doors throughout your career, but it also saves time and money you would otherwise spend pursuing an advanced degree. Read on for our list of ten bachelor’s degrees that qualify you for high-paying jobs:


Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers design methods for oil and gas extraction. They may work in offices, laboratories, and at drilling sites. Petroleum engineers earned a median pay of $130, 280 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job opportunities should be good, with a projected growth rate of 26% through 2022.*

Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear engineers design nuclear equipment, monitor facility operations and conduct research to help further knowledge of nuclear energy. Nuclear engineers earned a median annual salary of $104, 270 in 2012. Growth of nine percent is projected through 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Actuarial Science

Actuary is an under-the-radar career that offers a high salary for those with a bachelor’s degree. In order to become qualified, one must obtain a degree in actuarial science or a related field and pass certification exams. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, actuaries earned a median annual salary of $93, 680 in 2012. Much faster than average growth is projected through 2022.

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineers design, modify, and test aircraft, missiles, satellites and spacecraft. Most aerospace engineers work for manufacturing businesses, research and development firms, architecture and engineering services or the federal government. Those who work for the government may require security clearance. The median annual pay was $103, 720 in 2012. A growth rate of 7% is projected through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Computer Science

A computer science degree provides qualification for one of the most in-demand jobs today- software engineer. Software engineers or software developers design, develop and test computer software programs for a variety of industries. A growth rate of 22% is projected through 2022. The median annual salary for software engineers was $93, 350 in 2012.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers research and design processes for the production or use of chemicals and other products. They may work for architecture and engineering services, chemical manufacturing companies, and scientific research organizations. Some jobs may require frequent travel to work sites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for chemical engineers was $94,350 in 2012.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineers design medical processes and equipment such as computer simulations, diagnostic machinery, artificial limbs, and rehabilitative equipment. They also install, test, and maintain medical equipment. Biomedical engineers earned a median annual pay of $86,960 in 2012. Much faster than average growth (27%) is predicted through 2022.


Geoscientists collect samples, conduct surveys and laboratory tests, analyze photographs and other data, create geological maps and charts, and write scientific reports. Geoscientists work in laboratories and outdoors. They often travel to remote locations and work irregular hours. Geoscientists earned a median annual salary of $90,890 in 2012. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 16% growth rate through 2022.

Mathematics and Statistics

Some of the world’s top employers, including Google and Intel, like to hire math majors. Why? Because a mathematics degree prepares an individual for a variety of technical jobs. Math majors hold jobs such as computer programmer, software engineer, financial analyst, and data scientist. A double major or a minor in business, finance or computer science can increase one’s chances of landing a lucrative job.

Management Information Systems

Information systems managers are responsible for the planning and coordinating of computer-related activities of an organization. They implement computer systems based on organizational goals, ensure network security of an organization, and direct the work of other IT professional within the organization. Information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $120,950 per year in 2012. A growth rate of 15% is projected through 2022.

To explore more great college majors, read Book of Majors 2015 (College Board Book of Majors)



Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook