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8. Mechanical Engineering

Average starting salary: $60,345

Mechanical-engineering graduate salaries increased 3.2 percent compared with a year ago.

Mechanical engineers work with machines and engines, from elevator technology to robotics. An engineering education includes a full year of math and science, two years of discipline-specific material, and a year of general studies. Students in this major focus on areas such as heat transfer and fracture mechanics.

For those seeking jobs in mechanical engineering, it's important to note that students need to graduate from an ABET accredited (the recognized accredited for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology) engineering program to be considered for licensure as a professional engineer in most states. Those who are self-educated need to have their education certified.

About 6 percent of engineering majors are unemployed, while 93 percent work full-time, according to Strohl's report.