Technical majors head the list of the highest-paid for the Class of 2013, according to a recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
In particular, NACE's April 2013 Salary Survey—the first look at starting salaries for this year's graduates—found that seven engineering majors are among the 10 top-paid.
"Engineering majors are consistently among the highest-paid because the demand for them is so great," said Marilyn Mackes, executive director of NACE.
Petroleum engineering majors received the top starting salaries by far, with an average of $93,500, nearly $22,000 more than the second highest-paid—computer engineering, at $71,700.
Other top-paid engineering majors are chemical ($67,600), aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical ($64,400), mechanical ($64,000), electrical/electronics and communications ($63,400), and engineering technology ($62,200).
The top-paid nonengineering majors are computer science, with an average starting salary of $64,800, followed by management information systems/business ($63,100) and finance ($57,400).
Click ahead to see find out more about the bachelor degrees pulling in the best paychecks.
Posted 30 May 2013
Average starting salary: $57,400
Finance majors have lots of job choice: They learn about the art and science of managing money, and every operation—from nonprofit charities to Wall Street banks—needs effective financial management. Many schools offer specialized areas of concentrated studies, such as insurance or real estate.
Average starting salary: $62,200
If you are curious about how things work, this is your major.
Engineering technology students delve into engineering concepts, design skills and basic programming languages. Many spend a good amount of time getting hands-on experience with machines and systems.
Average starting salary: $63,100
Just about every business has some form of database or management information system. Those seeking to work in this field are the link between technology and people, and being able to explain complicated systems in simple terms is key.
Average starting salary: $63,400
Many graduates with majors in communications engineering focus on areas such as telecommunications, new media, or wireless and mobile.
Average starting salary: $64,000
Mechanical engineers work with machines and engines—everything from elevators to robotics. Students can focus on specialties including heat transfer and fracture mechanics.
Those looking for jobs in this field should note that students must graduate from a program accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) to be considered for licensing in most states.
Average starting salary: $64,400
Students of this discipline learn the science and technology of flight, both for aircraft and spacecraft. Work is often done as part of a team of specialists in areas that include propulsion, systems and avionics.
Average starting salary: $64,800
Computer science deals with information transformation, storage, retrieval, analysis and display. Areas of concentration include artificial intelligence, networking and graphics.
Average starting salary: $67,600
Chemical engineering encompasses chemistry, biology, math and physics.
Many graduates become designers and inventors, involved in everything from nanotechnology to alternative energy. They also deal with processing gases, liquids and solids.
Average starting salary: $71,700
Most engineering programs involve students in hands-on projects, and graduates often go on to be programmers, or software developers or engineers.
A graduate degree in computer engineering combines training in electrical engineering and computer science.
Average starting salary: $93,500
Compensation among this group varies more widely than other engineering majors.
The average offer for this major continues to grow, however, driven by interest from petroleum- and coal-product makers, which account for almost 90 percent of all job offers to candidates with this degree.