If you majored in computer engineering or computer science, chances are the degree has already paid you back.
That’s according to a new assessment by PayScale.com, which listed the top 10 degrees with the highest post-graduation earnings. While engineering fields in areas like petroleum, aerospace and nuclear were among the top majors for salary potential, computer engineering and computer science were in the top 10, at number 7 and number 9, respectively.
Those with computer engineering degrees, for example, earn starting salaries of $62,700 on average, with mid-career earnings averaging $105,000. Computer science see salaries of $58,000 on average, while mid-career earnings rise to $100,000 on average, PayScale found.
Other IT degrees were in the top 50. Among them were software engineering (19), information systems management (23), computer information systems (32), and information technology (36). Government-related majors were ranked at number 14, with starting average salaries at $42,000 and mid-career average salaries at $95,600.
On the other hand, if you chose a career in IT or in government, chances are you were less likely to say that you wanted to have more impact on the world than on your wallet. Payscale also listed majors that were most likely to lead their degree-holders to meaningful work. The fields with the highest percentages of workers who feel they perform meaningful work were nursing (86 percent) and special education (83 percent), medical technology (80 percent). Fields like government (51 percent), IT (51 percent), computer engineering (48 percent) and computer science (45 percent), ranked lower on the list.
The analysis included only full-time civilian employees who possess a bachelor’s degree and no higher degree.