Tuesday, February 17, 2015
This piece of good news came out this week. Agriculture is finally getting just notice when it comes to careers. Agricultural education has never been more important as populations grow and young people go where the jobs are.
2015 projected average starting salary: $62,998
Average lifetime earnings of $3.4 million
You may be tired of hearing about how engineering is one of the "best college majors" or "most profitable college majors." But the reason you see engineering on so many of these lists is because the data lead right to it. On average, engineering majors earn $3.5 million over the course of their lifetime, which is more than any other college major. This year is expected to be no different, as NACE estimates the average salary of 2015 engineering grads at just under $63,000.
When it comes to specific disciplines within the engineering field, petroleum engineers are expected to have the highest starting salaries in 2015. NACE estimates that the average grad could pull in a cool $80,000.
2. Computer science
2015 projected average starting salary: $61,287
Average lifetime earnings of $3.1 million
Those who earn computer science degrees are also raking in the dough. And, this year's grads can expect large starting salaries. Over the course of a lifetime, computer grads who work in management occupations earn the most — a whopping $3.7 million. Those computer science majors with a specific discipline or specialty also tend to earn higher wages.
3. Math and sciences
2015 projected average starting salary: $56,171
Average lifetime earnings of $2.6 million for science grads, and $3.1 million for math grads
This year's math and sciences grads will earn average starting salaries that are higher than the typical household income. Among the math and sciences majors, physics majors are expected to earn the highest starting salaries this year, raking in average salaries of nearly $65,000.
Generally speaking, management positions often pay math and science-type majors the most, bringing in lifetime earnings of between $3 million and $3.4 million. Service industries tend to pay these grads the least, with lifetime earnings of as little as $1.5 million.
2015 projected average starting salary: $51,508
Average lifetime earnings of $2.6 million
A dime a dozen or dozens of dimes? Business majors are still earning more cash than the typical grad, with this year's grads earning average starting salaries of over $51,000.
Among business grads, sales workers earn slightly more than than the average for this grad group, with lifetime earnings of $2.7 million. The highest-paid of the business majors work in management occupations, earning $3.3 million over the course of their lifetimes. Service workers and office support workers are generally the lowest earners among the business majors, with lifetime earnings of $1.6 million and $1.8 million, respectively.
5. Agriculture and natural resources
2015 projected average starting salary: $51,220
Average lifetime earnings: $2.6 million
These grads can earn much more than the average grad, raking in an average starting salary of over $51,000. Again, those who work their way up to management positions generally earn the highest earnings over a lifetime — around $800,000 more than the typical college grad.
To my fellow agricultural educators, keep up the good work!