Crunching Numbers: Degrees That Pay Off

November 27, 2014 3:37 pm

For those trying to decide the best degree program to enrol in, you may have already narrowed your choices to one that pays extremely well. The most in demand jobs will be STEM jobs: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related fields. To add to being well paid, you’ll want to select an industry that has an in-demand need of skilled workers. You may have a costly education to receive the salary you want. After crunching the numbers, here are the top three degrees that will pay off.

Petroleum Engineering

Image via Flickr by nestorgalina

Image via Flickr by nestorgalina

Engineering degrees have always ranked well in salaries. However, petroleum engineers are some of the highest paid in the industry as, according to the BLS, a mid-career salaried employee makes $130,280. This is a highly specialized and difficult field as petroleum engineers must extract crude oil and natural gas from the earth.

The Reason It’s a Smart Choice

Petroleum engineers are needed in this non-competitive field. It’s so specialized that there are only about 1,000 students a year enrolled in the program. According to the BLS, there is a growth projectile of 26 percent by the year 2022. The reason for this growth is because oil operations are getting more complex with each passing month.


Technology continues to bring about innovative ways of thinking. Data is being captured from people, objects, and even animals. An analyst’s main role is to understand the data and implement process improvements from that information. This is just the sampling of the potential tasks for an individual who has obtained an online masters in analytics. Depending upon your industry, a computer systems analyst, for instance, averages $79,680 per year.

The Reason It’s a Smart Choice

BLS says that those with analytical skills are another type of in-demand expert needed worldwide. By 2018, we will need an additional 140,000 to 190,000 new analytical persons to help analyse all this incoming data. On top of that, many more managers will be needed to make decisions on these findings. If you hold your analytics degree, you will have your pick of top companies.

Software Development

For anything to process, we need software developers. They are the brainiacs behind our computer programs that we take for granted. Software developers are needed on the front and back end of our computer systems. Software developer’s salaries can greatly differ. However, according to the BLS, software developers earn $93,350 a year on average.

The Reason It’s a Smart Choice

This is another in-demand industry expected to grow 22 percent by 2022. According to the BLS, companies are reporting they simply can’t fill their openings fast enough. On average, there is one software development candidate for every 10 openings. Thus, skilled software developers are highly valued. You will have great salary negotiation opportunities as well. The bottom line is that companies need your expertise, and there aren’t many candidates out there that can compete.

So, be sure to look into these top in-demand technology programs. Choosing one of these degrees as a career path will certainly pay off in the end.



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