As hiring demand continues to rise, the average starting salary for the college class of 2022 is expected to be over $50,000.
However, current students can earn more than double after graduating, depending on college and area of concentration.
A study based on data from the US Department of Education examines bachelor’s degrees from public universities that pay an annual salary of at least $100,000 three years after completion and have a 100% employment rate.
A bachelor’s degree from the Seattle campus of the University of Washington in the field of allied health diagnosis, intervention, and treatment has the highest earning potential.
All graduates are employed within two years of graduation and earn a median salary of $131,592 the following year, according to the ProWritingAid study.
In second place is shipping at Northwestern Michigan College, which can earn graduates $112,111 three years after school.
This is followed by bachelor’s degrees in registered nursing, nursing administration, nursing research, and clinical nursing from California State University’s Monterey Bay and Stanislaus campuses. These alumni earn a median salary of $110,683 and $104,737, respectively.
Rounding out the top five, graduates of California State’s Maritime Academy, which offers a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering-related technologies, earn $102,821 three years after graduation.
Overall, there were 140 graduates with a median annual salary of more than $100,000 within three years of graduation — of those, 93 were from private colleges and 47 from public institutions, a found ProWritingAid.
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Coming out of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for students and families to find colleges that offer the best value for money.
Of course, public schools are also much cheaper.
Tuition and fees plus room and board for out-of-state students at four-year public colleges averaged $27,330 in the 2021-22 school year; for out-of-state students, it was $44,150, according to the College Board.
By comparison, students at four-year private colleges pay an average of $55,800, though when other expenses are factored in, the total can exceed $70,000 per year.
Regardless of the school, how much you earn depends on your field of study and eventual profession.
The top 10 highest-paying majors these days are all engineering-related — except for computer science, according to the New York Federal Reserve’s study of college graduate salaries.
According to a separate report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, computer science graduates are likely to be the highest paid out of college, earning $75,900 on average, followed by engineering graduates.
This year, employers expect starting salaries to increase by 5.4% for math and science majors and decrease by 14.8% for humanities majors, according to NACE.