According to CNN, majoring in petroleum engineering at Harvey Mudd can really pay off: as mid-career graduates earn a median salary of $126,000. The data came from a survey that tracked 999 bachelor degree programs and defined mid-career as more than ten years of experience.
The next most lucrative majors are aerospace engineering and chemical engineering, followed by electrical engineering. “Our society values something practical — that’s why poetry isn’t popping up on the top of the list,” said Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale. “As in the past, engineering and [similar] fields with a strong math component plus a physical world component remain on the top, with lots of money to be made in these fields.”
Dartmouth College has claimed the highest-paid alums for the past two years. Many of their graduates work in finance, and the economy’s impact on Wall Street has dropped their earnings to second place. Dartmouth and Princeton are tied with grads earning $123,000 at mid-career. Harvard grads earn $121,000 and California Institute of Technology earn $120,000. Colgate, MIT, Stanford, Duke and Bucknell complete the list of universities with the highest paid graduates.