7 Jobs That Offer the Best Return on Your College Investment

If you choose one of these career paths, you can be sure that your college tuition was money well spent.

By Sydney Nikols | February 17, 2017

Students interested in the energy industry should consider applying to companies like Shell and ExxonMobil.
Photo: Eco.ca

No one wants to feel like the money they spent on their degree was a waste. The best way to get a solid return on your college investment is to ensure that the salary you earn in the years immediately following graduation outweighs what you spent on your degree. The following seven jobs pay very well, helping you make good on your college investment.

Paying for college is stressful, but a smart career choice means you’ll get your money back in full.

1. Petroleum Engineer

Average Median Salary:' $106,380
If you had the good sense to major in petroleum engineering in college, you’re eligible to snag the most high-paying entry-level position in the country. Companies like Shell and ExxonMobil pay petroleum engineers big bucks to design and develop ways to extract oil and gas from below the earth’s surface.

2. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Average Median Salary:' $80,356
With a science-based degree in an area like biology or a business-based degree in an area like marketing, you could get hired as a pharmaceutical sales representative at a company like GlaxoSmithKline or Merck & Co. The position requires employees to monitor the needs of doctors in a given area and provide them with drug samples and information.

3. Aerospace Engineer

'Average Median Salary: $78,344
High-paying aviation companies like Boeing and Northrop seek out engineering majors to design, develop, maintain and test airplanes and spaceships. This is quite literally rocket science, and the pay is out of this world.

Boeing is the perfect place for outer space fanatics.
Photo: Boeing.com

4. Software Engineer

Average Median Salary: $77,924
Software engineers get paid a pretty penny to develop coding and design for software systems. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering can get you hired at high-paying companies like Google, Microsoft or IBM. If you stick with it, you could make even more money down the road – senior software engineers make an average median salary of $103,780.

5. Information Technology Consultant

Average Median Salary: $74,252
If you have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or another related field, high-paying companies like Accenture may be interested in hiring you to improve and install IT systems at various companies. Not only does the job pay well; there’s also a lot of potential for growth within the field.

6. Electrical Engineering

Average Median Salary: $71,262
Companies like General Electric hire people who studied engineering in college to design, develop and maintain electrical control systems…and make good money doing it.

GE has long history in the United States. The company was founded, in part, by Thomas Edison.
Photo: Ge.com

7. Business Technology Analyst

Average Median Salary: $70,495
If you got a degree in business, math, engineering or technology, you could make a career out of creating and implementing business solutions for companies around the country. Business technology analysts are in high demand and often get hired by big companies like IDC, Forrester and Gartner.

Paying for college is stressful, but look at it this way: A smart career choice means you’ll get your money back in full (and then some)!

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