According to an article published by CNN.com, the 15 highest-earning degrees for university graduates all have one common denominator: All require a strong background in mathematics. The study was based on a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. While a degree in mathematics is not necessary for most of these careers, a strong fundamental grasp of advanced mathematical concepts is essential in each field.
Of the 15 most lucrative college majors, 12 are in the field of engineering. The job market for engineers will increase at an average rate of 11 per cent through the year 2018. The job outlook for engineers tends to vary according to speciality with the field of biomedical engineering expected to have the greatest increase in new jobs of about 72 per cent over that time span. Engineering specialities making the top-15 list include petroleum, chemical, mining, computer, electrical, mechanical, industrial, systems, aeronautical, agricultural and biomedical engineering. Engineering technology was also included in the list. Pay range for engineers varies according to speciality, with biomedical engineers at the low end with an average salary of £35,202. The highest paying speciality within the engineering field was that of petroleum engineering at £54,028.
The highest-paying non-engineering degree is in actuarial science. Actuaries help companies assess and minimise risk through statistics and other information. Actuaries can have a degree in mathematics, statistics or a related field. Jobs for actuaries are expected to increase by 21 per cent through the year 2018. Average pay for actuaries in 2009 was £36,608.
Construction management is the third highest-paying field outside of engineering that requires only a bachelor's degree. Construction managers are involved in overseeing all phases of various construction projects. The field of construction management is expected to grow by 17 per cent through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 61 per cent of construction managers are self-employed. Despite this fact, the number of job openings available, for those who are not self-employed, is expected to be relatively high through 2018. Average pay for construction managers in 2009 was £34,579. Those wanting to get ahead in construction management may wish to specialise in a particular phase or aspect of construction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the increased complexity of the field requires increased expertise in fields such as building materials, technology and environmental protection.
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