Let me start with a disclaimer: choosing a degree based solely on expected earnings is usually not the best way to plan your future. When debating which career path to take, the opportunities your degree could provide should certainly factor into your decision, but they should not necessarily define it. Choose your field of study because you enjoy it, not because it will make you lots of money. Jim Rohn, a popular business philosopher, sums it up well: money is usually attracted, not pursued.
With that said, let’s get going. The list below may look a little different from ones you’ve seen before, so if you have a passion for any of these 10 fields, congratulations – there is potential for you to make some great money:
- BSc Engineering – Petroleum, Chemical, Electrical, Civil etc.
- Political Science, Communication, Public Administration or Business Administration
- Education Administration
- PhD in any field
- Law, Finance or Human Resource Management
- Bachelor of Business in Real Estate
- Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
Highest Paid Position: Economic Analyst (Government). Median Salary: $100,277
Economics is a rapidly growing and evolving field of study. Learn the intricacies of hyperbolic discounting, inputs and outputs and absolute or comparative advantage and you’re well on your way to raking in the big bucks. Or I should say you’ll have “absolute advantage over competitors in a balanced playing field based on your opportunity cost.”
Highest Paid Positions:
Utilities Manager. Median Salary: $100,006
Petroleum Engineer. Median Salary: $93,517
Engineering Manager. Median Salary: $87,131
Software Engineer. Median Salary: $79,997
Chemical Engineer. Median Salary: $78,000
As you can see, engineering degrees offer excellent diversity – and salaries – in the job market. Engineering degrees focus on math, science, physics and engineering principles.
Highest Paid Position: Senior Government Manager. Median Salary: $95,992
Liberal Arts degrees offer the flexibility to work in several fields. The stereotype that government employees actually do very little work is untrue – you can expect to work long hours and be a sounding board for angry citizens. Remember that this is a position you’ll need to work your way up to, but obtaining one of the above degrees is a great place to start.
Highest Paid Position: Pharmacist. Median Salary: $95,680
Here you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to be accepted into a medical graduate school, where you can expect to spend four years refining your chemistry and drug techniques. Your future job will require a lot of responsibility understanding and handling medications.
Highest Paid Position: School Principal and Administrator. Median Salary: $90,002
Education administrators facilitate the effective running of institutions, and are an important tool in the education domain. To enter this field you’ll typically need an honours degree in business studies, education, English or social sciences. The majority of education administrators also have a teaching background, so work that into the equation as well.
Highest Paid Positions: Geologist, Geochemist & Geophysicist. Median Salary: $89,440
Geology is the study of rocks. More complicated than deciding whether they’re flat enough to skip across the lake, it can be an interesting and diverse career path. Emphasis in geology degrees is often placed on math, science and writing. You may be required to do some outdoor in-field work in order to obtain your degree.
Highest Paid Position: University Professor. Median Salary: $81,994
Want to torment students with homework and assignments just like your professors do? They worked hard to get there, and so can you. The road to nourishing and moulding young minds is an academically long one, as almost all post-secondary institutions require their professors to have a PhD in their field of study. Degree to PhD can often take 12+ years.
Highest Paid Positions: Lawyer, Financial Administrator, Human Resource Manager. Median Salary: $79,997
Law commonly finds itself near the top of the salary pile. Working towards your J.D. requires another three years at a (potentially costly) law school. Applicants to law school should have a BA or equivalent. Financial Administrators oversee the fiscal activities of a business or government. Students often go on to pursue a master’s degree in finance for this role. Human Resource Managers plan and manage labour within a business in order to maximize value. Again, some students continue their education and earn an MBA with a focus on human resource management.
Highest Paid Position: Real Estate and Financial Manager. Median Salary: $79,872
Although a degree is not required to enter this field, it is preferable in order to remain competitive. Expect to start your career as a sales person in a brokerage firm. After extensive training and testing, you would then be eligible to move into estate brokerage. Selling houses to the rich and famous is just a stone’s throw away!
Highest Paid Position: Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologist. Median Salary: $77,813
Audiologists and speech pathologists help to identify, evaluate and manage hearing, language, speech or cognitive disorders. They run tests and develop action plans to improve or rehabilitate speaking and hearing disorders. Generally a Masters of Health Science degree, you’ll be required to complete a four year bachelor’s degree first.
Remember, when choosing your degree, don’t only look at the projected salary. Also check what jobs are in demand in your area, and always choose something you’ll enjoy! The more you enjoy it, the harder you’ll work, and the higher salary potential you’ll have.
Source: Canadian Business