Highest Paying Jobs for College Majors

May 9, 2022

Reports have come out in the first quarter of 2022 listing the college majors that lead to the highest-paying jobs. These lists are predominantly populated with engineering jobs. Gray did a deeper dive into lucrative jobs for graduates and while the results are mixed, there is one program overall that wins the day. It is not in engineering.

We used American Community Survey income data for bachelor’s-degree holders under age 30. The data is based on a weighted average of roughly two million records. Engineering topped the list, but was not as prevalent in the top ten as pharmaceutical jobs.


However, it is not enough to look at the most favorable majors.  How saturated is the market for these fields?  Engineering job postings are higher per graduate than any of the top earners except for mathematics and computer science.

Note: Job postings per graduate calculates the total number of job postings associated with a program (CIP code) divided by program completions (all award levels).

Gray also looked at data about program completions to see if the fastest-growing bachelor’s programs line up with lucrative jobs.  The results vary.Note: Econometrics and Quantitative Sciences and Architectural & Building Sciences/Tech programs are STEM-designated programs. Increased completions may be attributed to a change in CIP code reporting.

There are four programs out of the top 10 that lead to high-paying jobs, but only one is in engineering. What stands out in the last three charts is mathematics and computer science. It made the list of highest-paying jobs, with strong job postings per graduate, AND fastest-growing programs. This is a solid program.

Gray Associates

Gray Associates, Inc. provides the best available data, software, and facilitated processes to help higher education institutions make high-stakes decisions regarding academic programs, pricing, and locations.

About Gray DI

Gray DI provides data, software and facilitated processes that power higher-education decisions. Our data and AI insights inform program choices, optimize finances, and fuel growth in a challenging market – one data-informed decision at a time.

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