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Top 5 Highest Paid College Degrees for 2012 Unveiled

Kris Connor, Getty Images

As high school graduation season wraps up and newly-graduated young adults look to the possibility of continuing their education, many wonder what the best degree and career path is for them. While selecting something you feel passionate about will make going to work easier, there’s that whole pesky question of what you will make once you land a job out of college. So, what are the hottest degrees right now that will give you the best starting wage?

AOL Jobs, in conjunction with the National Association of Colleges and Employers, performed a study of the fields that offer the highest starting wage for those fresh out of college; looking to pay off that student loan debt and start their adult life. The study found the average starting wage for someone graduating college this year is $44,442, with the highest starting salaries coming in these five fields:

  1. Engineering – Topping this year’s highest-paying degrees is (surprise) is in the engineering field. The best-paying engineering jobs are in the world of computer software engineering, with those in that field raking in an average of $67,800.
  2. Computer Science – The “nerd” stereotype in the computer science field is being erased as computers and the Internet become more and more intertwined in our lives. People specializing in computer programming and technical support will find themselves starting out with a salary around $58,300.
  3. Business – The business field has long been a top paying career path, falling in the middle of the top five mix for 2012. Careers in the business field including financial manager, accountant, and management analyst offer a median starting salary of $54,800.
  4. Sciences – While traditional science fields (with test tubes and beakers or microscopes) rank highly, the areas of Civil Engineering and Construction Sciences lead the pack in the science world and come in at number four on this list, offering an average of $54,700 to start.
  5. Health Sciences – The health field continues to be strong, with nursing being the top starting position in the field. Those entering the health field in a specialized area like doctor or registered nurse can expect to start out at an average of $48,400.


[AOL Jobs]

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