A college degree used to provide graduates with a solid return on their education investment no matter what their major. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case, so it is important to choose your major wisely. To help, here are five of the most valuable degrees you can earn today.

Management Information Systems

Information is king in today’s fast-paced business world, and people who understand how to gather, analyze and disseminate data efficiently are highly valued. The New Jersey Institute of Technology reports that in 2010, those with an MBA in management information systems who worked as MIS managers earned a median annual salary of $115,780.


No matter what your interests, there is an engineering job related to them – and all engineering degrees are lucrative. So much so that 6 of Paysacale’s top 10 highest paying majors were in engineering. Petroleum engineering paid the most with a starting salary of around $100,000 a year. The others, all starting at around $60,000 a year were aerospace, chemical, nuclear, electrical and computer engineering. Engineers typically pay off college loans eight years after graduating.


Like engineering, healthcare is a lucrative field no matter what your specialty. Physicians and surgeons make the most, but you don’t have to go to medical school to earn a valuable degree. Bachelor’s degrees are sufficient and available in a wide variety of specialties. Occupational therapy assistant’s, for example, earn a median salary of around $53,240 a year, physical therapists $79,860 and genetic counselors $56,800. Healthcare degrees offer a 12% return on investment each year.


With a master’s degree in mathematics, you can have a high-paying career working for a scientific research firm, college or government organization. Teaching is also a possibility, although a doctorate is required to teach at the college level. Those with a master’s in math can expect to earn $97,000 a year at the mid-point of their career.

Construction Management

If you hate sitting behind a desk, consider a degree in construction management. This hands-on job often requires overseeing job sites and pays about $50,200 a year to start with mid-career earnings increasing to $85,200. The demand for construction managers is expected to grow 16.6% between 2012 and 2022, so finding a job shouldn’t be a challenge.

A college degree still provides advantages, but it is important to choose the right degree so you get the most bang for your educational buck.