As hiring demand continues to rise, the average starting salary for the Class of 2022 is projected to be more than $50,000.
However, current college students can earn more than twice that depending on the college and area of concentration.
A study based on data from the U.S. Department of Education looks at the bachelor’s degrees from public universities that pay an annual salary of at least $100,000 three years after completion and have a 100% employment rate.
10 public colleges where median earnings can exceed $100,000 just three years after students graduate
A bachelor’s from the University of Washington’s Seattle campus in the field of allied health diagnostic, intervention, and treatment has the highest earning potential.
All graduates have a job within two years of graduating and earn a median salary of $131,592 the following year, the study by ProWritingAid found.
In the second spot is marine transportation at the Northwestern Michigan College, which can earn graduates $112,111 three years out of school.
Rounding out the top five are bachelor’s degrees in registered nursing, nursing administration, nursing research and clinical nursing from California State University’s Monterey Bay and the Stanislaus campuses, where alumni earn a median salary of $110,683 and $104,737, respectively.
And, graduates of California State’s Maritime Academy, which offers a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering related technologies, earn $102,821 three years after completion.
Overall, there were 140 degrees with a median annual salary of more than $100,000 within three years of graduation — of those, 93 were from private colleges and 47 were from public institutions, ProWritingAid found.
Coming out of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for students and families to find colleges that offer the best value.
Of course, public schools also cost significantly less.
Tuition and fees plus room and board for in-state students at four-year public colleges averaged $27,330 in the 2021-22 school year; for out-of-state students, it was $44,150, according to the College Board.
In comparison, students at four-year private college pay $55,800, on average, although when factoring in other expenses, the total tab can be more than $70,000 a year.
Regardless of the school, how much you make comes down to your field of study and eventual occupation.
Computer sciences majors are likely to be the highest paid just out of college, earning $75,900, on average, followed by engineering graduates, according to a separate report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
This year, employers projected starting salaries will increase 5.4% for math and sciences majors and decrease 14.8% for humanities majors, NACE found.
Beyond highlighting the overwhelming burden of student loan debt, the pandemic has also reinforced the financial benefits of earning a degree.
Seven in 10 seniors graduate with debt, owing about $30,000 per borrower.
Yet a majority of graduates with student loans said their college education improved their career opportunities and earning potential.
Studies show that college graduates will earn nearly $1 million more over the course of their careers.