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Top College Majors With The Greatest ROI

College is a very exciting period in your life, but it’s also one of the most expensive. With the cost of tuition in the U.S. higher than it’s ever been, choosing the right major has never been more important. Not only will your major dictate what you’ll be doing with the next 4 (or more) years of your life, but it also has significant implications on your earning potential. While it’s a noble gesture to pursue your dreams, you’ll also want to be realistic about your ability to pay back your student loans upon graduating. After all, living at your parents’ house for many years or working multiple jobs is a reality for many.

If you do happen to find yourself in this position, you might want to consider looking into refinancing your student loans. Reducing your interest rate (even by a small percentage) can save you thousands over the course of your loan term. You’ll also be able to put more money against your loan by cutting out any unnecessary spending, like electing to cook at home more often or having a no fee bank account. However, if you have yet to decide which degree you’ll pursue and want to avoid making a ‘major mistake’, consider these 8 degrees with the best return on your investment (ROI).

The following list—based on a figure by Salary.com—calculates ROI by subtracting the average cost of a degree from the earnings over a 30 year period (generally regarded as your lifetime earnings), then divides the difference by the cost. The list then presents examples of positions commonly held amongst degree holders, and their pertaining ROI values. Take a glance! You might just find your degree pays for itself.

Math

Actuary II

Median Annual Salary: $70,029

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 110%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 33%

Operations Research Analysis Manager

Median Annual Salary: $146,456

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 230%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 70%

Information Technology

Web Applications Developer

Median Annual Salary: $80,584

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 126%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 38%

Business Intelligence Specialist

Median Annual Salary: $109,604

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 172%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 52%

Human Resources

Recruiting Manager

Median Annual Salary: $88,916

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 139%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 42%

Human Resources Manager

Median Annual Salary: $87,184

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 137%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 41%

Economics

Economist (Non-Governmental)

Median Annual Salary: $115,671

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 182%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 55%

Investment Operations Manager

Median Annual Salary: $142,921

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 225%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 68%

Biology

Laboratory Manager

Median Annual Salary: $85,292

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 134%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 40%

Healthy and Safety Supervisor

Median Annual Salary: $71,758

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 114%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 34%

Engineering

Chemical Engineer II

Median Annual Salary: $75,225

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 118%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 35%

Electrical Engineering Supervisor II

Median Annual Salary: $91,997

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 144%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 44%

Marketing

Marketing Manager

Median Annual Salary: $86,591

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 136%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 41%

Product Manager/Brand Manager

Median Annual Salary: $92,216

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 145%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 44%

 English

Communications Manager

Median Annual Salary: $88,498

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 139%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 42%

Content Manager

Median Annual Salary: $79,674

ROI for Graduates of Public Institutions: 125%

ROI for Graduates of Private Institutions: 38%

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