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People With These 5 College Degrees Will Make the Most Money in 2015

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It's safe to say that your chances of increasing your earning power goes up if you have a college degree. More and more people are getting their degrees in order to do just that. In fact, in 1998, less than 25 percent of people over 25 had a college degree; today it has increased to over 30 percent. But the job market is competitive, and certain job fields pay more than others.

Degrees that make the most money

It makes sense to go for a degree in a field that is going to make you the most money. Salaries will be higher in fields that reflect what is most needed and sought after, and technology and sciences are at the top of the list.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, here are the top 5 college degrees that will make the most money for college graduates in 2015:

#1 - Engineering: starting salaries for engineers are projected at $62,998, with an average lifetime earning power of $3.4 million, compared to the lifetime average for all degrees of $2.4 million. And if you want to become an engineer in the petroleum field, your starting salary just jumped up to $80,000.

#2 - Computer Science: 2015 projected average starting salary is $61,287, and average lifetime earnings are estimated at $3.1 million. If you specialize in a particular field, you will earn even more.

#3 - Math and sciences: these grads will earn a starting salary of $56,171 and over their lifetime earn about $2.6 million for science grads, and $3.1 million for math grads. Within this field, physics majors will earn the most, about $65,000, and if these majors go on to management positions, their lifetime earning power will increase up to $3.4 million.

#4 - Business: business grads are still needed and paid higher than many other college degrees. Starting salary for a business grad in 2015 is $51,508, with lifetime earnings projected at $2.6 million. Business management jobs pay the highest.

#5 - Agriculture and natural resources: grads in these professions can expect an average starting salary of $51,220, and lifetime earnings of $2.6 million. Like most professions, if these grads go on to management positions, they will earn even higher salaries over a lifetime.

Notice that the first 3 college degrees are in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These are going to be the hot degrees for college students for some time. Other high paying degree areas include healthcare, communications, social sciences and humanities.

To read more, visit www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/01/31/cheat-sheet-highest-paying-degrees/22478439/

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