8 bachelor’s degree majors with high starting salaries

Bachelor's Degrees

See what kind of starting salary your bachelor's degree can get you.

For those with the means and opportunity, the decision to earn a college degree often comes down to money. A college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn around $900,000 more in their lifetime than someone with a high school diploma.

Of course, not all bachelor’s degrees are made equal. What you choose to major in can have a big impact on your starting salary, and ultimately your earnings potential. To help students make informed decisions, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) tracks the average starting salaries of graduates from a variety of majors.

Engineering and computer science degrees offer 2018 graduates the highest average starting salaries – as was the case for the class of 2017.

While engineering and computer science continue to be the highest-earning degrees, their average starting salaries remained more or less on par with last year, each growing by about 1 percent. The average starting salary for graduates with humanities degrees, on the other hand, leapt up by 14 percent.

Here are this year’s average starting salaries for some of the most common majors, as well as each major’s average from last year, and the year over year growth comparison:

1. Engineering

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $66,521
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $66,097
  • Percent change: 1 percent


2. Computer science

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $66,005
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $65,540
  • Percent change: 1 percent


3. Math and sciences

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $61,867
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $59,368
  • Percent change: 4 percent


4. Business

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $56,720
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $54,803
  • Percent change: 3 percent


5. Social sciences

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $56,689
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $53,459
  • Percent change: 6 percent


6. Humanities

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $56,688
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $48,733
  • Percent change: 16 percent


7. Agriculture and natural resources

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $53,565
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $54,364
  • Percent change: -1 percent


8. Communications

  • 2018 avg. starting salary: $51,448
  • 2017 avg. starting salary: $51,925
  • Percent change: -1 percent

Ready to get started in your career? Check out these great entry-level occupations by industry.