The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that nearly one-quarter of 2010 graduates secured a job offer before graduation.
Job offers were the most plentiful for new graduates who had majored in business administration, computer science, accounting, engineering, or mathematics. But which jobs came with the highest starting salaries? These careers were at the top, according to the NACE:
Average salary offer: $55,703
Bring your expertise to the table by working as a consultant. These trained workers often travel to work with individual businesses, focusing on specific aspects of the company. A consultant may work to improve the scientific, technical, or managerial structure of a company, working on a team to improve accuracy and workflow.
In general, consultants are more valued when they have specialized training to offer. Management consultants might be best served with an MBA degree, for example, while technical or scientific consultants should have a high level of computer science education and training. For companies looking to improve their profile in the marketplace, a consultant with a bachelor’s or master’s marketing degree may fit the bill.
Petroleum & coal products
Average salary offer: $69,794
Petroleum engineers regularly top the list of highest starting salaries. The job requires at least a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering. Workers may spend their time planning in the office, or they may travel to offshore oil rigs or distant drilling stations to watch their plans in action.
Petroleum technicians see high salaries over the course of a career, with mean annual wages of $58,400 in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Engineering-technician training can typically be completed as a vocational degree in science technology, either online or at a local community college.
Average salary offer: $50,806
Working at the federal government could mean enjoying a healthy salary, benefits, a pension plan, and transportation subsidies. The federal government is the nation’s largest employer, and while competition for jobs is often high, it pays to have the right education.
With an evolving and advanced technological world, it’s no surprise that federal workers must be highly trained. In law enforcement, for example, FBI agents must typically hold a bachelor’s degree in information technology, accounting, electrical engineering, or computer science.
Average salary offer: $58,837
Aerospace engineers have the specialized skills necessary to develop, test, and maintain some of the most complex devices and technologies in the world. Train to work with aerospace technology with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.
In order to work in aerospace parts and manufacturing, an associate’s degree in aerospace manufacturing is often recommended. Starting salaries are lower than the average for licensed engineers, but this skilled manufacturing position offers job security for skilled workers, with 11 percent growth projected between 2008 and 2018 by the BLS.
Average salary offer: $58,789
Engineering careers can offer high earnings for new graduates. A targeted, high-level education with an emphasis in science, math, and technology is behind high salaries for engineering grads. Engineers work in a range of disciplines to create technologies and products that drive the world economy.
While an engineer needs to have a bachelor’s degree in his or her respective field (popular degrees include civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and chemical engineering), engineering technicians generally earn only an associate’s degree. Many workers come into the field with associate’s degrees and go on to earn a bachelor’s degree as they build years of work experience.
Career training for top salaries
While no degree can guarantee a particular career or salary, the jobs above offer rewards to graduates with the right training. Education allows you to rejuvenate your resume as you update your skills, learn more about potential fields, and plan your career future. Whether you’re looking for a job with future growth potential or a healthy salary, consider degrees attached to the careers above.