If you have your sights on overseas work, or just want to know what global trends are starting to show, you might be interested to know which degrees are commanding the biggest salaries.  An article in Forbes magazine states The National Association of College and Employers summer 2011 survey report on graduate starting salaries found that the average starting salary for this year’s graduates roles 4.8% to USD $51,018 from $48,661 a year ago.  Among the disciplines that saw their average offer change, more than 82% saw an increase.  That’s amazing news considering the US is still in recession.

In the top 5 are:

  • Petroleum Engineering – the most profitable major at $80,849 – focuses on finding and extracting oil or natural gas.  Engineers work with geologists to understand a site’s rock as well as to design equipment and processes to recover the resources and reduce operational costs.  High employment growth is predicted as new resources and new methods of extraction are developed.
  • Chemical Engineering (includes training in chemistry, physics and mathematics) – average starting salary $65,618.  Good opportunities in pharmaceuticals, health care, energy research, biotechnology and nanotechnology.  Focuses on solving problems in the production or use of chemicals and biochemicals and handle the design of manufacturing equipment, testing, treatment of byproducts and supervision of overall production.  Demand, however, is predicted to decrease around 2% in the decade to 2018.

Continue reading