5 Bachelor's Degrees That Can Lead to Six-Figure Jobs

These five professions require attaining a bachelor's degree, but can pay at a level higher than other professions

By Neil Johnson
Posted 2012

Six Figure Jobs
Six Figure Jobs

It’s natural to want the best pay-off from the time and money you spend getting a college degree.

You’re in luck because there are careers you can pursue with just a bachelor’s degree that can lead to six-figure salaries.

It shouldn’t be a surprise many of these jobs are management positions, so you aren’t likely to walk in the door and command $2,000 a week. But these bachelor degree careers can lead to major paychecks. The added bonus is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects demand in some of these fields will equal or top the nation’s overall job growth between now and 2022.

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Here’s what the BLS said about some jobs you can pursue that offer financial rewards for a bachelor’s degree.

Marketing Managers

The advertising business has paid well since Madison Avenue became a household word and marketing managers are near the top of the field. They create a strategy for a product from determining who will buy it, for how much, its competition and how to sell it.

A bachelor’s degree in advertising should include courses in management, economics, finance, statistics and business law. An internship while in school is also very helpful.

Median pay is $115,750 and job growth is expected to be 12%, according to the BLS.

Information Systems Managers

The IT field is hot and someone needs to be in charge. Information systems managers, also called IT managers, oversee a company’s computer systems, report to top management and may focus on security, new technology or handle administrative duties in addition to the computer system.

A bachelor’s degree in a field related to computers, science or information technology can get you started and business-related courses can help climb the ladder. Overall, smaller firms require less experience for promotion than large ones.

The median salary is $120,950, according to the BLS, and the job is expected to grow at 15% in the coming years.

Petroleum Engineers

The world’s appetite for energy isn’t going to slacken, so a petroleum engineer’s job – figuring out how to get more oil and natural gas – isn’t going away anytime soon. The job can cover designing equipment, testing and evaluating wells, inspecting for safety or developing better extraction methods.

You can start in the field with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or courses heavily focused on engineering and science, the BLS said. Many schools have programs that combine practical experience with the degree, something employers value.

The median pay for petroleum engineers is $130,280, more than engineers in general, the BLS said. Job growth is projected at 26%, faster than engineering jobs overall.

Financial Managers

Financial managers analyze data and advise executives how to maximize profits. They may specialize in a field such as healthcare or government which requires knowledge of the specialization.

You can get into the field with a degree in business administration, accounting or economics and companies like to see experience in financial jobs such as financial advisor or loan officer.

The BLS puts median pay for financial managers at $109,740 and demand is expected to grow at 9%.

Top Executives

These are the people who run a company or are just one promotion away from running the company. In smaller organizations, executives may have a wider range of responsibilities, while they may focus on more specific areas in larger companies. The job can cover hiring, overseeing department heads, purchasing or developing corporate strategy and policies.

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A bachelor’s degree in business management can get you started and companies prefer to promote people with management experience that can substitute for further schooling. Training through the company or graduate programs helps round out the experience.

While not the pay of the ultra-gilded CEOs, top executives command a median salary of $101,650, the BLS said. Job growth is expected to be 11%.

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