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Computer Engineering: The Highest-Paying College Major



By Catherine Groux
Posted February 06, 2013 12:00 PM

Computer engineering majors tend to earn the highest starting salaries.
Computer engineering majors tend to earn the highest starting salaries.

According to a new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), students who want to find high-paying jobs after earning a bachelor's degree should consider majoring in computer engineering. NACE's January 2013 Salary Survey indicates that last year, this major offered college students the greatest salaries, with the average graduate earning a starting salary of $70,400 per year.

"This is not surprising since the supply of these graduates is low, but the demand for them is so high," said Marilyn Mackes, NACE's executive director.

Many students who major in this subject become computer engineers, who are responsible for designing, creating and testing computer hardware and software with the goal of producing efficient and economical devices. Most entry-level jobs in this field require only a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or a related topic, but more complex positions may demand employees with a master's or doctoral degree, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states.

Still, computer engineering is not the only major that can bring bachelor's degree holders high salaries after graduation. In 2012, chemical engineering majors earned starting salaries of around $66,400 per year, while computer science majors made $64,400 annually, the NACE survey shows. 

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