As the price of a college education skyrockets and student loan debt passes the $1.3 TRILLION dollar mark, students are going to need to know that they’re going to be able to pay back their loans. Luckily, Business Insider and Pay Scale teamed up to create a comprehensive breakdown of the highest paying degrees. Whether you’re just entering college or are looking to expand your horizons, it never hurts to know the highest paying degrees that lead to the some of the biggest paydays.

5: Software Engineering – $65,000/Year Out of College

It should be no surprise that a software engineer makes a decent living right out of college. The ability to program and write code is becoming more and more of a required skill as technology more interwoven with our daily lives. This career is a rock-solid investment in the future.

4: Electrical Engineering – $67,000/Year Out of College

Going hand and hand with software engineering is electrical engineering, which deals with the physical hardware that makes electronics work. This is another career that exists on the cutting edge of technology and will only become more relevant and important as time goes on.

3: Mining Engineering – $70,000/Year Out of College

Many industries are dependent on experts that are able to figure out the most effective way to extract materials from the earth. If you’ve got a nice rock collection, this may be the degree and career path for you.

2: Physician’s Assistant Studies – $85,000/Year Out of College

This is one of the only high-paying courses of studies that does not include “engineering” in the name. However, don’t be fooled- Physician’s Assistants earn every dollar they are paid, as they work hard to help doctors treat patients. Jobs in health care are also very stable, as human doctors are a long ways from being replaced by any kind of automation.

1: Petroleum Engineering – $97,000/Year Out of College

It’s not shocking that one of the highest paying courses of study is tied to petroleum. The oil industry is not exactly known for being strapped for cash. While it is the most lucrative degree now, one thing to consider is that the future of petroleum is uncertain with renewable energies becoming more prevalent with every passing day. Expect shake-ups in this field as time goes on.

Choosing the right degree and career path is no small decision and should not be taken lightly. Of course, you should follow your dreams and do what you love most. However, if what you love is earning tons of money, these highest paying degrees might be the ones for you.

If you’re still unsure about what career you should pursue, check out another one of our blog posts here.

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