Mastering math pays off big for college grads

These days, the ticket to a good job is through math.

All the 15 top-paying college degrees have one thing in common — math skills, CNNMoney.com reports.

That’s according to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks college graduates’ job offers.

Engineering degrees accounted for 12 of the 15 the top-paying majors, according to NACE data, collected by surveying 200 college career centers.

Three of the 15 top paying degrees were outside the field of engineering — but they still required math skills: Computer science, actuarial science and construction management.

The top 15 salaries ranged from $53,000 for construction management to $83,000 for petroleum engineering.

9 comments Add your comment

Arhur R Thompson

July 27th, 2009
1:43 pm

I have an MBA in finance ,31 years of business and education experience including 3 years writing manuscripts for forensic accountants to use for detailed math analysis, have written 2 books, ran a teen center on weekends for 2 years while working as financial credit management and yet I am unable to get any consideration from any county on the Eastside for teaching math . I have been ignored scorned and told just a temporary sub by personnel in the school department in Rockdale County which has a deplorable rate of math aptitude, CRCT testing and kids passed even though failing. Even the state of Ga refuses to accept my unemployment request as school system says just a temp still have good assurance of getting sub jobs in 2009- 2010 at $85.00 per day.

good luck on getting anyone interested in teaching math in metro Atlanta if school systems as bad as Rockdale!!! over 2000 job applications in the last year by myself and the feedback (too old 53, too white , male caucasian, too educated MBA Mercer University, and too previously highly paid.

Thank goodness we saw this pending collapse in economy and opportunity and reinvented into self employment for primary income sources.

1 to 1

July 27th, 2009
1:46 pm

Knowing the above, it would help if we, in Georgia, weren’t 48th or 49th in public education.

Maybe this is a wake up call to put aside our educational differences and begin to direct our total collective energies toward the realization that turning out highly qualified students brings societal gains.

It would be about time!

Mishap

July 27th, 2009
2:33 pm

The survey is a bit skewed given according to O*Net, there are 17,000 Petroleum Engineers and they avg 108k w/ 3-6% growth rate which doesn’t make it that attractive of an industry. There is demand but the # of engineers capable and willing to do that kind of job are limited even for 108k median salary given it requires travel to remote locales and actual physical danger from work sites. In contrast, Software Engineer(computer science or comp engineering) has 507,000 people w/ the title and an avg salary of $85k along w/ 21% projected growth in the field. Even so there is significant downward pressure on these jobs due to outsourcing and offshoring. By the time you fix schools w/ enough math skills to pump out enough students to fill these areas we’re already way behind the curve. As much as I hate it, the best solution may be to pump up H1B’s and import our workforce. Bringing in pre-trained and intelligent people from other countries w/ the lure of higher salaries and eventual citizenship is a great way to make up for our own failing youth. It’d drive down my salary in the long run but would probably be better for the country overall as we would basically be stealing intellectual capital from other countries.

I think these surveys aren’t really useful in determining career paths. Telling someone software engineers can make 61k doesn’t mean much unless b/c most people would hate their lives looking at code for more than a few years. About the only real good it does is tell parents they shouldn’t send their kid to a $40k/yr private school to learn social work unless they are planning on giving them a 7-8 figure trust fund later on.

[...] Mastering math pays off big for college gradsAtlanta Journal Constitution… actuarial science and construction management. The top 15 salaries ranged from $53000 for construction management to $83000 for petroleum engineering.Engineering degrees pay offConsulting-Specifying Engineerall 2 news articles » [...]

Super Dad

July 28th, 2009
12:52 am

Watching Georgians do math makes me realize why the rural areas have lots of farmers and the urban areas have car jackers and other assorted thugs names the “something” bandits.

Mike Hunt

July 28th, 2009
4:42 am

Mr. Thompson, with your listed qualifications, why don’t you get a job a male flight attendant? They can’t be any more whiney than you. Stop complaining. Mike.

Arhur R Thompson

July 28th, 2009
9:19 am

Mr Hunt since you were crusing this column at 4:42am you must have just come back from an empty gay hunt…why don’t you go and fly off with some of your gay airline buddies?

Mike Hunt

July 29th, 2009
2:28 pm

Mr. Thompson, I have a better idea. Please apply for a Cambridge MA. police officer. Hopefully, there will be an opening soon when that racist officer is fired for arresting Mr. Gates.

construction magazine

July 31st, 2009
8:09 am

Do Watching Georgians do math makes me realize why the rural areas have lots of farmers and the urban areas have car jackers and other assorted thugs names the “something” bandits.