Top 5 Most Lucrative Degrees

The numbers are in, and they are rising. A list published by CNN Money finds that a number of majors in the class of 2007 found it easier to secure healthy starting salaries in the work force.

Top Degrees for Growing Careers

Employers have suggested they intend to hire 17.4 percent more college graduates this year. Want to know which industries are the most promising? Here are the top five degrees for lucrative careers:

1. Engineering: A range of engineering careers reported salary growth for graduating seniors. Mechanical engineering was up 7.7 percent to $54,587, chemical engineering was up 7.4 percent to $60,054, civil engineering was up 4.8 percent to $47,145, and electrical engineering was up 3.2 percent to $54,599.

  • Degree options: Bachelor's degrees are typically considered the minimum requirement for entry into engineering careers.
  • Growth potential: Master's degrees offer a higher level of technical expertise, potentially leading to management and development positions.
  • Browse Top Engineering Degrees

2. Management Information Systems: This degree saw salary growth of 5.5 percent, up to $46,568 for new graduates. Familiarity with technology is traditionally required, as are strong problem-solving and analytical skills.

  • Degree options: Bachelor's degrees in MIS are a popular choice for computer systems analysts.
  • Growth potential: Experience can lead to management-level work, or branching off as an independent consultant.
  • Brose top Information Technology Degrees

3. Computer Science: Salary growth for college students with this high tech major was up 2 percent, to $51,070.

  • Degree options: Bachelor's degrees are the recommended minimum educational requirement, though associate's degrees and certificate programs may be appropriate for entry-level technicians.
  • Growth potential: According to the Bureau of Labor, statistics hardware and software engineers should see high job growth.
  • Browse Top Computer Degrees

4. Accounting: Salary figures for these number-crunching graduates grew 1.7 percent to $46,508.

  • Degree options: A range of educational options is available, from coursework and certificate programs to advanced degrees for high-level research and study.
  • Growth potential: You can find accounting graduates throughout business, working as financial managers, payroll clerks, budget analysts, and more.
  • Browse Top Accounting Degrees

5. Management: Leadership, organization, and communication skills can be an asset to any management candidate. If you are looking to advance in your field, you may want to pair your skills with a management degree.

  • Degree options: Degrees are available from certificate programs to the MBA, the standard for many upper-level management positions.
  • Growth potential: Management degrees can broaden your opportunities, particularly when coupled with additional degrees or experience.
  • Browse Top Business Degrees

Whether you are considering your first degree or coming back for a career-changing education, these lucrative degrees can land you in a career that rewards your knowledge and hard work.